ROC rep compares Phanar head with thief who "climbs in some other way"
According to Metropolitan Hilarion, the UOC believers have clearly shown that Patriarch Bartholomew is not a shepherd for them.
The chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations (DECR MP), Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, compared Patriarch Bartholomew's visit to Ukraine with the Gospel text about "a thief and a robber" who "climbs in some other way", reports the DECR MP website.
Metropolitan Hilarion recalled that in August the Phanar head visited Ukraine where he met with the country's leadership, the head of the OCU and representatives of the UGCC but at the same time ignored the position of the episcopate, clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which unites the majority of believers in Ukraine, and also "did not notice" thousands of protests against his arrival.
Commenting on this visit, Metropolitan Hilarion quoted the words of Holy Scripture: “…anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep” (John 10 1-2).
Vladyka stressed that “Patriarch Bartholomew has arrived in a country where the majority of Orthodox believers do not recognize him as their pastor. He literally had to enter the Verkhovna Rada through the back door, because believers who protested against his visit gathered there."
He noted that this visit was made at the invitation of the state authorities and schismatics, "but the majority of Orthodox believers not only ignored this visit but also very clearly showed that Patriarch Bartholomew is not a shepherd for them."