Русский | Interfax | November 23, 2007 15:15

The Moscow Patriarchate propose to educate specialists for the Autonomous Orthodox Church of China

Moscow, November 23, Interfax — Moscow theological schools in consultation with China are ready to educate Orthodox students from China, Metropolitan Kirill, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations said.

Speaking at a conference in Moscow on Friday, he underlined that no Chinese Orthodox priest worked in the People's Republic of China to the current moment while the number of Orthodox believers in the country totaled to 15 thousand people.

Metropolitan also reminded that the Orthodox church in China was granted autonomy by the Synod of the Russian Church in 1957, but it has not had a primate since the death of bishop Vasily of Beijing in 1962 so it cannot give normal pastoral care to the believers.

The Synod of the Russian Church stated in 1997 that Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia would carry out canonical care for the parish of the Orthodox Church in China under the prevailing conditions.

The DECR chairman noted that Orthodox believers in China needed pastoral care and the Russian Church couldn't make these hopes vain and spared no effort to help them in frames of the Chinese legislation.

"While the Russian Church is unambiguously interested in restoration of independent Orthodox Church in China, but being Mother-Church it is ready to send Russian priests to China as an interim measure", Metropolitan Kirill underlined.

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