Moscow patriarch sees divine hand in Turkey's actions


Interfax-Religiia, 7 January 2021


Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill considers the recent transformation of the cathedral of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) into a mosque is providential. In his opinion, it was divine punishment of Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew for intensifying the schism in Ukraine.


"I do not wish to pronounce any kind of criticism of my Constantinopolitan brother, but without doubt everything that has happened subsequently in Constantinople, in Istanbul, testifies about God's punishment. Patriarch Bartholomew inserted schismatics into the Kievan shrine, Kievan Sophia, and he lost the Constantinopolitan Sophia; it became a mosque," the patriarch said in a Christmas interview on the Rossiia-1 television channel.


In late 2018, Patriarch Bartholomew established a new church on the base of two noncanonical Ukrainian religious organizations, which evoked a categorical rejection on the part of the patriarchate of Moscow.


"You took Holy Wisdom in Kiev from the Orthodox people, from the Orthodox church, and you entered it and brought schismatics there, and you lost your own Holy Wisdom. . . . I think it is difficult for you to imagine more obvious consequences coming from God's command, and the consequences came immediately because the sin was so great," Patriarch Kirill said in this regard in the interview.


He called Patriarch Bartholomew's action not a mistake but a crime. However he considers that it is necessary for everyone to extricate themselves for the situation that has developed together.


"It is necessary to pray for one another, at least in personal prayers, while this is difficult in the divine liturgy, since we do not commemorate the patriarch of Constantinople in the diptychs. But it is necessary to pray for one another and to do everything so that this crisis in Orthodoxy, which is imposed from outside, will pass as quickly as possible," the primate said.


He said that the Russian church is ready to proceed along its part of the path in order to achieve this goal. (tr. by PDS, posted 9 January 2021)

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