The developments around a possible recognition of the new Ukrainian church by the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece are nothing but a concrete plan of "behind-the-scenes forces" to "tear Russia away from the Greek world," Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill said on Friday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th October, 2019) The developments around a possible recognition of the new Ukrainian church by the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece are nothing but a concrete plan of "behind-the-scenes forces" to "tear Russia away from the Greek world," Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill said on Friday.
On October 12, the Church of Greece recognized the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople's decision to give the newly-established Ukrainian church the tomos of autocephaly, becoming the first Orthodox church to do so. Additionally, the Synod granted Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos II the right to make decisions regarding the issue of autocephaly, clearing the way for the Greek church to take the next step and officially recognize the Ukrainian church.
The move has met a backlash from inside the Church of Greece itself, with at least two metropolitans describing it as invalid. Out of 81 metropolitans of the church, only 33 took part in the discussion of the issues related to the new Ukrainian church.
"We have reliable information that everything that is happening now in the world of Orthodoxy is not an accident, it is not just a whim of a certain religious figure who has lost his mind ... This is the implementation of a very specific plan that pursues two goals: first, to tear Russia away from the Greek world, and the Greek world from Russia," the Russian patriarch said at the annual forum The World Russian People's Council.
According to the patriarch, the situation around "recognition and non-recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics by the Orthodox churches" was masterminded by the "behind-the-scenes forces."
"And a question arises: why Russia can't share its spiritual gifts with the rest of the world? Why is it criminal? This is criminal only for those who seek to weaken, and if possible, destroy the role that Russia plays [in the world]," the Russian Orthodox Church head said.
Finally, he highlighted that Russia's "special mission" was "to be a stronghold of the Orthodox Christianity, preserve the Orthodox faith, Orthodox tradition, culture and Christian moral principles in their intact form."
On January 6, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople handed over the tomos of autocephaly to the newly established Ukrainian church. The Russian Orthodox Church, along with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, refused to recognize either occurrence.
The Moscow Patriarchate has described the situation as the "legalization of schism," stressing that it would have catastrophic consequences and affect millions of Christians in Ukraine and other countries.