The "punishment" is postponed: the Russian Orthodox Church postponed the Council at which it wanted to condemn Patriarch Bartholomew
"On October 15, 2021, the members of the Holy Synod, having discussed with the help of remote communication the situation that is developing due to the difficult epidemic situation, decided to postpone the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church to May 2022, determining the dates of its meetings on May 26-29," says the message of the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church.
As RISU has reported in the "Point of View" section on Radio Liberty, religious expert Dmytro Horyevoy said that the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is quite serious about going to declare Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew a heretic. The final decision is planned to be made in November this year. Moscow Patriarch Kirill is afraid to make such decisions himself and therefore convenes the Council of Bishops to share responsibility for this with more than four hundred bishops. The religious expert also predicted what such actions of the Russian Orthodox Church could lead to.
According to Dmytro Horyevoy, the position of the Moscow Patriarchate in academic terms is rather weak.
"Even if Moscow manages to somehow condemn Bartholomew for his non-Moscow interpretation of ecclesiology (the science of the church), this is unlikely to help the Russian Orthodox Church in the situation with Ukraine. Because from the narrative about the incorrect understanding of primacy, they deduce the following thesis – they say Bartholomew interfered in the affairs of another local Church. But this is not the case," Dmytro Horyevoy sums up.
The religious expert justified his position as follows:
"Before granting autocephaly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate repealed the act of 1686, returned power over the Kyiv Metropolia illegally appropriated by the Russian Orthodox Church, and only then granted the Tomos to its own part. So, from October 2018 to January 2019, the entire Ukrainian orthodoxy was part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, until the Tomos was granted. And if there was any encroachment on this case, it was exclusively on the part of Moscow on the Kyiv Metropolia."
Dmytro Horyevoy has also noted that the Phanar has always acted very cautiously in matters of autocephaly: "the Patriarchs of Constantinople granted autocephaly exclusively to their territories, that is, they independently reduced their own power in favor of new churches."
Dmytro Horyevoy has predicted that the Russian Orthodox Church will not be supported by any other autocephalous Church.
According to Dmytro Horyevoy, Kirill is not psychologically ready for isolation.
"This will only be a forced, last step of a dead-end hierarch. But his likely successor, Tikhon (Shevkunov), dubbed "Putin's confessor" by Russian media, is a much more isolationist, and may lead the Russian Orthodox church to a dead-end in the future."