22 November 2006, 14:54
Moscow Patriarchate is against Constantinople’s attempts to intervene in other Orthodox Churches’ affairs
Moscow, November 22, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church denies that the Patriarchate of Constantinople can intervene in internal affairs of other Churches and urges to prevent division in the Orthodox world.
‘We deny the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s capacity to intervene in the jurisdiction of other Churches. This idea separates us from Rome at present,’ said the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad at the opening of the annual Radonezh festival of Orthodox films and TV programmes that took place in St. Nicholas’ church at the Tretyakov Gallery on Wednesday.
The Metropolitan remarked that the Orthodox Church is keeping its unity. The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church are in the eucharistic (liturgical) unity.
‘This unity must be preserved. One should not react to any provocations because of which this unity may be frustrated,’ he underscored.
According to Metropolitan Kirill, ‘the world would have looked differently,’ had Rome and Constantinople not divided in the 11th century.
‘We should prevent a division in the Orthodox world,’ the hierarch of the Russian Church underscored.
He remarked that an untraditional perception of the role and importance of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, ‘in no way connected with the canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church,’ began to develop in Constantinople in the early 20th century resulting in the split of Orthodoxy in the Baltic countries, Finland, Poland and within Russian emigration.
‘We do not think that the Patriarch of Constantinople is invested with powers as far as other local Orthodox Churches are concerned. We think there is no such a centre to which [the Orthodox Churches] can appeal. Only the Pan-Orthodox Council could play the part of this centre,’ Metropolitan Kirill said.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople has recently taken in its jurisdiction in violation of canonical rights the former administrator of the Sourozh diocese of the Russian Church Bishop Basil (Osborne) and supported schismatic groups in Ukraine.
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