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The Patriarchate of Alexandria defrocked the second “Exarch in Africa” of the Patriarchate of Moscow

On 16 February 2024, under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria continued its proceedings.

Initially, the elected Metropolitans Theodore of Brazzaville and Gabon, and Nikodimos of Nigeria having accepted their election as Shepherds of two spiritually flourishing Dioceses, expressed thanks to the Patriarch and the Synodal Hierarchs, promising to work zealously for the spiritual progress of the flock.

His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Zimbabwe and Angola then gave a detailed presentation on the theme: “Preserving the Unity of the Local Churches in Africa under the Patriarchate of Alexandria (practical-pastoral approach to the issue)”.

This was followed by a fruitful exchange of views on the above presentation.

Subsequently, the Holy Synod dealt extensively and in detail with the development of the issue of the intrusion of the Church of Russia into the exclusive spiritual and pastoral jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria on the continent of Africa, after the lapse of more than three years since the Moscow Patriarchate manifested its non-canonical and disruptive behaviour through the establishment of the so-called “Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa”.

After discussion, the Holy Synod defrocked former Bishop Constantine Zaraisky, who had long since settled in Cairo, Egypt, within the Archdiocese of Alexandria, committing a series of canonical offenses (intruding into the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate, bribing local clergy, and even defrocked clergy, and many more).

It is noted that on 22 November 2022, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria defrocked the first “Exarch in Africa” of the Patriarchate of Moscow, the former Metropolitan of Klin, now Monk Hilarion Gorbachev.

Finally, after the Service of the Formal Election Announcements of the elected Metropolitans of Brazzaville and Nigeria was celebrated, the work of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria was concluded.