Moscow church criticizes Constantinople patriarch in U.S.


RISU, 27 October 2021


The Moscow patriarchate is again talking about new persecutions because of the visit by Patriarch Bartholomew to the U.S.A. In their opinion, in Ukraine there will be persecutions of the UPTsMP. They talked earlier about similar persecutions in connection with Bartholomew's visit to Ukraine.


"There will be more seizures of church buildings and other such actions against believers of the canonical Ukrainian church (UPTsMP—ed.)," the secretary of the Department for External Church Relations for Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Moscow patriarchate, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, said. This was reported by Spiritual Front of Ukraine.


The SFU notes that the line about persecutions is in no way confirmed by a detailed review of transfers of parishes from the UPTsMP to the PTsU. In fact, it turns out that the majority of believers have voted for a change of church jurisdiction and representatives of the Moscow patriarchate categorically cannot agree with this free expression of desire. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 October 2021)



RIA Novosti, 26 October 2021


American President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, who was visiting the United States. In an interview with RIA Novosti, the head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow patriarchate, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Ilarion, explained the results of the meetings and the view of them in the Russian Orthodox Church, which ceased relations with Constantinople after it legalized the Ukrainian schismatics, who are taking church buildings away from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Olga Lipich conducted the interview.


--Vladyka Ilarion, how do you assess the fact that Patriarch Bartholomew called Biden "our president"?


--As is known, the majority of the flock of the Constantinople patriarch live not in Turkey but in the U.S.A. The Greek diaspora in that country is the main sponsor of the Constantinople patriarchate; it lobbies for its interests in the highest governmental offices. Therefore I do not see anything surprising in this expression on the lips of Patriarch Bartholomew, for whom orientation to the U.S.A. is strategic and not concealed.


--In proclaiming after the meeting of Patriarch Bartholomew and Blinken "the commitment of the U.S.A. to the support of religious liberty throughout the world," is the State Department thinking about the freedoms of persecuted believers of the canonical Ukrainian church and about believers in Montenegro, where schism it being supported?


--As is known, the leadership of the United States has shown direct interest in the formation of the schismatic "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" (PTsU). The first to congratulate the newly elected leader of this structure was the representative of the State Department. It is not surprising that so far we have not heard from the American authorities a condemnation of the persecution of the canonical church in Ukraine or Montenegro. And I think that we are not likely to hear.


--What are the threats in the plans announced at the meeting of the patriarch of Constantinople and American secretary of state "for work with the Orthodox community throughout the world on matters of common interest"? Which interests and which matters are they talking about?


--I think that one should not be deceived. Neither is the president of the U.S.A. the leader of the whole world nor is the patriarch of Constantinople the head of all Orthodox Christians. Neither of them is authorized to work "with the Orthodox community throughout the world." In the example of Ukraine we see what such cooperation leads to—to schism in Orthodoxy and the oppression of believers.


--How does Patriarch Bartholomew's visit to the U.S.A. impact the situation of the majority of believers in Ukraine and the life of Orthodox in the world as a whole?


--As I already said, the U.S.A. does not conceal the fact of its participation in the granting of so-called autocephaly to the Ukrainian schismatics. Two years after those events we see that the attempts to split the Ukrainian Orthodox church have not led to success. The canonical church, despite the oppression, has become yet more united. In this regard we should not rule out an intensification of persecution of canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine after Patriarch Bartholomew's visit to the U.S.A. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 October 2021)

Russia Religion News Current News Items

Editorial disclaimer: RRN does not intend to certify the accuracy of information presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the articles as they appeared in news media of countries of the former USSR.

If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL,