Moscow. May 3. INTERFAX – the head of the Synodal Department for external Church relations Metropolitan Hilarion believes that if the Ukrainian dissenters will get the desired autocephaly, the split in the Orthodox world and will be comparable with the Great schism of 1054.
“It is terrible to imagine what might happen if the scenario of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian dissenters will be implemented in practice. (…) The split in the Orthodox world, which will be the inevitable consequence of this wrong step, can be compared only with the division between East and West in 1054. If that happens, Orthodox unity will be buried,” he said, answering the questions of the Greek Church news Agency “Romfea”.
At the same time, the Hierarch prays and hopes that “a solidary position of the local Orthodox churches, expressed repeatedly in the past, will continue to hold the universal Orthodoxy from the schism” and “this joint position sooner or later will return the schismatics to the bosom of the Church.”
The Metropolitan noted that the initiators of the project of the so-called unified local Church in Ukraine are the actions of the authorities, the schismatic groups and the Greek Catholics.
“Politicians see this as an opportunity to successfully launch a campaign against the background of deteriorating economic situation in the country. The dissenters, which, with the support of the authorities are continuing to seize churches of the canonical Church in Ukraine, in dire need of legalization and support of any of the canonical Churches of the Orthodox world,” he said.
In turn, according to Metropolitan Hilarion, to the Uniates Association of the split and the official status in the Orthodox world, is another project aimed at the subordination of the Orthodox to Rome.
The Bishop believes that the real state of spiritual life in the canonical Ukrainian Church and the Ukrainian split is clearly seen if, for example, compare the number of monks.
“Now the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church to nearly 5000 monks and nuns. In the so-called Kyiv Patriarchate is a little more than 200 people monastery monks, the so-called Autocephalous Church altogether 15 people for 12 monasteries. The press often refer to data paid for by some sponsors of opinion polls. But contained in those figures it is impossible to reconcile with what we see with our eyes and it is easy to check,” he said.
According to him, the reality is that millions of Orthodox believers of Ukraine stand for the canonical Church, “and this clearly shows a large-scale religious processions of the canonical Churches in Ukraine, which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of worshipers”.
“Why the opinion of these millions of believers are not interested in our fellow human beings in Constantinople? The granting of autocephaly to the rift against the will of the canonical Church from which he came, has no future. It will not lead to the unification of Orthodoxy, and to deepen already existing divisions and further destabilize the Ukrainian society”, – concluded the Hierarch of the Russian Church.