Press Secretary of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia priest Alexander Volkov gave an interview to TV channel “Spas” to the order of the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Priest Alexander Volkov
– What we read now in the Internet, defies comprehension because you can’t understand any logic, though, further action to predict and understand where it all leads. The Patriarchate of Constantinople continues the process on the granting of the Tomos is the first main news. And the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate lifted the anathema with Filaret and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. In fact, now when he offered to return the Kievan Metropolitanate under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, here is questioned so many things.
– In fact, now we are already in front of the red and the last extreme feature. You can actually call what was made today at the Synod of the Church of Constantinople, the legalization of the schism. And we clearly can see quite clearly that the Patriarchate of Constantinople did not stop in his decisions, not his mind, and all the many voices that were heard very loudly from all sides of world Orthodoxy, unfortunately, was not heard in Istanbul. Today the Patriarchate of Constantinople takes a devastating decision in the first place for themselves, and the whole world of Orthodoxy.
– Than it threatens the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the first place? Let’s start with this.
– I think, first and foremost, the legalization of the schism, which we now cannot speak openly, which would be the consequence of the decisions that were made today, would entail the following very sad the steps that will be forced to make the Russian Orthodox Church in connection with the Eucharistic communion, and in connection with other decisions to be taken. But of course, first and foremost it is a tragedy for the entire world to Orthodoxy, which has now emerged. Now we see that this split is beginning to emerge. Of course, as I said, the Patriarchate of Constantinople crossed the red line, and it is not our fault, not the fault of the Russian Orthodox Church, which throughout the past years, all of the last months, the last time tried to find ways of cooperation with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has taken personal action and headed to Istanbul, to eye to eye to talk to his colleague of Constantinople, and to find some ways of interaction.
– Father Alexander, by what right the Patriarch Bartholomew makes that decision, given that he’s not in charge, he is not the head, as Catholics, which has power – he is only first among equals?
– On what basis he decides so?
– No mandate to make the sole decision on the part of the world Orthodoxy has never been given to the Patriarch of Constantinople. This is the function that the Patriarchate of Constantinople alone appropriates, this is a feature that is not peculiar, in principle, no Orthodox Primate. It is everything that separates from Orthodoxy, from Orthodox understanding of the Church and of the hierarchy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
– Father Alexander, unfortunately, a situation of schism in the history of the Orthodox Church. The usual mechanism in situations now, what is it?
– We can’t talk about the generality of the mechanism, because the situation that we now face are entirely unprecedented and absolutely everyone is new, and there is some schematic solutions, instructions, any action that you can imagine. But exactly that is the legalization of a split, exactly what is a complete break with tradition and perception of Church life. This is what does now, is now taking Constantinople, will cause catastrophic damage primarily for the Orthodox in Ukraine, because now will start something terrible.
– We understand that when it was announced that the shot was an anathema to Filaret, we can once again recall who Filaret, and why it was imposed anathema. We will remind, the father of Alexander?
– Yes, let’s. Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Filaret was also Metropolitan of Kiev, who, severing all relations with his mother, the Russian Orthodox Church, yielding to political pressure from the newly formed government in Ukraine, has forced the Council of the Russian Church first, to deprive him of his dignity, and then to betray him anathema. These actions were a response to the disgusting anti-Catholic actions undertaken by the then Metropolitan Filaret, the representative of the Ukrainian Church, to a certain extent, independent of Church structure, non-canonical structure in Ukraine. The result, the consequence of these actions was his anathema. Now the Patriarchate of Constantinople as it returns back to it from schism, from schism, but the absurdity of such actions is obvious to anyone, even outside the context of Church, religious. This is outside the context of normal logical views because of some prohibition, which was imposed one, may not be returned to others.
– Father Alexander, we can assume that the removal of the anathema with the Constantinople Patriarchate Filaret sees it as…
– The Patriarchate of Constantinople, as is understandable, considering Filaret (Denysenko), head and other part of the split Macarius as their counterparts in Ukraine.
– That is the future of the heads of Autocephalous Churches?
– As those people on the Patriarch of Constantinople will be dealt with in the way of the creation of some new Church structures in Ukraine. Roughly speaking, the people were the Church condemned, and this condemnation has taken all the Orthodox world in particular, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Notice of anathema and the deprivation of dignity was sent back in 90-ies, all local Churches, this decision was accepted by all and accepted, including the Church of Constantinople. Now, in order these people have become rukopozhatnymi to Constantinople, this hand first Constantinople wipes his napkin, and then it will reap.
The Metropolitan Onufry – hwill be with him?
– Him and all of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, all must be well because truth is on our side, on our side of the truth, and millions of Orthodox believers of Ukraine know that they are United around their Primate, his Beatitude Onufry, who, like a rock, like a rock bushouse sea and gathers his flock. The entire Russian Orthodox Church headed by his Holiness Patriarch Kirill prays hourly, daily about the future of the Ukrainian Church that the Lord has arranged and managed in this sea of everything that is happening now.
But I must say one more important thing associated with all actions and decisions taken today in Constantinople, Istanbul – the final assessment of everything that has been made today will give the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which will convene for its next meeting in Minsk on Monday. What permanent and temporary members of the Holy Synod, chaired by his Holiness Patriarch Kirill will assess objectively, as deeply and fully all the actions and decisions that were adopted in Constantinople now and out of these decisions of the Synod of the Russian Church, we will continue to proceed.
– Father Alexander, the Patriarchate of Constantinople decided to return the Kievan Metropolitanate under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. All people, more or less familiar with its history, understand that in this case can be anything they want to do, without relying on any documents. What they based this decision?
– As far as we know, there are people rely on some documents which have virtually no historical power and no real value, because they are not based neither on facts nor on historical sources, but only for a very strange and absolutely inappropriate fabrications of people who never before the history of the Church in Ukraine was not engaged. It was just someone assigned to fabricate such a scientific-like article, to make it clear to everyone that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is not just based on their current political views is valid in Ukraine, and has some historical Foundation. This, of course, absolutely not. It is rude and completely incompetent distortion of Church history, the reality which is quite different. Our Church made a significant effort in order to in recent months to publish a very comprehensive set of documents that tells about real historical picture related to the existence of the Kiev Metropolia, and how it was all connected with the granting of independence, and then how this Metropolitan of Kiev became a Russian Orthodox Church.