Home page News
The creation of a Patriarchal exarchate in Af…

The creation of a Patriarchal exarchate in Africa. An interview with the metropolitan of Klin Leonid

On 29th December 2021 the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church made public its epochal decision on the creation of the Patriarchal exarchate of Africa. It received into its ranks more than a hundred priests of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria who wished to leave it after its head Patriarch Theodore recognized the Ukrainian schismatics. The new exarchate is headed by the metropolitan of Klin Leonid (Gorbachev). In an exclusive interview with RIA-Novosti, he spoke of the foreseeable plans of the Church in Africa: the future of the clergy and parishioners, the construction of cathedral churches and relations with the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Metropolitan Leonid, do you plan on visiting Africa in the near future in order to organize the affairs of the exarchate?

I am planning a pastoral visit to Africa. At present, it is impossible to visit a number of countries as a result of the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. Nevertheless, the structure of the exarchate will develop, human resources will be needed and staffing the exarchate is at present one of our top priorities. The nucleus of the exarchate will be formed in Moscow. It is an absolutely new continent-wide powerful structure which requires scrupulous, detailed study and a development plan.

The hundred and two priests of the Church of Alexandria who have gone over to the Russia Church – have they done so together with their parishes or not?

Yes, they have gone over with their parishes and flock. According to our prognosis, this is only the beginning.

Where will the seat of the new exarchate be located and will new cathedral churches be built in Africa, for example, in Cairo?

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has set aside for the administrative needs of the exarchate the metochion of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, which houses the Church of All Saints ‘na Kulishkakh’ in the city of Moscow. As required, there will be built churches of the Russia Orthodox Church in African countries. The question of allotting land in Cairo for the construction there of a cathedral church is being decided. In Johannesburg – the centre of the South African diocese – a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church has been active since 1999. Apart from a church building, the assembly of buildings includes additional premises for the needs of the parish. This is a perfect material foundation for the setting up there of a diocesan centre with a cathedral church.

How will the future look for our Church in Africa after the Synod’s decisions?

This is, in our view, a historical step. The Russian Orthodox Church will acquire a different status and is assuming the responsibility laid upon on her with regard to this epochal event. We are not prepared to reconcile ourselves with injustice and the trampling down of the canons of the Church, no matter who does this. Moreover, the Russian Orthodox Church has always treated with concern and attention the position of Christian minorities throughout the world, and Africa is no exception. We have spoken about this wherever possible. The rights of Christians should in no way be violated, and we are doing all we can from our side to protect and observe them.

As there have been organized two dioceses within the exarchate, will the local priests who have gone over to the Russian Church be able to become bishops within them?

As has already been remarked, the issue of staffing is one of the most important. We do not exclude the possibility of expanding the structure of the exarchate if necessity dictates. The question of the possibility of forming other dioceses and the appointment to them of bishops from among both the Russian and the African clergy may be put to the Holy Synod for examination. We also do not exclude the possibility of some of the bishops of the Patriarchate of Alexandria declaring their intention to transfer to the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Does Your Eminence have ideas on how the leadership and clergy of the Church of Alexandria may react to the creation of the exarchate as it has appeared on their canonical territory?

After the anti-canonical, perfidious and autocratic decision of the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria to recognize the schismatic grouping of the so-called ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine’ we maintained a long pause, expecting the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria to realize the depths and tragic and irrevocable nature of their error, but this did not happen. No Synod was called at which its members could express their opinion on the autocratic decision of Patriarch Theodore, whether to support it or reject it. We waited two years, more than was possible. Now, the reaction of the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria has ceased to be an issue for us.

The figures speak for themselves regarding the reaction of the clergy. A hundred and two members of the clergy have already applied to be received under the omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is quite a high percentage of the general number of clergy. Some have been waiting for this since 2019. We are expecting the number of applications to increase.

Patriarchal condolences on the death of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York


Patriarch Kirill: Our flock is both in Russia and Ukraine and we ardently pray for the restoration of peace


Commentary by the Communications Service of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate on the interview given by Pope Francis to the Italian publication Corriere della sera.


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s talk with Primate of Serbian Orthodox Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Paschal Great Vespers at the Church of Christ the Saviour


Paschal Message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church


Holy Synod members discuss the issue of rendering aid to refugees and suffering civilians in Ukraine


Holy Synod considers it important that the Russian Church’s stance on the crisis in Ukraine be brought to notice of the heads of non-Orthodox Churches and inter-Christian organizations


Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church meets under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill


Metropolitan Hilarion: The main thing in a person's life is their relationship with God


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s address to the Supreme Church Council on March 18, 2022


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairing a meeting of the Supreme Church Council


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had a talk with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia talks with Pope Francis


Patriarch’s homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral


DECR chairman meets with leaders of Baptist World Alliance


Metropolitan Hilarion meets with the Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq


The 25th meeting held by the Working Group for cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


Metropolitan Hilarion meets with leaders of a major inter-Cristian humanitarian organization


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk visits Exarchate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in Cyprus


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk holds negotiations with head of the DECR of the Malankara Church


DECR chairman meets with representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church Catholicosate of Cilicia


Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a presentation at the plenary session of the Orthodox Pre-Assembly of the World Council of Churches


Russian Orthodox Church delegation attends Orthodox Pre-Assembly of World Council of Churches


Metropolitan Hilarion on the work carried out by the Church amid the political confrontation in Ukraine


Metropolitan Hilarion: Imposing sanctions will not affect the life of the Russian Orthodox Church


Metropolitan Hilarion on details of the talk between His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis of Rome


Metropolitan Hilarion: We have learned from own experience that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Church is called upon to unite people regardless of their political orientation


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers of Good Friday with the procession of the burial-shroud.


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great on Holy and Great Thursday.


Metropolitan Hilarion: the essence of religious life lies in the love for God


Metropolitan Hilarion: May the joy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world live in our hearts always


On Christmas Eve, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God "Joy to All who Sorrow" on Bolshaya Ordynka.


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord calls every person to salvation in a variety of ways


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has commanded us to love every human being


Metropolitan Hilarion: on the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we glorify the heavenly intercession of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life



Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب