Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria issued today, January 13, 2022, an Encyclical to the clergy of the Patriarchate in Africa claiming that Moscow tries to steal priests and Christians.
In his Encyclical he spoke about “wolves” and liars who approached the clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Orthodox Times reports.
As the Patriarch of Alexandria emphasized, these “wolves” approached “without any blessing or permission” of the Patriarchate to some parts in Africa and sowed weeds of division, “which grew and reaped and threaten to drown the work of our Apostolic Patriarchate, which is being done with effort, sacrifice, and blood for many decades”.
In fact, after recognizing the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the only one competent to grant Autocephaly, he emphasized that with the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine, “our Patriarchate agreed, as it agrees with the sacred canons and tradition of our Church”.
Patriarch Theodore then added: “Unfortunately, the Church of Russia, in retaliation, violated the Tradition of the Ecumenical Synods, which was respected by all the Patriarchs of Russia until today, and hastened to establish its own Church (Exarchate) here, in blessed Africa” an action purely inspired by “Colonialism” and tries to “steal” priests and Christians from our Patriarchate, using unauthorized means. This action is completely hostile to our Patriarchate as it is contrary to many sacred Canons that forbid one Church to violate the boundaries of another”.
He called on the clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, “to remain faithful to our Patriarchate, which spoke to you of the Gospel of Christ and gave you the Holy Baptism, to close your ears and your eyes to the promises and the dirty exchanges – (as “The thirty pieces of silver of Judah”) – people whose existence until yesterday was unknown because the spiritual danger is enormous. Always consider our endless sacrifices to establish the presence of the Orthodox Church in Africa and to give daily and with works of love the testimony of the Gospel throughout our beloved Continent”.