ROCOR calls attempt to grant autocephaly in Ukraine a "political attack"
There are political forces that want to divide Orthodox unity, Met. Hilarion of the Russian Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) believes.
The ongoing attempt to grant autocephaly to schismatics in Ukraine is nothing more than dirty politics, Met. Hilarion said in an interview with RIA-Novosti: “This is a political attack of the enemy of our salvation against the unity of the Orthodox peoples of a common origin—Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, who have always been united by the Church.”
“Political forces in this world want to divide countries and weaken first of all the Russian Orthodox Church. This is due solely to political reasons, not spiritual,” the ROCOR primate emphasized.
Only Ukraine’s schismatic groups petitioned for autocephaly, Met. Hilarion notes, “which will not be accepted by the canonical Churches.”
Explicit statements of support for the canonical Ukrainian Church and the Russian Orthodox Church in their struggle with schismatics have come from the Synods or primates of 11 of the world’s 15 autocephalous Orthodox Churches. Read their statements here. Only the Churches of Romania and Albania and the Orthodox Church in America have yet to make statements.
The ROCOR Primate also added that the Ukrainian Church is quite free, enjoying a nearly autocephalous status—an assessment the Ukrainian Church itself and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine have expressed many times.
Met. Hilarion also expressed hope that the Russian Synod’s decision to suspend commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch and episcopal concelebrations, while maintaining Eucharistic communion, would have positive results: “It’s a very strong statement. I hope it will peacefully and lovingly explain to Constantinople that it cannot go further and uncanonically declare autocephaly.”