Saeima affirms independence of Latvian Orthodox Church from any ecclesiastical authority outside Latvia

(09.09.2022.)

On Thursday, 8 September, the Saeima adopted urgent amendments to the Law on the Latvian Orthodox Church affirming the full independence of the Latvian Orthodox Church with all its dioceses, parishes, and institutions from any church authority outside Latvia (autocephalous church).

"With the adoption of the Law, the historically existing autonomy and independence of the Latvian Orthodox Church is strengthened, preventing the Russian Orthodox Church from having influence or power over our Orthodox Church," said Artuss Kaimiņš, Chair of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee, which oversaw the Draft Law's progress in the Saeima, stressing that such a decision is in the interests of Latvian Orthodox Christians, society as a whole, and national security.

In addition, the Law establishes the procedure for informing Latvian state institutions and private individuals about the accession to and removal from office of the Head of the Church, metropolitans, archbishops, and bishops.

According to the explanatory note to the Draft Law, the definition of the scope of legal status in the Law does not affect or interfere with the Church's doctrine of faith and canon law.

By 31 October, the Church will have to align its statutes with the amendments made to the Law on the status of the church. By 1 October, the Chancery of the President must be notified of the appointment of the Head of the church, metropolitans, archbishops, and bishops.

The Law will enter into force on the day following its promulgation.

 

Saeima Press Service

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