Home page News
Metropolitan Leonid of Klin: We will not …

Metropolitan Leonid of Klin: We will not break the local conventions and traditions of African parishes

On December 29, 2021, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its session made the decision to form a Patriarchate Exarchate of Africa. Metropolitan Leond (Gorbachev) was appointed as Patriarchal Exarch with the title “of Klin”. In an interview to Yelena Verevkina of the Interfax-Religion portal, the hierarch said how and with whose money new parishes will develop, whether manifestations of racism are possible in the Russian Church and whether it is worth waiting for new people to join the Moscow Patriarchate at an early date.

-    As a part of Aftrican parishes have joined the Russian Orthodox Church, a completely new questions are arising. Do you think our Church may encounter some new challenges, for instance, demands to picture the apostles or Christ as dark-skinned, as is the case in some Protestant churches? Or may the problem of racism arise in the Church, and what on the whole is your attitude to the Black Lives Matter movement, may it reach the Church as well?

-   We always say that in the Church ‘there is no Gentile or Jew’ (Col. 3:11). Therefore, a particular image associated with national symbolisn does not prevail in Orthodox traditions. In the Orthodox Church, racism cannot arise in the absence of an ethnophiletic ground for it. Everything depends on those who lead their flock to salvation.

As for the BlM movement, I will emphasize once again that in Orthodoxy salvation is possible for the faithful regardless of their skin colour, ethnicity or languige, for those who do not seek to deviate from God’s commandments and the canons of the Church.

-   Will seminaries be developed in Africa for teaching and training Orthodox priests?

-    Today we have just begun implementing our plans. Surely, the issue of education is one of the top priorities. We are aware of how to solve it. There are excellent theological schools for teaching and training students. However, it is possible that we will create a number of educational institutions in the African continent, provided there is a need and expediencly for it.

-   In the post-Soviet education, especially in seminaries, there has always been some constraint with languages, now you have to do with African ones. Who will train people for work in Africa?

- In Russia, there is a sufficient number of universities that can train specialists with linguistic knowledge. In addition, in African countries they speak in English, French, Suahili and local dialects. As of today, there is no acute linguistic problem. We communicate in the above-mentioned languages. There are printed publications, religious literature, the order of the Divine Liturgy, the texts necessary for celebrating divine services in various languages of the continent. As it may be necessary, translation work will be carried out. We consider the trainiang of specialists in a wide range of areas..                                                                                   

-   Are there those in the Russian Church - benegactors, hierarchs, who are ready to give financial support to these African parishes? Indeed, for the most part these are very poor communities who need financial support. Who will finance them?

-   Yes, in the Russian Church there are benegactors who support her in many areas of her service and, remainng not indifferent to the fate of Universal Orthodoxy, they are ready from their generosity to support our mission in Africa as well. We are grateful to them for their awareness that the Russian Church is now becoming a guardian of Orthodoxy not allowing the holy canons to be trampled down in favour of particular political decisions.

-   What are the next steps to be made in the Russian Church for developing these new parishes?

-   As only two weeks have passed since the historic decision of the Holy Synod, it is too early to speak of the steps to be made. We hoped to the last that the leaders of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria would become aware of the whole tragedy of her step and make the only right decision to refuse to support the schism. We did not prepare anything beforehand, but, believe me, nothing will hold us back. Now we are working out a full-scale program not only for developing the parishes but also for ensuring the full-gledged presence of the Russian Orthodox Church in the continent, including the liturgical, educational, social and humanitarian components.

- How much does the course of the liturgical and parish life of these parishes differ from the traditional order observed in parishes of our Church?

-   Each community has its own special features. Orthodoxy is unique precisely in that it does not remove or level national traditions and culture - it unites everybody and everything in Christ. I have repeatedly said it in my service both outside and inside Russia. We will not break local conventions and traditions. Orthodoxy has always been distinguished by patience and love. Therefore, on the contrary, we will support and preserve the individuality of each community in the continent if its special features not contradict the teaching of the Church. These traditions will not make an influence on the liturgical process.

-   Don’t you think that the incorporation of African parishes will initiate a movement for joining the Russian Church in other Churches, namely those of Cyprus and Greece, which have recognized the non-canonical church (OCU) of Ukraine?

-   We stated that before and repeat now: the Russian Orthodox Church is not engaged in expansion. The Patriarch of Constantinople has committed a canonical crime by entering in ecclesical communion with schismatics. A number of Orthodox Churches have supported this illegal decision and concelebrated with people who have no canonical, that is, lawful ordination, and who are not clergimen.

We know that, according to the teaching of the Church, “he who communicates with schismatics becomes schismatics himself”. We have defended and will continue defending the Orthodox who refuse to be associated with a schism.

 

 

 

 

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

18.05.2022

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

18.05.2022

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.

04.05.2022

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

27.04.2022

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

24.04.2022

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

23.04.2022

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

25.03.2022

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

25.03.2022

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

24.03.2022

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

20.03.2022

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

18.03.2022

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

18.03.2022

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

16.03.2022

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

16.03.2022

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

13.03.2022

DECR chairman meets with leaders of Baptist World Alliance

23.05.2022

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

23.05.2022

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

19.05.2022

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

13.05.2022

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

13.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus

12.05.2022

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

11.05.2022

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

11.05.2022

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

11.05.2022

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

10.05.2022

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

09.05.2022

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

09.05.2022

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

09.05.2022

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

02.05.2022

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

02.05.2022

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

22.04.2022

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

21.04.2022

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

16.01.2022

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

09.01.2022

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.

06.01.2022

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

27.12.2021

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

31.10.2021

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

14.10.2021

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

29.08.2021

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

01.08.2021

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

27.06.2021

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

07.03.2021

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

24.01.2021

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

19.01.2021

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

17.01.2021

Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

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