04 August 2014, 17:05
Russian Church hopes Ukrainian schismatics will return to its jurisdiction
Moscow, August 4, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate official does not leave hope that people, who appear to be members of schismatic structures will reunite with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"Reunion of all Orthodox believers under jurisdiction of the one canonical Church is desirable," he said in his interview with the Kommersant daily.
The hierarch stressed that reunion can not be a mechanical blending of church members and schismatics to one structure.
"Return from the schism is always a process that demands repentance and is not mechanical and artificial reunion of some parts, but it is a return to the Church of those members who left it," he said.
Answering the question why after reunion of Crimea and Russia, the Crimean Diocese did not join the Russian Church, staying under jurisdiction of the UOC, the metropolitan said that Crimea has always been a part of canonical territory of the one multinational Russian Church.
"It has happened historically that political borders changed more often than church ones. Change of political borders doesn't mean that we should immediately change church borders. We are sometimes told that if new states have appeared in the territory of the former Soviet Union than new Churches should appear there. It is the logic of those who demand separation of the Ukrainian Church from the Moscow Patriarchate," he said.
According to the metropolitan, if we follow this logic there should appear 13 new Autocephalous Churches in the territory of the former USSR, and the Alexandrian Patriarchate should be divided in 54 Churches in every African country each.
"It has never been a tradition of the Orthodox Church. Borders that exist in the Orthodox world have existed for centuries. It doesn't mean that they had never been revised. But revision of church borders doesn't necessarily followed the revision of civil borders," he said.
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