The legitimization of a split in Ukraine will cut to pieces all the body of world Orthodoxy – Metropolitan Hilarion

*** Rules for the granting of autocephaly in the Orthodox world approved 25 years ago, we cannot ignore them

Moscow. June 16. INTERFAX – the Moscow Patriarchate is considered that the creation of a “Single local Church” in the Ukraine, advocated the authorities of this country, can result in fatal consequences for the world of Orthodoxy.

“Our unity, the unity of the Orthodox Church in the world, really, and certainly to all her faithful children. I am sure that in the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, and all the other local Churches the hierarchy, the clergy and the faithful understand it and feel the same. And our duty now is to make every effort to make this unity has not been destroyed and that under the pretext of heal the schism arose a new, more deep and serious rift that will cut to pieces all the body of world Orthodoxy”, – said the head of the Synodal Department for external Church relations Metropolitan Hilarion in his interview to “Interfax-Religion”.

For those outside the Church who are already in schism with it, Church unity does not mean anything, “it is for them really a phantom, an empty sound,” said the Metropolitan. “They are willing to undermine it for the sake of their interests and the interests of any political power,” he added.

Bishop does not agree with those who believe that in the Orthodox world, there is no consensus on the question of granting autocephaly, and so Constantinople can act in the “Ukrainian question” in its sole discretion.

“Inter-Orthodox agreement on the issue of granting autocephaly is. I wonder to hear, if they were not. The document “Autocephaly and the way of its proclamation” was developed and endorsed by the inter-Orthodox preparatory Commission at its meeting held in November 1993 at the Orthodox centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambesy. All the local Churches and Constantinople, and Russian including – signed it 25 years ago,” said Metropolitan Hilarion.

According to him, in that document, clearly and in detail were outlined two main aspects. First, autocephaly is the relevant part of the local Church with the consent of the Patriarchate, which now includes the Church area. Second, autocephaly is given with the consent of the Councils of all the other Autocephalous Churches.

This document has been developed and was finalized at the inter-Orthodox preparatory Commission in chamb├ęsy in December 2009.

“In my opinion, is an example of achieving pan-Orthodox consensus: initially, the local Church had a different point of view on the issue, but the result of free and fair discussions to reach a compromise solution acceptable to all parties to take into account all positions,” he said.

In his opinion, the “ignore and subvert now the mechanism of granting autocephaly, produced all the Orthodox churches together, then to cross the results of their interaction over the past 25 years.”

Metropolitan Hilarion said that 12 thousand of communities, thousands of priests and monks, hundreds of monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would agree with trying to decide their fate behind them. “For me, there’s too much of a hurry to write off in history,” he said.

Full text of the interview see under the heading “Exclusive”.