Met. Agafangel on the Canonical Territory of ROCOR

August 20, 2014 (

(Originally reported on August 14)]

Report of the Annual Theological Conferences “Ways of ROCOR in the Modern World,” Odessa, 2014

There is still an ongoing debate about the canonical territories of the various Local Churches. This question the representatives of Official Orthodoxy even tabled for the forthcoming so-called Eight Ecumenical Council. How relevant is the question for our time?

Initially, the canonical territory was the diocese, within which was put the bishop to run. Church Canons strictly forbid one bishop to invade the territory of another: “A Bishop shall not abandon his own parish and go outside of it to interlope to another one, even though urged by a number of persons to go there.” (Ap. Cn. 14).  The matter then moved to the Metropolitan [jurisdiction] and the Local Churches: “Bishops must not leave their own diocese and go over to churches beyond its boundaries; but, on the contrary, in accordance with the Canons, let the Bishop of Alexandria administer the affairs of Egypt only, let the Bishops of the East govern the Eastern Church only…. But the churches of God that are situated in territories belonging to barbarian nations must be administered in accordance with the customary practice of the Fathers.” (Canon 2 of the Second Ecumenical Council)

Continue reading….    (Original Russian)