Russian Orthodox Church seeks to organize a “pan-Orthodox trial” of Patriarch Bartholomew, - expert opinion

19 September, 13:09
Orthodox
Russian Orthodox Church seeks to organize a “pan-Orthodox trial” of Patriarch Bartholomew, - expert opinion - фото 1
Andrey Melnikov, a religious expert, believes that the Russian Orthodox Church wants to topple Patriarch Bartholomew and create its own “parallel system of Universal Orthodoxy.”

The Russian Orthodox Church “still considers the option of creating its own parallel system of world Orthodoxy. This option was proposed back in 2019 when Bartholomew granted the Tomos of autocephaly to the OCU. But then such projects seemed too extreme,” Melnikov was quoted as saying by Credo.press.

“Recently, the Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), severely criticizes Patriarch Bartholomew almost in every Saturday program that he hosts on the state TV Channel Rossiya-24... Such persistent defamation of Bartholomew by Patriarch Kirill’s first assistant, of course, should have had a purpose. Probably, the achieved informational and emotional effect before our eyes should result in some practical steps. However, some of them have already left. The Moscow Patriarchate is trying to create independent church communities on the “home territory” of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, that is, Turkey, so beloved by Russian tourists. Exarchates were set in Europe and Southeast Asia, which was impossible when there were full-fledged relations between Moscow and Constantinople. Now ties are torn, joint worship is prohibited, but the Patriarch of Constantinople formally remains in diptychs, although he is not remembered in the temples of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as those heads of Orthodox Churches who recognized the Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” says Andrey Melnikov.

According to him, the Russian Orthodox Church wants to organize a “pan-Orthodox trial” over Patriarch Bartholomew and deprive him of his rank.

As RISU has reported, a conference “Universal Orthodoxy: primacy and conciliarity in the light of the Orthodox faith" was held in Moscow on September 16 in the St. Sergius Hall of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which aimed to launch an information attack on the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the OCU.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss such issues as primacy, conciliarity, and the procedure for granting autocephaly. That is, those issues that were supposed to be discussed at the Pan-Orthodox Council of Cyprus in 2016 with the participation of all Orthodox Churches, but the Russian Orthodox Church refused to participate precisely because they were supposed to discuss the procedure for granting autocephaly.

At this conference, the Patriarch of Moscow asked whether the church authorities who concelebrate with schismatics can be considered legitimate. Kirill called on theologians of different countries participating in the forum to understand how to apply these canons in practice, what exactly they mean in the current situation.

Archpriest Mykolai Danylevych, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC-MP, spoke at the conference via video link. Commenting on the situation related to the actions of the patriarch of Constantinople in Ukraine, Danilevich noted: "more than two years have passed since the tragic events for us. Now that the passions have subsided and subsided, it is time to calmly comprehend the crisis topics in inter-Orthodox relations, ecclesiological issues, and follow the ecclesiastical path, and not the political one. This is really very important."