By Kostas Onisenko
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk admitted that the Russian Church is considering creating its own – illegal – ecclesiastical structure in Africa, which will operate in parallel with the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
Metropolitan Hilarion essentially confirmed the information published by OrthodoxTimes about the intentions of the Moscow Patriarchate in Africa and, admitted that the Russian Church pressured Patriarch Theodore to revoke his decision to recognize the Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine.
Otherwise, according to the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, the Russian Church will accept African priests who “addressed Patriarch Kirill” with a request to serve for the Patriarchate of Moscow.
In particular, the Metropolitan of the Russian Church, in his weekly TV show on the TV channel Russia24, answering a question from the presenter about the possibility of the Russian Church accepting priests from the Patriarchate of Alexandria, made the following statement:
“We are talking about a few dozen priests, who addressed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, with a request to accept their parishes in the Russian Orthodox Church.
The point is that when the Patriarch of Alexandria sided with the Patriarch of Constantinople and recognized the schismatic structure in Ukraine as the Orthodox Church, he mentioned its leader during the Divine Liturgy and this caused an internal schism in the Church of Alexandria, something we should have expected.
And several priests, those who did not agree with this recognition of the schism, addressed us, and specifically the Patriarch, with a request to be admitted to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Nevertheless, we stopped, because we hoped that this decision of the Patriarch of Alexandria is not irreversible, that he will change his mind, that he will reconsider his decision.
We sent him signs about this, he knows that clergymen addressed us, he knows that we temporarily stopped examining these requests, in order to be able to receive a signal from him to change (his) positions.
But we did not receive that sign. On the contrary, in August of this year, Patriarch Theodore went to Imbros – it is the place where Patriarch Bartholomew was born – where they performed a Divine Liturgy together and the Divine Liturgy was attended by the leader of the Ukrainian schismatics Epifaniy Dumenko.
And from the point of view of the Ecclesiastical Canons, if a hierarch cooperates with a schismatic, he himself falls into a schism.
And unfortunately, the Ecclesiastical Canons do not give us any other interpretation. And now, after this collaboration, after the complete connection of Patriarch Theodore with the schism, we have no reason or ability to respond negatively to such requests.
How we will examine them, how long we will examine them, what structure our presence in Africa will have, we are going to solve them soon in the meetings of the Holy Synod “.