The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has rejected a formal resignation letter by Metropolitan Filaret, head of the Church in Belarus, and blessed him to continue his service.
The Church’s rules require all eparchs to file a resignation letter when they turn 75, Alexy Shynkevich, spokesman for the Church’s Belarusian Exarchate, told BelaPAN on Monday.
The Synod decides whether the eparch should resign or continue his service, with the decision to be approved by the patriarch, Mr. Shynkevich said, noting that “the Synod never specifies how long the service of the eparch who has reached 75 years will last.”
Thus Metropolitan Filaret will continue as head of the Church’s Minsk Eparchy and Belarusian Exarchate, Mr. Shynkevich said.
The Synod’s May 31 decision is evidence of the gratitude of the Russian Orthodox Church to Metropolitan Filaret and also a guarantee of the stable development of the Belarusian Exarchate under his experienced leadership, Mr. Shynkevich said. He expressed hope that active work to revive Orthodox faith in Belarus would continue.
Metropolitan Filaret was born Kirill Vakhromeyev in Moscow on March 21, 1935. He graduated from the Moscow Spiritual Seminary and Moscow Spiritual Academy. He has been patriarchal exarch of all Belarus and metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk since February 1992.
In 2006, Metropolitan Filaret was awarded the title of Hero of Belarus.