Met. Hilarion: Decisions on the recognition of OCU made under US pressure
The head of the ROC DECR said that the US state administration put great pressure on primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.
The head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, believes that decisions to recognize the non-canonical actions of the head of the Phanar were forced because they were made under great pressure from the US State Department, reports the ROC DECR website with reference to the “Russia 24” TV channel.
“The current recognition of the new structure created from schismatics by the two Local Churches was perceived by us with deep regret,” said the Metropolitan. “But we understand that these decisions became forced, they were taken under very great pressure, including pressure from the state administration of the United States of America.”
The head of the ROC DECR emphasized that members of the US State Department did not hide their support for the schism: “They unequivocally supported the so-called autocephaly. It’s enough to say that the United States Ambassador to Greece, J. Payette, had met many times with Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens before the latter voiced his position regarding the recognition of the newly created church structure in Ukraine.”
That is why, according to the hierarch, the Russian Orthodox Church did not completely break communion with the Greek and Alexandrian Orthodox Churches.
"Perceiving with regret what has happened, we maintain communication with all the bishops and clergy who do not and will not recognize the "legitimized" schismatics, and there are many such both in the Greek Church and in the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and around the world."
The metropolitan regretted that the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew "did not bring reconciliation among Ukrainian Orthodox believers, did not bring healing to the schism but only exacerbated the existing contradictions".
As reported earlier, the head of the ROC DECR believes that if the Patriarchate of Alexandria supports the schism, the Russian Orthodox Church will have to open parishes for its believers on its canonical territory.