Met Hilarion tells why Russian Orthodox Church didn't attend Cretan Council

Metropolitan Hilarion. Photo:

The ROC hierarch recalled that legitimacy and binding nature of the Pan-Orthodox Council's decisions depended on participation of the plentitude of Orthodoxy in it.

The Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, in an interview with the Greek Romfea edition, told why the Russian Orthodox Church opted out of the Cretan Council, the website of the ROC DECR reports.

The Metropolitan reminded that “the document ‘Regulations for the organization and work of the Holy and Great Council’, approved by the Local Orthodox Churches, involves a council being convened with the consent of the Primates of all autocephalous Churches. It means the Council should be held with the participation of all generally recognized Local Orthodox Churches."

However, according to him, “when three Local Churches – Bulgarian, Georgian and Antiochian – refused to participate in the Council, Patriarch Kirill wrote a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew with a proposal to hold an urgent pre-council meeting, resolve outstanding issues and then invite these Churches to the Council. However, the reply he received from Patriarch Bartholomew was as follows, "The new extraordinary Pan-Orthodox pre-council meeting proposed by your Holy Church is deemed impossible, since there is no normative basis for its convocation."

“Who considered it impossible? There were still two weeks before the Council. Why was it impossible to take measures so that everyone could participate in the Council?” asks the hierarch of the Russian Church.

He stressed that “the legitimacy and binding nature of the decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Council depended on the participation of the plentitude of Orthodoxy in it. Therefore, if the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church took part in the Council of Crete, it would be forced to declare that the Council has no legitimacy, because there are no three Churches present here. This means that the Council would have been disrupted."

“Now we are told that if we had attended the Council of Crete, then there would have been an agreement on Ukraine, and nothing of the subsequent events would have happened. I heard this from many Greek bishops with whom I met. But if you remember that the topic of Ukraine was not on the agenda of the Council, it turns out that the only motive for Patriarch Bartholomew's actions is revenge. Therefore, out of a sense of revenge, he decided to grant ‘autocephaly’ to the schismatics, to ‘legalize’ the anathematized Filaret Denisenko?” Vladyka Hilarion summed up.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, according to Metropolitan Hilarion, Patriarch Bartholomew promised not to interfere in Ukraine but played foul eventually.

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