Communique of the Archbishop Office

Archbishop Jean, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Russian Churches in Western Europe, as well as several members of the Archdiocese Council, wish to inform you of the following:

  We have witnessed apparently a second attempt to appoint a locum tenens for the month of September 2019. Of course, none of these appointments can be considered as regular: both were taken in violation of our statutes. The appointment of a locum tenens must first result from a need to replace the head Archbishop. Monseigneur Jean, Head Archbishop, is happy to confirm that he is in perfect possession of his means. Such an appointment must then result from an express request by the Archdiocese Council (Article 52 of the statutes). Concerning the first "nomination", the Council of the Archdiocese had made no request. The second "nomination" is the result of a "referral" by some members of the board who apparently convened separately, excluding other members of the board (the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Secretary) from any discussion. They represented at best only themselves, but certainly not the Council. These members were kind enough to indicate in their "announcement" that the Council of the Archdiocese of the 30 August 2019 had set the date of the next council to ... September 30. There was therefore no meeting between these two dates. If there is no meeting, there is no request for "appointment" since the Council has not met and no "appointment" been made either...

  More seriously, Metropolitan Emmanuel has no canonical jurisdiction over the Archdiocese, as the Tomos linking canonically and directly the Archdiocese to the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been cancelled by the very will of this Patriarchate in November 2018, and by the act of canonical submission of January 12 2019 planning to organize the dissolution of our Archdiocese. It is difficult to conceive how the Ecumenical Patriarchate could name a locum tenens of an archdiocese which it canonically dissolved, on the basis of requests that the Council of the Archdiocese could not express as it did not meet, while there is an archbishop in place, ant that the Archdiocese refused to dissolve itself...

  The Extraordinary General Assembly of September 7th voted with a great majority for the attachment of our Archdiocese to the Moscow Patriarchate.  Archbishop Jean, in view of this result, made the pastoral decision to ask for such a canonical attachment for him and for the communities of the Archdiocese, which, as everyone knows, was granted to him. This is not a "personal" decision. It cannot be "personal" when 58% of the delegates of the General Assembly have asked for it.

  The formalization of this attachment, according to the act of canonical attachment of the Archdiocese to the Moscow Patriarchate, as presented at the Extraordinary General Assembly, and as it will be presented tomorrow at the Pastoral Assembly, will be done after this Pastoral Assembly.

It is time to stop these "tinkering" and "legalising" pretexts that have no other intention than to try to disturb our communities, our clergy and our laity. They are unworthy of who we are and what we have been together. They constitute an ecclesiological, moral and legal escape that tramples on our heritage, our canons and our statutes.

A minority of clerics and laypeople cannot "take hostage" a majority that made its decision. This minority cannot try to prevent our clerics from coming to church to meet and deliberate tomorrow in our Pastoral Assembly. It cannot continue to flout the conciliarity that founds our Archdiocese.

It is recalled that the meeting of the Council of the Archdiocese, which cannot meet calmly in view of the unacceptable actions of some of its members, is canceled.

Those who claim to represent this minority and who are sadly losing their credibility will have to answer for it because they engage their responsibility.

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