The Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) reacted to the recent decision of the Church of Greece to recgonize the decicion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to grant an autocephaly to the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine
Moscow Patriarchate spokesman Vladimir Legoyda warned that the Russian Orthodox Church will cut off links with any Greek hierarch who commemorates the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Metropolitan Epiphanius), including Archbishop Ieronymos.
In an official statement released on October 17, the Moscow Patriarchate threatened to erase the name of Ieronymos from its diptychs. The statement also said that the Russian Synod stands against the recent position expressed by Ieronymos that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always remained within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of “the Mother Church – the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” According to the statement, Russian Patriarch Kirill slammed Ieronymos of toeing the line of Vartholomaios.
On October 18, Patriarch Kirill said that the developments around a possible recognition of the new Ukrainian church the Orthodox Church of Greece are a sign of the concrete plan of “behind-the-scenes forces” to “tear Russia away from the Greek world”.
“We have reliable information that everything that is happening now in the world of Orthodoxy is not an accident, it is not just a whim of a certain religious figure who has lost his mind … This is the implementation of a very specific plan that pursues two goals: first, to tear Russia away from the Greek world, and the Greek world from Russia,” the Patriarch said.
He noted that the situation around “recognition and non-recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics by the Orthodox churches” was masterminded by the “behind-the-scenes forces.”
Patriarch Kirill said that these forces treat the Russian Orthodox Church as “soft power [tool] through which Russia influences the world.”
“And a question arises: why Russia can’t share its spiritual gifts with the rest of the world? Why is it criminal? This is criminal only for those who seek to weaken, and if possible, destroy the role that Russia plays [in the world].”
The Patriarch noted that the Russian church understands this well, as well as its “brothers in Greece and other Orthodox churches.”
He recalled that Russia’s “special mission” was “to be a stronghold of the Orthodox Christianity, preserve the Orthodox faith, Orthodox tradition, culture and Christian moral principles in their intact form.”
The position of the Russian Orthodox Church in this situation once again demonstrates that the Moscow Patriarchate is intersted in a strong and united Orthodox World and is going to oppose further efforts by pro-NWO power groups to undermine this unity.
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