by Efi Efthimiou
The picture presented by the Russian Church could be described at least as deplorable, not being able (without even knowing if there are any attempts to do so) to hide the compliance with the political power of the country.
And as the war rages for more than 10 days in Ukraine with Russian troops bombing all major cities of the country, the activities and schedule of the Moscow Patriarchate continues normally.
On Friday, 4 March, two days after the Synod of the Church of Antioch, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk visited Patriarch John of Antioch in Syria.
The Department for External Church Relations (DECR) (both in Greek and Russian) and the Patriarchate of Antioch (in English) issued an announcement.
According to the announcements, “issues of bilateral interest” and “various aspects of bilateral relations” were discussed between the two Churches.
Any reference to the war seems to be absent in any of the announcements issued by the two Churches. No wish to end the war between Orthodox people, as well as with thousands of civilian victims, did the Primate of the Orthodox Church and Number 2 of the Russian Church extended.
It seems that the sole concern of Metropolitan Hilarion is that the Patriarch of Antioch would not attend the Synod of the four Apostolic Churches, to which he has been invited by the Ecumenical Patriarch, in order to discuss, among other things, the illegal acts committed by the Patriarchate of Moscow against the Patriarchate of Alexandria with the creation of the “Exarchate” of Africa.
The -usually- prolific Metropolitan Hilarion, with the website of the DECR in 12 (!) languages, has not made 10 days after the Russian attack on Ukraine, the slightest statement about the war.
At the same time, Patriarch Kirill met with Apostolic Nuncio in Russia, Archbishop Giovanni d’Aniello, at the Patriarchal residence in Moscow.
And from this communiqué released on the DECR website, one will in vain seek a reference to the war of Russia against its neighbour, the Orthodox Ukraine.
Only praise words, “greetings” of Pope Francis to the Patriarch of Moscow, and satisfaction for the good relationship developed by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.