Russian Orthodox Church intends to "take care" of Orthodox Christians in Turkey next after Africa

03 January, 14:36
Orthodox
Russian Orthodox Church intends to "take care" of Orthodox Christians in Turkey next after Africa - фото 1
The statement of the Russian Orthodox Church read: "We cannot deny the Orthodox believers of Turkey our pastoral care in conditions when the patriarch of Constantinople sided with the schism.”

This was stated by the head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), in an interview with RIA Novosti, which is shared on the ROC website.

When asked how to explain the fact that the patriarch of Alexandria recognized the OCU, Alfeyev replied:

“I don't think he himself seceded to the split. I think he was forced to do this. But I don't want to speak on his behalf or guess at the reasons for his decision. It was accepted, and in the new reality created by the unprecedented actions of the patriarch of Constantinople to legitimize the Ukrainian schism, we simply had no choice. We could not refuse the clergy, who realized the fallacy of their patriarch's position, to accept them into the womb of our Church. Similarly, we cannot deny the Orthodox believers of Turkey our pastoral care in conditions when the patriarch of Constantinople sided with the schism,” the Russian Orthodox Church said.

As previously reported, the Russian Orthodox Church announced the establishment of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa on December 29. The Synod's journals note that this decision was made as a result of the "evasion of the schism" of Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria. In 2019 he recognized the autocephaly of the OCU. Thereafter, according to the Russian Orthodox Church, some of the clergymen of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, allegedly stating their disagreement with the position of the Primate, appealed to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow with requests to accept them under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On December 29, 2021, more than a hundred clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria from eight African countries were admitted to the Russian Orthodox church.