The Moscow Patriarchate refuses to participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council, which was due to open 16 June to settle misunderstandings with the unwillingness to come to his other Local Churches.
Towards the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew there are new sticking points
The head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion, has just announced that the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided not to go to Crete, where the Pan-Orthodox Council was to open on 16 June, until the Local Churches - Antiochian, Bulgarian, Georgian and the Serbian - who had previously issued "refuseny" orders. In a statement on this issue, the Metropolitan recalled that in the Orthodox churches "the criticism of the process of preparing this event has recently intensified." Negative notes sounded in the ROC itself, but, Hilarion stressed, "we tried to separate the wheat from the chaff," so the public's opinions were taken into account and amendments were made to two drafts of the catholic documents.
Especially "the Minister of Foreign Affairs" of the Russian Orthodox Church noted that Moscow constantly insisted on the extension of the principle of consensus, including the presence of all churches at the Cathedral, if at least one Church is absent, there is no consensus. According to Hilarion, such an agreement was not already in January this year at a pre-council meeting, Synaxis, in Switzerland, when the Patriarchate of Antioch warned that he was not ready to go to Cyprus in the situation of lack of progress in the dispute with the Jerusalem Patriarchate because of the canonical affiliation of Qatar. The DECR head drew attention to the fact that other local churches have problems in inter-church relations. The Serbian Patriarchate is in conflict with the Romanian, after the latter established its diocese in the canonical territory of the Serbs. Claims to Bucharest are raised and Moscow - the Romanians established a diocese in Moldova, which the ROC considers its own. Metropolitan Hilarion also recalled that in 1996 the Patriarchate of Constantinople created parallel jurisdiction in Estonia and expressed opposition to the fact that the Orthodox Church in America was not invited to the All-Orthodox Cathedral.
It turns out that it is known that serious theological questions at the Pan-Orthodox Council should not have been discussed. Accordingly, the convocation and work of this event was seen as a working out of a mechanism for coordinating the interests of the Local Churches, a kind of arbitration where the patriarchs and metropolitans could constructively, without disputing the amusement of the general public, negotiate with each other and solve the problems of inter-church relations. Historically, this arbitration took place under the influence of a strong imperial power. So, at least, it was during the Byzantine Empire. But now Constantinople has long been Istanbul, and instead of the Christian emperor there is a Turkish president-Islamist, so the churches needed to learn to negotiate independently. The role of the chairman of the arbitration was claimed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and its head - Patriarch Bartholomew. The question was what methodology to choose.
Approached to Bartholomew Archdiocon of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Ioanis Chrisavgis in an interview with the American portal Crux, commenting on the preparations for the convocation of the Council, said: "If one or more Churches are not on it, the decisions taken will still be binding for all Orthodox churches. If a church wants to leave and not participate in the work, I think it would be a sad reflection of its own marginalization. " That is, it was about using the principle of a qualified or, perhaps, even a simple majority. This was opposed by other Churches, in particular the Russian Orthodox Church, which insisted on the principle of full consensus, believing that the agreement of all parties to arbitration with the elaborated decision is more important than actually finding and approving it. After all, a simple vote and pushing one or another opinion would give rise to new disruptions and grievances that would poison the relationship between the Churches in the future. And considering that the Church is an extremely inertial institution, the revision of the relations that have developed between them is very difficult and quite rare, transient decisions on church standards, in which a majority of tactical considerations voted with the help of political technologies would have become a real catastrophe.
Judging by the fact that the Antiochian, Bulgarian, Georgian and Serbian churches refused as a result of coming to the Cathedral, the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the patriarch did not find the necessary weight after weighing, Fanar was too "easy" for him to be entrusted with the responsible role of the chief arbitrator. So what is next? From the side it is sometimes more visible, so let's quote the opinion of the Austrian Catholic edition KATHPRESS. In the end, in his opinion, the opening of the work of the Council, rather, will depend mainly on the reactions of the patriarchates, the Moscow and Constantinople. If the ROC remains at home, the cathedral will "fail", even if it is not officially abolished. And this will hit the rating of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, the main initiator of the convocation of the All-Orthodox Council. Although the Vatican officialdom, the newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, referring to the previously public claims, notes that it is not the Moscow Patriarchate that is the driving force behind their manifestation, as some might have thought, but the signal was given by Bulgaria and then by the Patriarchates of Antioch and Serbia, who were known for their principled hostility to the idea of convening the Council. Another interesting nuance. Secretary of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate Archbishop Evstratii said in an interview with the portal Credo.ru that "the meeting between Patriarch Cyril and Pope, which took place on 12 February, influenced the preparation of the Council," and he thinks that "it will be remembered more than once in the context of this Council, no matter how the situation develops. " And what would that mean?