Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Metropolitan Varsanufiy On Smaller Dioceses, Regional Metropolias

In an interview recently published in The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Varsanufiy (Sudakov) of Saransk has responded to questions on the ongoing division of the Russian Orthodox Church's existing eparchies into smaller ones, noting that it is impossible for a hierarch to be an effective shepherd of his diocese when it consists of 300 parishes or more as is often the case today.

As stated by Metropolitan Varsanufiy in the interview, the Russian Orthodox Church's long-term goal is to raise the ratio of churches to people (currently at one for every ten thousand Russians) and enable the Church's episcopate to better oversee their flocks through the creation of smaller, more manageable dioceses. (Metropolitan Varsanufiy's own Eparchy of Saransk included over four hundred parishes prior to its recent division into three eparchies.) In the interview Metropolitan Varsanufiy also discussed the possibility of devolving some central authority to regional metropolias, as has already occurred in the Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan.

The full interview (in Russian) can be found here.

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