Met. Kallistos on Ukrainian issue: You can’t find solution through violence

Professor of Theology, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia

The bishop of the Constantinople Church doesn’t agree with the decision of Pat. Bartholomew on granting autocephaly to the OCU and calls for a pan-Orthodox discussion.

The hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, does not agree with the decision of Patriarch Bartholomew to intervene in church affairs in Ukraine and calls for a pan-Orthodox discussion as a way out of this situation. The bishop of Constantinople Church said this in an interview on the “Inter” TV channel, reports the UOC Information and Education Department.

“The current situation in Ukraine, in my opinion, is really very serious and affects not only the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine. This situation concerns the entire Orthodox Church,” the metropolitan stressed.

He noted that although “the Patriarchate of Constantinople granted, as he claims, autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, however, neither Moscow nor any other Orthodox Churches recognizes it.

His Eminence recalled that the Moscow Patriarchate broke the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

“We as the Constantinople side did not break Eucharistic communion with anyone, yet the situation remains very serious,” continued the bishop. “Therefore, in my own opinion – not of the Patriarchate – with all my deep respect for Patriarch Bartholomew, I disagree with the decision he made.”

The archpastor explained his position: “For me, it is quite obvious that for more than three hundred years Ukraine has been part of the Russian Church — this is a historical fact, we cannot change the past. That is why I do not consider right the interference of the Patriarch of Constantinople into the affairs of the territory which is part of the Russian Church.”

Reflecting further on the current situation, the bishop said that "he is deeply concerned about the use of force and is convinced that it is impossible to find solutions through violence and oppression".

“In my opinion, the forced eviction of the monks of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra or the Pochaev Monastery, for example, can cause a catastrophe and a scandal. I hope and pray that this does not happen, ”he said.

According to Metropolitan Kallistos, a difficult situation can be remedied through negotiations.

“I don’t have a clear idea of what the next step should be, but I’m convinced that a solution must be found not in the use of force,” said the hierarch. “It is necessary to improve the situation through negotiations. Therefore, I hope that the discussion of problems in Ukraine will be held at the open meeting of the Orthodox Church.”

The famous theologian proposes to convene the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, similar to the one held in 2016 on the island of Crete.

“Unfortunately, the Russian Church was not represented at that time, but there is an opportunity to reconvene the Council. I hope that by the grace of God the Russian Church will also be present,” he voiced the proposal.

The archpastor recalled that we call the Orthodox Church the Church of reconciliation, the Conciliar Church, and conciliarity means respect for each other and the ability to listen to each other.”

“Therefore, let's talk to each other frankly, honestly and with love for Christ,” called Metropolitan Kallistos.

We recall that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia is a well-known patrologist and theologian, a professor at Oxford University, president of the board of directors of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge, honorary president of the Orthodox Association of Theological Schools (Oxford, United Kingdom).

As the UOJ reported, speaking at the First Conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association (The International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA)) on January 9, 2019, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) stated that “the Patriarchate of Constantinople granted the Tomos of autocephaly to schismatic groups — the so-called Kiev Patriarchate under the leadership of Filaret Denisenko and the so-called Autocephalous Church led by Metropolitan Macarius".

 

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