ROC is now unwilling to convene a Pan-Orthodox council on Orthodox Church of Ukraine
The ROC no longer sees the need to convene a Pan-Orthodox Council in relation to Ukraine. This was in an interview with the Russian TV Channel “Spas” said the Deputy Chair of the DECR MP Archpriest Nikolai Balashov.
Balashov was reported as saying this by Telegram-channel Church Today (in the video below from 7:45):
"Holding a Pan-Orthodox Council or at least a meeting of the primates-such a proposal has been made repeatedly over the past year, including from the lips of the Primates of some local Orthodox Churches. Who should convene the Council? Apparently, it is the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first in the Diptych, the first in the list. But it is clear that the Ecumenical Patriarch will not convene a Pan-Orthodox Council on the Ukrainian Church issue, at which he will have to give an account of his actions. And he is well aware that very many potential participants in such a Council do not welcome these actions at all.
If one of the other Primates calls such a Council, the Patriarch of Constantinople will definitely not attend it. Gathering in his absence and discussing behind his back what he has done, too, seems to be not very interesting, and is unlikely to lead to a real solution to the issue.
Therefore, we should try to prevent the deterioration of the situation patiently, carefully in relation to the Orthodox Church and gradually prepare the ground for the future solution of this issue, which, of course, shows the systemic weakness, if you like, of the universal Orthodox family." This is reported by Religiyna Pravda (Religious truth).
Comment on this was also given by an expert of Cerkvarium. Most likely, such a message may indicate that the ROC is already thinking how to back off on it.
On the eve of the Synod, the ROC did not radically burn bridges with the Greek Church, which declared its readiness for canonical communion with the OCU at its Bishop's Council. Now an attempt is being made to back down on the request to hold the Pan-Orthodox Council. And for some reason, the speaker of the ROC indicates among the initiators of such a Council "the Primates of some local Churches”, hiding the key role in this initiative of his own Church. He associates the impossibility of holding a Council with the lack of goodwill of the Ecumenical Patriarch.
It is noticeable that Nikolai Balashov called Patriarch Bartholomew again the Ecumenical Patriarch and not the Patriarch of Constantinople. He also recognizes the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch “on the list".
The phrasing “weakness of the Orthodox family” may hide a banal disappointment with the unwillingness of local Churches implicitly support the ambitions of the ROC, as well as, probably, the understanding that the Greek Church will be others who are willing to recognize the OCU.