Moscow, January 27, Interfax - Moscow Patriarchate believes that the current conflict with the Church of Constantinople over Ukraine will ultimately benefit world Orthodoxy, and is not afraid of accusations of schism.
"Let them accuse for anything, Russia is to blame for everything already. For example, I am very happy (about what happened - IF), because the Church is being cleansed," Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, a well-known preacher and head of the Patriarchal Commission for Family Affairs, said on Radonezh radio.
So he commented on the listener's request on the prospects of deepening the Church schism in Ukraine perpetrated by Constantinople which at the end of 2018 created a non-canonical religious structure in Kiev which is now supported also by heads of Greek and Alexandria Churches.
"These three Churches, which are made up of ethnic Greeks, they are ugly, and I have witnessed this many times, they relate to Russia as such," the priest said. "For example, their first action, which I was just amazed at, was in places where there was an Emperor or heir, they removed all the copper boards in Russian, which testified that this place is consecrated by the visit of royal persons."
The Russian Orthodox Church representative also spoke about a rout at which he once attended, where the Metropolitan of Greek Church began his speech with the words: "Thank God, there are no Russians among us", and then half of the speech was directed against Russia and the Russian Church. "Then they missed that I was here, they ran up to me to see if I understood everything, because he spoke English, but I understood everything," the priest recalls.
He accused the hierarchs of the Greek Churches of ingratitude, who demonstrate such an attitude to Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church. "Our Church is the largest in the world, we have shed so much Russian blood! We can say that we freed them from Ottomans - and where is the gratitude? And they dare to say that the time will come when the Russians will pour blood again, and Constantinople will return. It will never happen! Forget all these prophecies, because after this attitude," the preiest said.
In conclusion, he expressed the opinion that the "Ukrainian history" in which the Greek hierarchs were involved will sooner or later turn back to them. "I think they will wait for something like this. God sees everything," Father Dimitry warned.