Russian Orthodox Church in Exile
The Russian Orthodox Church in Exile (ROCE/ROCIE) is a jurisdiction formed in 2001 in protest against and breaking from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, primarily over the latter's ongoing rapprochement process with the Moscow Patriarchate. The ROCE still sometimes uses the ROCOR/ROCA name and regards itself as the true ROCOR.
The two jurisdictions are sometimes distinguished as ROCOR (V) and ROCOR (L), the initial in parentheses referring to the primate of each group.
The ROCE was led by Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov) of New York, who had retired as the primate of the ROCOR, but passed away on September 25, 2006. Upon the formation of the ROCE Metropolitan Vitaly was declared by the ROCE to have been retired forcibly by his enemies in ROCOR and then removed to Canada, where he governed the ROCE. It is reported by critics of this jurisdiction that the aged Vitaly was kidnapped and was essentially a figurehead, being unfit for episcopal governance. Courts in Canada and New York have rejected this claim after taking into account multiple mandatory psychiatric evaluations. One of these evaluations involved Canadian Police forcibly removing the aged hierarch from the altar during the vigil service, raising allegations of persecution from members of ROCE, which were heightened when Bishop Michael (Donskoff) of the ROCOR attempted to return the Metropolitan to New York, apparently against his will.
According to its website, the ROCE currently has 8 parishes, missions and home chapels, along with one convent, in the United States; 8 parishes, missions and chapels, along with 2 monastic sketes, in Canada; 2 parishes and one convent in South America; 8 parishes in Europe; and a "deanery" of clergy and monastics in Russia. The ROCE also has a handful of clergy and laymen throughout the world which hold allegiance to it but may not have any parish associated with them.