The following brief communiqué appeared earlier today on the website of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe, an exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, under which jurisdiction the renowned St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris operates. We trust that an explanation of this unexpected action and the future of the Archdiocese will be made public soon.

Archbishop John of Charioupolis

Communiqué of November 28, 2018

from the Office of the Diocesan Administration 

The diocesan administration communicates to all the members of the Archdiocese that, on November 27, 2018, the Holy Synod of our Patriarchate decided to abolish the status of our Archdiocese as an Exarchate.

This decision of the Holy Synod, which has yet to be received officially at the see of the Archdiocese, was in no way requested by the Archdiocese. His Eminence, Archbishop John, was not consulted prior to this decision.

In Istanbul/Constantinople with the secretary of the Archdiocesan Council, Nicholas Lopoukhine, for a meeting of the synodal commission, Archbishop John learned of this decision during a private meeting with the Patriarch.

The Archbishop and the secretary of the Archdiocesan Council will return to Paris shortly. The next meeting of the Council will take place in the coming days to discuss this question.

Until then, as pastor responsible for the parishes and communities of the Archdiocese, Archbishop John asks all the clergy and faithful to maintain their calm and to collect themselves in prayer, so that the Holy Spirit may come to enlighten us all.

More information will follow soon.

Translated from the French by Giacomo Sanfilippo.
Addendum: We are honoured to see that the Archdiocese added our translation to its website following the French and Russian versions shortly after we went to press.
See also It’s Official: Ecumenical Patriarchate Dissolves Russian Archdiocese of Western Europe, Rue Daru Responds: Communiqué of the Archdiocesan Council of the Russian Archdiocese of Western Europe,  and Orthodoxy in America: Broken Promises and Shattered Dreams?
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