The Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is a semi-autonomous church in the canonical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow whose primate is appointed by the Holy Synod of the latter. This church numbers roughly 150,000 faithful in 31 congregations and is the largest Eastern Orthodox church in Estonia. The Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia since 2018 is Eugene (full name: Metropoliit Jevgenisecular name Valery Germanovich Reshetnikov. Born in Kazahstan, was rector of Moscow Theological Academy 1995–2018 and Chairman of the Educational Committee of the Holy Synod in Moscow 1994–2018. After becoming Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia, he began to study Estonian language and applied for a residence permit in Estonia.

In March 2022, together with the heads of all churches in Estonia he signed a statement critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine even though in a later interview insisted that his interpretation of the document differed from that of his co-signatories.

The Metropolitan informed the SG of WEA about the split of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and the question, in how this could influence the similar split between a larger Orthodox Church belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate and a smaller Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Stephanos, being under the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople (Istanbul). Schirrmacher has met Metropolitan Stephanos several times, in Rome and at the Great and Holy Synod of the Orthodox Churches in Crete.

Schirrmacher was accompanied by his wife Christine Schirrmacher, his Chief Diplomat Matthias Boehning and as staff Martin Warnecke and Debora Haede.


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