Russian hierarch: ROC does not claim leadership in world Orthodoxy

18 May 2021 23:11
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk. Photo: Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk. Photo:

Metropolitan Hilarion denied the accusations of the Primate of Constantinople that the Russian Church is striving for primacy in the Orthodox world.

The head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, called "pure mythologeme" Patriarch Bartholomew's statement on one of the Georgian TV channels that, in accordance with the ideology of the Third Rome, the ROC longs for leadership in Orthodoxy.

“We are quite satisfied with our place in the diptychs,” Vladyka said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Metropolitan Hilarion noted that in his official speeches and statements, Patriarch Kirill never called Moscow the Third Rome.

To declare that the Russian Church in its actions is guided by the ideology of the "Third Rome" is like saying that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is fighting for the implementation of the so-called "Great Idea", which refers to the restoration of the Greek state within the former borders of the Byzantine Empire, said the hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church said.

“The only difference is that among the Patriarchs of Constantinople in the 20th century there were really adherents of the ‘Great Idea’ – first of all, Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis). But among the Patriarchs of Moscow there was not even one who would express support for the idea of the ‘Third Rome’", he added.

"Third Rome" is a religious and political idea that came to Russia from Byzantium in the 16th century. In 1589, Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople, in the Law of the Establishment of a Patriarchate in Russia, called the Russian kingdom "the Third Rome, surpassing all in piety". But the Russian Church has never accepted this concept as official.

Earlier, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk called the actions of the Primate of Constantinople to create a schism in Ukrainian Orthodoxy "a big mistake that he does not want to admit".

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