Expert: The act of Greek Church can lead to “autocephalous parade”

Religious observer Aleksei Smirnov on the air of the program “Right to Faith”. Photo: YouTube

The next "targets" of Constantinople may be Serbian, Antioch and Georgian Orthodox Churches, according to the religious expert.

After the decision of the extraordinary Council of Bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church on the “Ukrainian church issue”, a “parade of autocephalies” may follow, religious observer Aleksei Smirnov believes.

“A kind of ‘autocephalous parade’ might follow. The aim of the Patriarchate of Constantinople will be precisely the Local Churches that do not agree with him, do not support his point of view,” Smirnov stressed on the air of “First Cossack”.

According to the religious observer, the Serbian Orthodox Church will be next in the field of view of Constantinople.

“One can be 100% sure that the Serbian Church, which has its jurisdiction in Macedonia and Montenegro, will become the next ‘target’ of Constantinople,” the expert noted. “Moreover, the situation is now more difficult in Montenegro where local authorities are opposed to the SOC. They speak in favor of complete elimination of the jurisdiction of the Serbian Church and want to transfer the property of this Church to Montenegrin schismatics being unrecognized church structures.”

The next aim of Phanar, according to the religious observer, could well be the Antioch Orthodox Church, as evidenced by the visit of US diplomats to the hierarch of this Church, Metropolitan Elijah of Beirut.

“The next target could be the Church of Antioch. The matter is that the jurisdiction of the Church of Antioch also extends to Lebanon. And the fact that American diplomats also visited the Lebanese metropolitan is not a coincidence either,” the expert shared with the audience. “There may be a separation along this line: Lebanon is an independent state so why not give autocephaly to the local church structure.”

Smirnov did not rule out the likelihood that the Patriarch of Constantinople would pay close attention to the Georgian Orthodox Church, because the clergy of the "Holy Metropolis of Abkhazia" had already appealed to Patriarch Bartholomew with a request to resolve the issue of their canonical status.

“This is a very dangerous precedent. What happened in Ukraine and even earlier in Estonia can affect the entire Orthodox Church,” concluded the religious observer.

Recall, on October 4, 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the “Primate” of the non-canonical Macedonian Orthodox Church “Archbishop” Stefan Veljanovski of Ohrid and Macedonia. 

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