Patriarch Kirill: there is No conflict between Constantinople and Moscow, but is the defense of Moscow immutable canonical norms


28 Oct 2018 Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill divine Liturgy at the Moscow Church in honour the icon of divine Mother “All grieving pleasure” (of the Transfiguration) on the Big Ordynka.

After the service held a community meal, for which the Primate uttered a word about the spiritual unity of the peoples under the spiritual care of the Russian Orthodox Church, and about disorders in world Orthodoxy, caused by the unfriendly actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, according to patriarhiei.

“I made a very warm, kind memories of visiting Belarus from the meeting of the Holy Synod in Minsk. I came out elated. Indeed, we are in a spiritual and canonical unity, in the idea of this canonical unity brought the bishops, clergy and faithful of the Belarusian Orthodox Church”, — shared his impressions from a recent visit to the Republic of Belarus his Holiness.

Turning to the situation in Ukraine, Patriarch Kirill expressed confidence that this country became a “field of contention” under the influence of external forces. “Too large geopolitical and financial forces are involved in Ukraine in order to tear the historic space of Holy Russia, — said the Primate. And because my special gratitude to the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who in the most difficult conditions remains true, keeps the unity, preaches that correspond to historical truth”.

“In fact, the Church in Ukraine continues to do what we all did in Soviet times. The whole ideology worked against us, as we proclaimed the truth of Christ. We said that, in order not to provoke the powerful government, but we said,” added Patriarch Kirill.

The Primate said that the unity of the Church has nothing to do with the Imperial system of control, but there is a visible confirmation of the spiritual, intellectual and civilizational unity of the peoples of historical Rus. According to His Holiness, the ancient chroniclers called their country “Rus”, “Russian land”, not dividing it to Ukraine, Belarus and Great Russia, and “we are the heirs of Russia as it was called by our ancestors the Byzantines, whatever said, whatever ridiculous historiosophical ideas today, neither was catapulted into the public consciousness”.

“We are really one people, and I am never afraid to talk about it. We have different dialects, different cultural characteristics, but we are one people, descended from the Baptismal font of Kiev. And God forbid that the Moscow Patriarchate, which unites us not on political, not economic, but on a spiritual level, preserved and sustained by all the ethnic groups that are United by the great historical Russia”, — said the Primate.

“As for the recent actions of the Constantinople Patriarchate, would like to stress that there is no conflict between Constantinople and Moscow! Is the defense of Moscow immutable, canonical rules, — said his Holiness. — If one of the Churches supported the schismatics, if one of the Churches violate the canons, then it ceases to be the Orthodox Church. Today, therefore, the position of the Russian Orthodox Church, which ceased to commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople, relates not only to relations between the two Patriarchates — it is about the very nature of the Orthodox Church.”

“At the time I discussed the topic of the primacy of Constantinople with the famous Russian and American theologian father Alexander Schmemann. And he uttered wise words: “If we need Dad, we need to turn to someone with more experience” — in the sense that it does not to the Patriarch of Constantinople. But we don’t need Dad! We are deeply convinced that the conciliar governance of the Church is the only correct one. But if someone invades the jurisdiction of other Churches, it violates all the canons, and the only response to these brazen violations, is our calm response: we take communion can’t, you have transgressed the canons, you departed from Orthodoxy. God will be the judge, and God will be the judge”, — said the Patriarch.

“We are at a historic moment, which can be compared with the times of Ferrara-Florence Union. Then the Metropolitan of Kiev, Moscow and all Russia Isidore betrayed Orthodoxy, and imagines that he is at the pinnacle of power and all things are subjected to the see of Rome. But he was expelled the Grand Duke, the clergy and the people, reminded his Holiness. Is the resistance of our people, our clergy, our bishops every dirty trick, every heresy, every schism is the key to the preservation of Orthodoxy in a global scale, the key to preserving our unity”.

“I am glad that the recent decisions of the Holy Synod found absolute understanding in our faith people, the bishops, the clergy. Of course, the Patriarch is going through a difficult time. But after a difficult time going through all of our Russian Orthodox Church, all the Orthodox world. So I ask you to preserve unity and to pray for the Russian Church and all of Orthodoxy,” — concluded his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.

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