In two interviews with Russian news agencies, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk is trying to keep the Patriarch of Jerusalem’s initiative for a Primates’ meeting in Jordan “alive”, while reiterating Moscow’s position that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is equal to the rest.
“We are ready to support any proposal and form of joint discussion of a way out of this crisis, because every high-level meeting offers the opportunity to take even a few steps towards that direction,” the head of the Russian Church diplomacy said yesterday in an interview, while he had the opportunity to meet again with Patriarch Theophilos in Jerusalem.
To the question “How realistic are the prospects for such a meeting in light of the current crisis in the relations between certain Churches?” Metropolitan Hilarion tries to see the glass half full. “To our knowledge, the proposal of the Patriarch of Jerusalem has received favorable evaluation in some local Churches,” he noted and added, “We hope that this meeting will take place even if not all of the Primates participate.”
THE PRIMACY OF CONSTANTINOPLE
Metropolitan Hilarion was, once again, particularly revealing on the subject of the “primacy” of the Church of Constantinople, in which he recognizes papal influences, moving at the same wavelength as the Serbian Metropolitan of Bačka.
“Our Church has never questioned the primacy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; the question is how this primacy is understood.
Canonical tradition and Orthodox ecclesiology attach primacy to the Primate of the Church of Rome and after 1054 to the Church of Constantinople. The first Primate in the Diptychs is referred as ‘first among equals’. But during the last hundred years an instruction on the primacy has been developed in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which literally replicates the Roman Catholic model of ecclesiastical structure,” the Russian Metropolitan supports.