Present situation

After more than 80 years of its existence the Archdiocese has become a multinational diocese which has more than 60 parishes and one monastery with 66 priests and deacons, mainly in France but also in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy and recently, Spain. The Orthodox Diocese in France is the main one (over 40 parishes, including the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky in Paris, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Nice, the church at the Russian Cemetery St. Genevieve de Bois).

The composition of the Archdiocese is representative of the diversity and difficulties of the situation of the Orthodoxy in the West. Along with the parishes of the Russian émigrés where services are celebrated in their native language there are multinational parishes, as well as purely western parishes where services are performed in the languages of the countries of their location. The majority of the clergy and faithful now are citizens of these countries and half of the clergy come from the West. Untill may 2003 the head of the Archdiocese is Archbishop Gabriel of Comana, who is a Belgian citizen. The Theological Institute of St. Sergius in Paris and the Covent of the Protection of Mother of God in Bussy-an-Othe belong to the Diocese.

Although the Archdiocese became multinational it has preserved the Russian religious tradition in its liturgical practice and administrative and canonical organisation (based on the principles of the Council of Moscow of 1917-1918). The parishes consist of the members of the 3rd and even 4th generations of émigrés who had firmly settled in the French society; they are constantly increased by newcomers from CIS and the converts to Orthodoxy from the Western countries and their children.

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