Metropolitan Filaret (Vakhromeev), who was Patriarchal Exarch of Belarus and the head of Belarusian Orthodox Church for 35 years, is going to resign, according to his own petition and in the achievement of being 75 years old, reports Christian Telegraph invictory.com in reference to newsru.com.
Metropolitan Pavel of Ryazan was appointed by the Holy Synod of the
Russian Orthodox Church as a new Patriarchal Exarch of Belarus. It was
reported by the head of the patriarchal press service Deacon Alexander
Volkov to RIA “News,” after the first day meeting of the Holy Synod of
the Russian Orthodox Church, which was held in Moscow.
“Following this decision, the Holy Synod of Patriarch Kirill warmly
thanked Metropolitan Filaret for many years of work for the benefit of
the Russian Orthodox Church. He stressed his achievements in the revival
of Orthodoxy in the Belarusian land, the spiritual care of the
Belarusian people, an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church,”
According to Volkov, in a sign of special respect to Metropolitan
Filaret, Patriarch Kirill took off and handed over his Metropolitan
Panagia (a small icon of Christ or Virgin Mary, which a bishop is
wearing on the chest as a sign of Episcopal dignity).
“Metropolitan Filaret was and remains one of the most respected bishops
of the Russian Church, both among the bishops, and among the laity.
During his visit to Belarus the patriarch has repeatedly talked about
his work. It is worth to note, that during the local council in 2009
Metropolitan Filaret was elected as one of the contenders for the
patriarchal throne and gave his votes in favor of Metropolitan Kirill of
Smolensk and Kaliningrad (now Patriarch).
It is very important that Metropolitan Filaret will still be able to
participate in the meetings of the Holy Synod (according to his decree) –
the main decision-making body in the Russian Orthodox Church. Also, the
decision of the Synod was to appoint Metropolitan Filaret as “honorary
Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus,” said Volkov.
The Synod members expressed gratitude to the Metropolitan for his 35
years of service to the Belarusian people, opening ten dioceses, new
monasteries, religious schools, and increasing the number of parishes a
In 1970 he was bishop of Patriarchal Exarch in Central, and later –
in Western Europe.
In 1980 he headed the Department for External Church
Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.