ROC supports proposal to convene meeting of Primates

Patriarch Theophilos III invited the Primates of the Local Churches to discuss "the preservation of unity in the Eucharistic communion". Photo:

The proposal of the Primate of the Church of Jerusalem was commented on by Archpriest Nikolai Balashov and Vladimir Legoyda.

The Moscow Patriarchate has backed an initiative by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to hold a meeting of local Church leaders in Amman to discuss how to preserve the pan-Orthodox unity, reports the news agency “RIA Novosti”.

According to Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, deputy head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, "there is no alternative to starting a direct dialogue".

"It was with gratefulness that we perceived the initiative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III. Someone has to begin and invite fellow church leaders to discuss current difficulties and differences. And it is very good that such an initiative is coming from the leader of the oldest, very first Orthodox Church, which truly is the Mother of all others," said Archpriest Nikolai Balashov.

Archpriest Nikolai noted the importance of the initiative by the Primate of the most ancient Orthodox Church, which is “the original cradle of Christianity and the Mother of all subsequent Local Churches, including the ancient patriarchates”. He drew attention to the difficulties in protecting the unity of the Church.

The Russian Orthodox Church is also glad that the patriarch spoke after a joint liturgy service with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, he said.

"The Russian Orthodox Church is ready to support all efforts aimed at developing fraternal communion and dialogue among local Orthodox Churches," the priest said.

Theophilos III voiced the proposal while receiving an award for strengthening Orthodox unity at the cathedral earlier on Thursday.

The head of the Synodal Department for the Relationship of the Church with Society and the Media Vladimir Legoyda also noted the particular importance of Patriarch Theophilos’s proposal and recalled that the Russian Orthodox Church has consistently advocated dialogue in resolving such situations and has repeatedly called for a “pan-Orthodox solution in connection with the non-canonical actions of Constantinople in Ukraine ".

“Therefore, it seems to me that it is important that this proposal was made today – it was made in Moscow, it came from the lips of the Primate of the most ancient Church. And, of course, I hope that there will be a corresponding reaction of the Primates of the Local Churches,” concluded Legoyda.

We recall that on November 21, 2019, the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III invited the Primates of the Local Churches to discuss the issue of “the preservation of our unity in Eucharistic communion”.

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