Pat. Bartholomew aims to deepen the schism, and in this situation it is important to have a meeting of the Primates of the Churches, Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) stressed.
A new meeting of the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches in the “Amman format” is necessary and possible after the weakening of restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP DECR), Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, said this on the air of the Church and Peace program on March 13, 2021.
Commenting on the appeal of Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem to the Primates of Local Churches to continue the dialogue for the sake of solving common problems, as it was a year ago in Amman, the hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed the hope that such a meeting would take place.
“Apparently, we will have to wait until the restrictions associated with the pandemic are eased,” said Metropolitan Hilarion. “Anyway, such a meeting is necessary, because it is very important for representatives of Local Orthodox Churches to meet to discuss existing problems.”
According to him, the mechanism that operated until recently, when such meetings were initiated by the Patriarch of Constantinople, “no longer works, because the Patriarch of Constantinople joined the schism, he concelebrated with the schismatics, he lost legitimacy as the first among equals in the family of primates of the Local Orthodox Churches. And therefore, even if he convenes such meetings, then, perhaps, some Churches will go to them, but very many will evade under various pretexts.”
The Metropolitan explained that the head of Phanar violated the fundamental principle of coexistence of Local Orthodox Churches – conciliarity, according to which Local Churches should participate in decision-making at the inter-Orthodox level, whereby “if one of the Primates, even the first among equals, makes decisions to the detriment of other Local Churches, against the will of these Churches, it happens what happened.”
“A split has occurred, which is deepening, and the Patriarch of Constantinople is working to further deepen this split. In the situation at hand, it is important that the Orthodox Primates meet. (…) I hope that such a meeting will take place,” stressed the head of the MP DECR.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that on the anniversary of the meeting in Amman, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem published an open letter to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches, in which he recalled why the Amman meeting was conceived and urged to continue to meet in order to solve common problems.