Metropolitan Hilarion or Volokolamsk: Patriarch of Constantinople claims authority over history itself

November 7, 2018 18:13

The chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, gave an interview to the Serbian daily Politika.

– How would you respond to the decisions of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of 11 October? Who will now act as a focal point for local orthodox churches, since, as you said, the ecumenical patriarchate has lost this right with its recent decisions? For example, who would be able to convene the Pan-Orthodox Council and chair it?

– The recent decisions of the Synod of the Constantinople patriarchy are a blatant violation of ecclesiastical law. They are aimed at the legalization of schismatics and the invasion of the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow. The response of the Holy Synod of our Church of October 15 reflected only the reality that took place in connection with the acts of Constantinople. In communication with the schismatics he himself went into schism. We were forced to break with deep sadness to the church of Constantinople, obedient to the holy canons.

The Patriarch of Constantinople, who for centuries worked among the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, ranked first among equals, now claims to become "the first without equal" – a referee who considers himself to interfere in the internal affairs of the Local Orthodox Churches, individually regulates the use of any canonical standards. He also claims power over history itself, with decisions taken more than three centuries ago being rejected. If you believe this new concept of primate in the church, no church decree is fixed and unchanged now – they can be unilaterally terminated at any time, based on political gain or other interests.

The danger of the destruction of age-old foundations is now increasingly recognized by the primates and hierarchs of local orthodox churches, who are in favor of a general orthodox discussion of the Ukrainian issue. In the new conditions that have now developed, we must look for new forms of communion of churches that are adequate for them.

Can the patriarch of Constantinople preside over the pan-orthodox council if the main problems in the orthodox world are precisely related to its anti-canonical activity? I think the negative question for such an answer is obvious. The coordinating role of the Constantinople throne in the orthodox world, which was nevertheless carried out without problems in the second half of the twentieth century, can no longer be exercised by it. As a central point for the Orthodox churches, the Patriarchate of Constantinople destroyed itself.

– What is the current situation among believers and clergy in Ukraine? There were warnings that there was a danger for the confiscation of church property (this was explained in particular by the synod of the Estonian Orthodox Church and by the abbot of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, who said that he could reach violence during the festivities) and yourself warned several times about the possibility of bloodshed?

– The fact that such fears were not unfounded can be assessed on the basis of the number of persons detained by the police in the vicinity of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and within the police on 14 October. Some of the detainees were armed. They clearly did not come to participate in the prayer service, which was performed by the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the most blessed metropolitan of Kiev and all of Ukraine Onufry in the monastery.

At the same time we see how many people came to share the prayer with their primate in Kiev, thousands of believers came together for worship in the Pochaev monastery, which also informed the extremists of their intention to seize. From different places we receive information that the parishioners are ready to defend their temples.

Our entire church prays that the people of God in Ukraine, with the help of the Lord Himself, could resist these difficult times, preserve spiritual unity.

– What do you think of the arguments that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has put forward regarding the talent of autocephaly for Ukraine? Patriarch Bartholomew recently stated that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has the exclusive right to autocephaly and that he has taken steps in that direction because the Patriarchate of Moscow has not solved the "painful situation" in Ukraine.

– The historically established first place of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the diptych, left behind after the gulf between Constantinople and Rome, is not the primacy of power, but the primacy of honor, which gives him no special rights on the canonical territory of other local churches. I would remind you that in 1993 a completely orthodox decision was taken that the autocephaly declaration is only possible with the approval of all local orthodox churches. It is possible to mention a clear fact: the allegations about the so-called temporary nature of the transfer of the Kiev Metropolis to the Patriarchate of Moscow are unfounded, because they are based on a tendentious interpretation of a document of more than three hundred years. old, which has not been disputed by Constantinople for centuries. It should be remembered that Patriarch Bartholomeus has testified several times over the years that he regards the canonical head of orthodoxy in Ukraine as the blessed law of Metropolitan Vladimir, and then Metropolitan Onufriy, and not at all accepted by him now in communication. between the heads of the Patriarchate of Kiev and "Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church." More than once in the past he called schismatica to return to church by repentance. It may be mentioned that our church has never renounced efforts based on canonical principles to heal the division in Ukraine, inspired by the authorities. But let us focus on this question: do the actions of Constantinople lead to the set goal – the healing of this wound? Of course not. On the contrary, they are aimed at splitting on a pan-orthodox scale, encouraging attempts to discriminate against the canonical church in Ukraine and provoking a religious conflict on Ukrainian soil.

The degree of sympathy in the decision-making process is, so to speak, the measure of their correctness. In this case, the patriarch of Constantinople declares his only right to make decisions about other churches. He no longer sees the local churches as a subject of interdenominational relations, but simply places them for a fact. The primacy of Constantinople in the course of the Middle Ages seeks to seek similar powers to those of the pope and places himself outside the ecclesiastical dispensation that distinguishes the orthodox church. But communication with schismatics who have not converted from the sin of the split, and place themselves outside the canonical space.

Paradoxical situation: the will of the faithful, who remains faithful to the canonical church for nearly three decades in the face of the split, which the Ukrainian authorities have openly supported and supported, is ignored, while those who persevere in divisive actions receive a prize in the form of "recognition" of the Constantinople Patriarchy and promises of autocephalal status for the new structure made with their participation.

At the same time, despite the promises of the authorities not to force anyone into this structure, the Verkhovna Rada is awaiting the handling of bills which virtually legalize the confiscation of churches, as well as the confiscation of the canonical church from its historical name and other discriminatory measures. Moreover, the head of the schismatic "Kyiv Patriarchate" openly says that the old orthodox shrines – the Kiev-Pechersk and Pochaev Lavra – must be transferred to the new structure being created. Their naming has been included recently in its full & patriarchal title & # 39 ;. It is clear that the massive attempts to wean the temples, the transfer of the great shrines to the dissenters among many believers will lead to rejection. Even now, despite the current legal basis, there are attacks of church buildings with the support of extremists. What will happen if such "robberies" become omnipresent?

– To what extent is the "Ukrainian autocephaly" ecclesiastical and to what extent is the political issue? I ask you about this, because the support of the Ukrainian autocephaly was expressed by a number of political authorities, starting with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and ending with the US State Department.

"There is no doubt that" the establishment of a single autocepal Ukrainian church "is not a church project but a political project, so actions for its implementation are undertaken precisely at the political level, in contrast to the canonical Ukrainian orthodox church's view represents the majority of orthodox believers in the country.

It is impossible to note that the main active force in the implementation of the "autocephaly" project was Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is promoting it in preparation for the next year's elections. Moreover, the idea of ​​cutting off the Ukrainian orthodox of the Russian church finds warm support in certain circles of the American establishment, which regard Orthodoxy as a challenge to the world order formed under their leadership.

I am sure: it is not up to politicians to decide how the church should be organized. Political circumstances can change and the canonical structure of the church must not be dependent on the will of those or other actions of political figures. In European states, the US and other countries, the principle of separation of religious organizations and state power is considered unshakeable. With what right does Petro Poroshenko, the "European choice of Ukraine", contrary to the opinion of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, declare the creation of a certain new "church" structure?

The canonical church in Ukraine has more than a thousand years of history, which began at the baptismal font of the Dnieper with the like-minded monarch Vladimir. The secular authorities do not have the right to destroy this millennial continuity, in an attempt to tear apart the Church in Ukraine from spiritual unity with the Moscow patriarchy. At the same time, I would like to remind you that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is completely independent in its internal affairs.

– The Ecumenical Patriarchate has stated that autocephalous is granted where it is needed. Can we expect new sections in orthodoxy, apart from those already established in Ukraine and on the canonical territory of the Serbian Orthodox Church: in Macedonia, Montenegro and perhaps in Croatia, as almost every state in the region has its own church? gets ?

– Because of his decision, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople crossed the ancient rights and boundaries of the local orthodox churches.

Constantinople proposed a new order in which from now on the calls of politicians and schismatics were sufficient to annul the age-old similarities between the churches, to accept the schismatics in communication and to receive "autocephaly" the "churches" created by them. Such an approach is not limited to Ukraine, and the danger looms up over other churches.

It is worth remembering that Constantinople, by accepting Denisenko and his followers, actually came into contact with everyone with whom the Kyiv Patriarchate was in communication. This is in particular the so-called "Montenegrin orthodox church" of the false metropolitan Mikhail Dedeich, with whom Filaret served himself and to whom he sent his "bishops" to help.

Therefore, if a "local church" is created from schismatics in Ukraine and receives autocephaly, and the local orthodox churches find no worthy answer to this, nothing will prevent Constantinople from implementing the same scenario in other countries.

– What are the relations between the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Serbian Orthodox Church? When the "Ukrainian issue" was developed, it was possible to hear repetitions from a section of the public that Moscow had a strong influence on the Serbian Orthodox Church, that the Serbian Patriarch, during the meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, played the role of envoy of the Russian Church would play. Such reviews were made in due time in connection with the issue of the Pope's visit to Serbia – it was argued that this would not be possible due to the opposition of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

"Influence is a political category, and it is not appropriate to describe the relationship between the Russian and Serbian Orthodox churches, which are linked by centuries-old bonds of brotherly love." Even the founder of the Serbian Church, St. Sawa, was a shrine for the Russian Athos monastery, and some historical sites in Belgrade were built by Russian emigrants, for whom Yugoslavia was the second homeland.We have a lot in common, our churches have a common history, a comparable historical experience, and we look at many It goes without saying that we maintain close fraternal contacts under these circumstances and try to help each other.This is evidence of a common belief beyond the control of the political situation of this century, we cherish it and pass it on to future generations. .

At the same time, I am convinced that when the Serbian Orthodox Church and its primacy give a fair estimate of what is happening in Ukraine now, they do not stem from the desire to do something pleasant for the Russians, but from the desire to make the canonical truth of defend orthodoxy, of which a deviation is fatal. for all churches.

DECR Communication Service /