Moscow, December 2, Interfax - The position of the Russian Orthodox Church on conflicts inside the Christian Orthodox world will be evaluated by its Bishops' Council in the very near future, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"We are to thoroughly consider and weigh in the current processes in the Global Orthodoxy, and I hope that very soon the Bishops' Council will make clear our position on schisms and those of our brothers who, regrettably, support such schisms," the patriarch said at a fraternal meal gathering after performing a liturgy at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on Monday.
Under the charter, the Council is convened by the Synod which has yet to make such a decision, Moscow Patriarchate's deputy administrator Bishop Savva told Interfax.
Over the past year the most talked-about issue in the Orthodox world has been that of recognizing the new church of Ukraine (OCU), created by the Patriarchate of Constantinople with the support of the previous Ukrainian administration, as being uncanonical.
Until recently, the Patriarchate of Constantinople was the only Orthodox authority to have recognized the OCU. The Greek Church and the Church of Alexandria followed suit this fall, prompting Patriarch Kirill to stop mentioning them in prayers, which, translated into the language of church diplomacy, effectively means cutting all contact.
"It is astonishing how, under the influence of outside political factors, our Orthodox confreres embark on the path of recognizing schismatics - people who have no legitimate chirotony, i.e. effectively lay people who are referring to themselves as priests! And what is particularly dangerous and sad is that support for schismatics is coming not only from maverick groups, as was the case before, but now also from among canonical local Churches," Patriarch Kirill said at today's meal gathering.
What the situation would lead to was not clear yet, he said, adding that he was praying and laboring for "the forces of evil to not ruin the unity of our Orthodox Churches, for the forces of good and evil to not mix into some amorphous mass where it would be no longer possible to see what is good and what is bad, what is true and what is untrue, and where the structure is canonical and where the canons are being trampled on."
The patriarch also reaffirmed his intention to "unswervingly pursue the path bequeathed by our pious ancestors by preserving the purity of the Orthodoxy and canonical structures, without falling for any tricks emanating either from outside or, at times, from inside the Church."