Saturday, January 04, 2014

Metropolitan Filaret is resigning 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 in reference to

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,” said Volkov.

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 lot. 

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.

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