2019-11-21 17:22:00

Patriarch of Jerusalem initiates meeting of heads of local churches in Amman with view to preserving church unity

Moscow, November 21, Interfax - Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has called on heads of Orthodox Christian Churches across the world to gather in Amman to discuss the problem of preserving pan-Orthodox unity.

"We are taking this opportunity to announce that we open the doors of our home in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to convene a loving brotherly meeting in order to testify before the Church and the world the Orthodox Church's unity and our Orthodox faith," Patriarch Theophilos said at a ceremony in Moscow when accepting an award from the Unity of Orthodox Nations Foundation on Thursday.

He expressed "deep concern over the current hardships casting a shadow over the life of the Church and the threats we are facing because of our regretful divisions."

"We stand before God and have no other path than to make every effort to preserve our unity," the patriarch said.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem is presently one of the principle allies of the Moscow Patriarchate regarding the matter of Ukraine. Theophilos III refuses to recognize the illegal clerical entity of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) set up by the Church of Constantinople late last year. He has repeatedly spoken in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church led by Metropolitan Onufry. There have also been reports alleging that Patriarch Theophilos III does not admit OCU representatives to the holy sites and relics of Jerusalem.