A new split arose in the Moscow Patriarchate’s European domain involving the defector to the ROC, Metropolitan John (Renneteau).
The Metropolitan of Berlin and the Germany of the ROCA, who sides with the Moscow Patriarchate, Mark (Arndt) forbade the clergy of his diocese to co-serve with the clergy of the Western European Archdiocese of the ROC MP based in Paris, headed by Metropolitan John (Renneteau).
This was stated by Metropolitan Mark on November 25, at a conference in Belgrade, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First All-Foreign Council of the ROCA in Sremski Karlovci, the credo.press outlet reports.
Speaking about the main ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the Russian emigration, the head of the German diocese of the ROCA MP said that it’s only his jurisdiction that “restored contact with the Russian Church”, while the American Metropolis (now the Orthodox Church in America – OCA) “flew somewhere afar,” while the Western European Exarchate, based in Paris, “shattered to pieces.”
“I had to ban my priests from co-serving with the priests of this jurisdiction, which now seems to have joined the Moscow Patriarchate, a few weeks ago,” admits Metropolitan Mark. He called the archdiocese, headed by Metropolitan John (Renneteau), “completely frivolous, violating the canons at every turn.”
Thus, the Moscow Patriarchate is seeing a split within its own organization in Europe, as one part of the ROC forbade co-serving with another part of the same church.
It is worth noting that such a ban was issued by Metropolitan Mark of the ROCA on the eve of a visit to the Kremlin’s ardent ally, Serbian Patriarch Porfirije.
Speaking about the accession of the ROCA (L) to the ROC MP in 2007, Metropolitan Mark acknowledged that his Church “lost a number of people” who didn’t want to join, but immediately added that this loss was “not related to church issues, but political ones.”
He also noted that the accession took place on the terms put forward by the ROCA (L). According to Mark, there is a “striking difference” between the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Germany, which are located directly in the ROC MP and the ROCA MP, so “we cannot merge.” According to his outlook, the unification of the parishes run by the Moscow Patriarchate in Germany into a single diocese may take place only in 50 to 100 years.
In September, the head of the Western European Diocese of the ROCA MP, Bishop Iriney, also demanded that the clergy of his diocese refrain from communicating with the clergy of the Western European Archdiocese of the ROC MP.
It should be recalled that Metropolitan John (Renneteau) earlier received a letter of leave from Patriarch Bartholomew and on September 14 individually transferred to the ROC, sealing the title of “Archbishop of Dubny.” He offered other parishes to support him and also to join the ROC, but this never happened.
Having voted to continue its activities as a legal entity in February 2019, the Archdiocese as an actor failed to pass a decision on the transfer to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate on September 28, 2019, as proposed by its Primate Archbishop John (Renneteau), who individually joined the Moscow Patriarchate.
On October 7, 2019, the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate confirmed the acceptance of clergy and parishes “who have expressed such a will.” Not all parishes and clergy of the former exarchate followed Archbishop John (Renneteau), having instead joined various jurisdictions, such as the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of France (subordinate to the Ecumenical Patriarchate), the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the Serbian Orthodox Church.