Why Moscow could not prevent Ukraine from receiving the Tomos - explanation from Andrey Kuraev

26 January, 08:38
Why Moscow could not prevent Ukraine from receiving the Tomos - explanation from Andrey Kuraev - фото 1
Former protodeacon of the Russian Orthodox Church Andrey Kuraev named the reasons why two years ago Patriarch Kirill and his entourage still could not prevent the Ukrainian Church from receiving the Tomos.

He said this in an interview with Glavcom.

"The reasons are multiple. For example, the age of Patriarch Bartholomew gives him determination: before his departure, he wants to complete some unsolved cases for centuries (the Ecumenical Council, the Ukrainian issue, remarriage for priests...)," Kuraev said.

"In addition, it was during the decision on the Tomos that the Kremlin had a month of friendship with Erdogan. Moscow needed Turkey as an ally for the war in Syria. Therefore the Russian Foreign Ministry refrained from putting pressure on its Turkish colleagues on a secondary church issue," he added.

Andrey Kuraev believes that Moscow had a chance to get ahead of Constantinople and be the first to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church.

"The Moscow version of the Tomos for Ukraine could retain the right of appeal to the Moscow Patriarch, could contain a list of Moscow stavropegia on the canonical territory of the UOC, etc. In this case, Moscow's interests could be taken into account. But at the same time, the Moscow Patriarchate would not be hated for many Ukrainians and for the new Ukrainian church. Accordingly, this church could be an ally of Moscow in discussions between Patriarchs. A clear block of Slavic churches would be formed, opposing the block of Greek churches...", - said Kuraev.

However, the Russian Orthodox Church did not dare to take such a step. The ex-protodeacon noted that he has no answer as to why Patriarch Kirill did not do this.

"I don't have any rational answers to these questions. After all, even as metropolitan, Patriarch Kirill told me that church Moscow has no sincere allies in the Orthodox world and that even for Serbia there is a significant factor that a significant part of Serbian bishops studied at Greek universities," said Andrey Kuraev.