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Russland: Head of Russian Church’s African Exarchate released from his position

19. Oktober 2023

Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, who was the head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s African Exarchate from the time it was established in December 2021, was released from this position yesterday by the Russian Holy Synod. The Synodal report states: Pursuant to the report of His Eminence Metropolitan Leonid of Klin received by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, stating the reasons preventing him from fulfilling his duties as Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, [the Synod resolves to] release Metropolitan Leonid of Klin from this position with gratitude for the work he has done.

He retains his position as temporary manager of the Diocese of Yerevan and Armenia. His Grace Bishop Konstantin of Zaraisk was appointed as acting Patriarchal Exarch of Africa.

Met. Leonid served as representative of the Patriarch of Moscow to the Patriarch of Alexandria from December 2004 to July 2013, and given this experience, he was chosen to head the African Exarchate when it was established to receive more than 100 African priests who had petitioned to join the Russian Church after Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria entered into communion with the Ukrainian schismatics.

The Exarchate has grown considerably throughout the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria since 2021, taking in existing clergy and communities from Alexandria and converting schismatic and heterodox clerics and communities.

Recall that the Holy Synod of Alexandria ruled to defrock Met. Leonid in November 2022 “for a series of canonical offenses (invasion of the jurisdiction of the ancient Church, consecration of antimensions, distribution of holy Chrism, bribery of local clergy, even those deposed from the rank, factionalism, ethnophyletism, etc.),” though the Russian Church formally rejects this decision.

Yesterday’s Synodal decision was preceded by a similar decision by Patriarch Kirill when he released Met. Leonid last month from his post as rector of the Church of All Saints in the Kitai Gorod section of Moscow, which previously served as the Alexandrian Patriarchate’s representation church, and now as the African Exarchate’s representation. (Quelle:, 12. Oktober 2023)