HEAD OF AMERICAN CHURCH: PROBLEM WITH UKRAINE WILL BE RESOLVED IN ONLY ONE WAY
RIA Novosti, 1 February 2019
The primate of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Tikhon, arrived in Moscow for the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the election of Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill. Church-wide celebrations are going on this week with the participation of delegations of a whole lot of local Orthodox churches of the world and other high ranking guests. In an interview with RIA Novosti, Metropolitan Tikhon described the activity of the Orthodox Church in America and the means that will resolve the crisis in world Orthodoxy that arose because of the actions of the patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine.
--Your Beatitude. What role today is played by Orthodoxy in the life of ordinary Americans? What can it give to contemporary American society?
--The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) received its autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1970. And today we play an important role as regards the relations with other churches present in North America.
Of course, now there are certain difficulties of a global nature, which influence the life of people in North America. But nevertheless we are in a position to work here, helping along with other churches to fulfill the common task: to conduct evangelism, to care for the needy, and to work with youth.
--And how do you relate to the situation of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Does the newly created "Orthodox Church in Ukraine" receive support in world Orthodoxy?
--Quite recently our church published a pastoral letter devoted to this question (in which the OCA refused to recognize the "new church" in Ukraine—ed. note). On the whole, the Orthodox Church in America supports a canonical decision that could help to find a key to eliminate those difficult issues that face us.
--But how does one resolve the situation that has developed in world Orthodoxy? And how does one improve its reputation that is staggering from recent events in the eyes of people who are far from the faith?
--There are many ways to resolve these problems. But first of all we must begin with prayer, from which strength is drawn. This prayer must be made with humility and clarity of mind, in order to better understand the problems facing us.
And then on the basis of prayer and humility, we can begin a pan-Orthodox dialogue wherein lies just the solution to those numerous difficult questions that we now face. (tr. by PDS, posted 1 February 2019)
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