27 February 2020
Topic of the day
Russian Church content with results of inter-Orthodox meeting in Amman
Amman, February 27, Interfax - The participants in Wednesday's meeting of the heads and delegations of local Orthodox Churches in Amman did not seek to resolve all urgent problems; rather, their objective was to give a start to an inter-Orthodox dialogue, the Moscow Patriarchate said.
"As a result of its coordination, the press release makes it clear that the aim of the meeting was not to solve everything at once - this would have been absolutely unrealistic, bearing in mind the depth of the crisis - but to agree on launching a dialogue, immediately setting its specific timeline and outlining ways to continue it," deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolay Balashov told Interfax.
What is important is the very start of joint and peaceful discussions on true problems and recognition of the fact that the situation surrounding the church in Ukraine "is far from being settled - contrary to what the Constantinople patriarch thinks," and that a pan-Orthodox dialogue is needed to bring about recovery and reconciliation, he said.
The participants in the meeting also called on other church heads, including Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, not to ignore such meetings but join this common dialogue next time.
The meeting took place in a fraternal atmosphere and at a round table and was preceded by prayers recited in Greek, Old Slavonic, and Romanian, Balashov said. The patriarch of Jerusalem presided over the first session, after which the meeting adjourned briefly. Its second session was chaired by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
"In his speech, Patriarch Kirill very clearly outlined the main features of the present crisis in the Orthodox world. Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine also delivered a great speech - by the way, he did so effortlessly and with confidence, like the patriarch, who participated in the discussion of the final document in English," Balashov said.
The overall atmosphere at the meeting was peaceful, quiet, and attentive to the opinion of each church, each participant, he said.
"Patriarch Kirill noted that the proximity of the holy sites was obviously helping. The participants recalled more than once that it is the Jerusalem Church [which initiated the meeting] that is the true Mother Church of all Churches, the role it managed to demonstrate this time as well," he said.