Head of MP DECR: Head of Phanar claimed 25 hierarchs of UOC to join OCU
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) spoke about the talk between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church at Phanar in August 2018.
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was convinced that 25 hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were ready to join the OCU. This was stated by the head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk in an interview with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, the text of which was published on the ROC DECR website.
He reminded that in August 2018, when the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church arrived in Constantinople for a personal meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, "they talked for more than two hours," in particular, about the situation in Ukraine.
"I was present at this meeting, at which Patriarch Kirill communicated to his interlocutor the real situation," the head of the MP DECR added. "Patriarch Bartholomew was misinformed, firstly, by the Ukrainian schismatics, secondly, by the then Ukrainian authorities, and thirdly, by his incompetent advisers."
According to the metropolitan, the head of Phanar was sure that as soon as he signed the "tomos on autocephaly", many bishops of the UOC would be quick to join the new "church".
"Patriarch Bartholomew told us that, according to their information, 25 bishops are ready to do so," said Metropolitan Hilarion. “And Patriarch Kirill responded to him that one or two might pass. Indeed, out of almost a hundred hierarchs, only two – one diocesan and the other vicar bishop – moved to this so-called church created out of the breakaway groups."
He stressed that the UOC, which now has more than 100 bishops, "was and still is," and "it is a huge Church," in which the episcopate, the clergy and the laity "represent a very close-knit community" that is not willing to join a nominally autocephalous "church" created on the basis of schismatic structures."
We will remind, earlier the Head of the MP DECR referred to the statements of the Phanar head that he tolerates the presence of the UOC and its Primate Metropolitan Onuphry in Ukraine "by condescension" as preposterous.