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There are no questions for the rank of Archimandrite Nifont, – missionary of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa

Since questions regarding Archimandrite Nifont (Mark Hule) arise, I will give clarifications here. He was the secretary of Archbishop Alexander of Nigeria, then on March 1, 2021, he submitted his resignation (a copy with a stamp and an incoming number is available), putting forward a number of accusations against Archbishop Alexander. On April 7, 2021, the archbishop sent Fr. An answer to Nifont, in which he informed him of a ban on serving on the basis of the said letter, unwillingness to continue serving in his metropolis and coming to the temple once in lay clothes (a copy is available). All documents regarding this incident were submitted to Metropolitan Leonid by Fr. Nifont for consideration.

Also, after the events described, Fr. Nifont was once present and participated in the service of one schismatic group, for which he brought sincere repentance when he converted to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Of course, the Church is ready to receive penitent sinners, and I already wrote earlier that the appearance of the Russian Orthodox Church on the African continent will make it possible to find a way into the canonical Church not only for those who come from the Church of Alexandria, which has fallen into schism, but also from other local schisms, will allow to heal them. Here I have already met in many countries (but, of course, I did not serve) with some clerics of such “jurisdictions”. I told many of them that their consecration could not be recognized and they could only be accepted into the Church as laymen. And often they agreed. In the case of Fr. Niphon we have no questions about his consecration, since he was ordained in the canonical (at that time) Church.

As for the ban on serving, since the main reason for it was the refusal to heed the call of the bishop, who supported the schism, to continue serving under his omophorion, it would be strange for the Russian Orthodox Church to recognize such a ban (as they were not recognized in 1992 and the prohibition of Mr. Denisenko against clerics who did not want to serve under him, for example). The repentance of Archimandrite Nifont was accepted, as he himself was.

Patriarch Theodore should take the example of Fr. Nifont, since he, having the same sin of serving with schismatics, unlike the Nigerian priest, did not find the strength to repent. Nevertheless, the Russian Orthodox Church addresses this call to him and, if Patriarch Theodore repents, is ready to accept his repentance with the same joy with which the ROC accepted Fr. Nifont.

Father George Maksimov

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