For the first time since his election as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman visited the Mexican Exarchate in mid-January 2003.
Accompanied by His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, Exarch of Mexico, Metropolitan Herman celebrated Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgy in Mexico City’s landmark Cathedral of the Ascension. He also met with numerous clergy serving the Exarchate, offering them encouragement and guidance in their ongoing missionary efforts.
While in Mexico, Metropolitan Herman met with Dr. Javier Montezuma Barragan, Cabinet Officer of the Mexican Government, and Dr. Alvaro Castro Estrada, General Director of Religious Associations, with whom he discussed religious life in Mexico in general and future prospects for Orthodox Christianity in the country. He also met with His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Mexico.
Throughout his visit, Metropolitan Herman praised the tireless efforts of clergy and laity alike in their efforts to continue building up the Body of Christ in Mexico City and beyond and challenging them to bring the Light of Christ to other regions of the vast nation.
The Exarchate of Mexico traces its roots to the 1920s, when the “Mexican National Catholic Church” was established independently from the predominant Roman Catholic Church. As Mexican Church-state relations improved, the National Church, which by 1928 had claimed 120 priests and parishes in 14 Mexican states, began to dissolve. The largest remnant of the independent movement, under the leadership of the late Bishop Jose [Cortes-y-Olmos], converted en masse to Orthodox Christianity in 1972, at which time the Mexican Exarchate was established.