Russia: Breakdown between Orthodox, Constantinople churches ‘likely’ — Hilarion

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, said that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has no right to 'intrude into another church, he has no right to intervene into the affairs of other churches' while speaking in an interview from Moscow on Friday. Hilarion's interview followed the Holy Synod of the Russian... Еще Church's emergency convention as a result of which the Russian Orthodox ruling body decided to suspend its participation in all structures chaired by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and commemorate Patriarch Bartholomew I for his services. The decision comes as the Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed two exarches to Kiev as part of the move to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. «He may if we wish coordinate certain activities of all the Orthodox churches. But it is we, the churches, who entrust him with this role. And if he acts contrary to the opinion of a particular church, we cannot accept this,» said Hilarion regarding the decision by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Anticipating further developments in the relationship between the Russian Orthodox and Constantinople churches, the Metropolitan assumed that the breakdown of ties was «likely to happen.» He highlighted that the Russian Orthodox church «cannot accept any such action on the part of Constantinople.» He noted that a possible schism would not necessarily lead to the cut of ties with the other Orthodox churches.

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