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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Lithuanian Orthodox Christians announced their approach to self-governing church status

Orthodox Christians in Lithuania claimthat “we have come closer to the charter of an independent church”. The day before, March 16, the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate educated examine the corresponding request at the meeting of bishops.

“Another step has been taken towards the acquisition by the Lithuanian Orthodox Church (LTC) of the canonical status of an autonomous Church. On Thursday, March 16, at a meeting of the Holy Synod at the Danilov Monastery in Moscow, it was decided to send the appeal of Metropolitan Innocent of Vilna and Lithuania on granting autonomous Church status to the Diocese of Vilna-Lithuania for consideration by the Council of Bishops,” said Metropolitan Innokenty of Vilna and Lithuania.

In May 2022, he asked the Moscow Patriarchate to grant the Lithuanian Orthodox Church an independent status, following demands from the clergy who had previously initiated the separation of the LOC from the Moscow Patriarchate.

In July 2022, the Diocese of Vilna-Lithuania deposit asks the ROC for self-government. Next, Metropolitan Innokenty noted that the Orthodox Church of Lithuania has long taken all decisions on its own. Moreover, according to him, she has no financial connection with the Moscow Patriarchate. The cleric also explained that the overwhelming majority of parishioners in the Diocese of Vilna-Lithuania are people of Lithuanian nationality.

The Lithuanian Orthodox Church had earlier expelled from the clergy all priests who had asked the Patriarch of Constantinople to restore canonical submission to him in Lithuania. Patriarch income all to dignity, but the Orthodox Church diocese of Vilnius does not recognize this return.

The LOC is one of the nine traditional religious communities in Lithuania, which has metropolitan status and belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate. Currently, only three Orthodox churches are under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate have autonomous status: Estonian, Latvian and Moldavian. This status implies complete independence in the internal affairs of the Church, but does not mean autonomy.

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