Met. Hilarion comments on Phanar's statement on soon recognition of OCU
During his stay in Greece, Metropolitan Hilarion met with the Primate and hierarchs of the Church of Greece and discussed the “Ukrainian church issue”.
On July 17, 2019, the DECR Chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, in an interview with the Greek portal Romfea, during his stay in Greece in late July spoke about the results of his meeting with the Archbishop of Athens, Ieronymos II, and permanent members of the Bishops' Council of the Greek Orthodox Church.
“His Beatitude Ieronymos gave me the opportunity to meet with him, as well as with his brother-bishops. In a sincere and warm atmosphere, we discussed the situation in Orthodoxy, topical issues in relations between Orthodox Churches,” His Eminence said.
He also said that during the meeting the “Ukrainian church issue” was discussed.
According to Metropolitan Hilarion, he witnessed “fraternal love and sincere sympathy of the Holy Hierarch and Greek hierarchs for the clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.”
"Despite the fact that the Greek media do not dare to describe what is happening in the church life of Ukraine, especially about the seizures of holy temples, and in many cases about violence against our believers, most of my interlocutors from Greece are well aware of what is happening in Ukraine" he added.
Metropolitan Hilarion also commented on the recent statements of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople about the early recognition of the OCU by the Greek Orthodox Church.
“We are grateful to the Local Orthodox Churches for the fact that none of them has recognized the OCU.
Some of these Churches, through the lips of the Primates and the Holy Synods, clearly stated their disagreement with the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew, while others are currently examining this issue.
I think it is important not to rush into one-sided decisions.
If one or two Churches now recognize the newly created structure, it will only exacerbate the split created, since it is obvious that most of the Local Churches do not recognize it.
Moreover, if the OCU is recognized as one of the Orthodox Churches, this division will inevitably penetrate this Church, because the respected part of the hierarchy will not agree to such a decision.
We must wait, pray, and hope for God's mercy and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit for all of us, thanks to which the Holy Spirit will help us in the future to make the right decision in a pan-Orthodox spirit.
I am deeply convinced that the problem of the Ukrainian schism should be solved this way, with the participation of all Orthodox Churches,” emphasized the hierarch.
According to Metropolitan Hilarion, he had contacts with many Greek Orthodox hierarchs and the hierarchs of other Local Orthodox Churches throughout the world.
“Some of them consider breaking off communion with Constantinople as a last resort: they say we should continue negotiations. But no one seriously considers our position a split, although many support us openly.
Anyway, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Onuphry, is currently receiving enormous support from the whole of Orthodoxy.
We are also grateful to those hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches who openly support us, and those who consider it important not to hurry with making decisions.”
Earlier, during the pilgrimage to historical sites, His Eminence Hilarion spoke with Metropolitan Dionysios of Corinth on the subject of the Ukrainian “autocephaly”, as the UOJ reported. On June 24, 2019, the Ukrainian “autocephaly” was discussed between the head of the DECR of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), and the hierarch of the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Dionysios of Corinth.