True Orthodoxy in Russia

Patriarch Irineos,
under house arrest

(Dcn Joseph Suaiden) According to the LiveJournal of Metropolitan Agafangel of New York and Eastern America, it appears that Patriarch Irineos of Jerusalem, removed by the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, replaced by the current Patriarch Theophilus (and effectively under house arrest for the past three years), has entered into communion with the ROCOR-A.

However, about 70 comments and discussions later on the site above, there does not appear to be any open clarification as to why this has occurred; it is not abundantly clear that Patriarch Irineos has in fact rejected the ecumenism of official Orthodoxy. (Metropolitan Agafangel argues in the comments section that the Patriarch’s positions are quiet, but completely in line with the positions of the ROCOR-A.) It can only be surmised that, as ROCOR had traditionally been in communion with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, that they ceased to recognize the validity of the Patriarch’s deposition.

I’ve been trying to make sense of this news for a couple of days to write a clear analysis, but I am still somewhat baffled by it.

Metropolitan Agafangel

In any case, this recognition does create an interesting situation in the Holy Land, where the parishes of ROCOR generally until the last decade or so recognized the Patriarch of Jerusalem, largely because all of the ROCOR Churches were in Jerusalem’s territory; however, the question of precisely how much Patriarch Irineos will be able to actually administer is a serious one. According to the Associated Press, the last interview with Patriarch Irineos was conducted through a microphone slipped into his groceries. .

There also seems to be in these discussions the hint of creating new Bishops for Patriarch Irineos, which would therefore lead to a parallel hierarchy in the Holy Land. Further, Patriarch Irineos seems to indicate that once he is freed, he will establish a monastery for ROCOR clerics who refuse communion with Patriarch Theophilus.

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