By Kostas Onisenko
Provocative statements were made by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, during his TV interview to the main channel of Russia, Россия-1, on the day that the Orthodox of Eastern Europe celebrate Christmas.
More or less, the Russian Patriarch stated that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a punishment from God to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for granting the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
“I do not want to express any criticism to my fellow brother, however, unquestionably, everything that happened afterwards in Constantinople, proves the Divine Punishment. Patriarch Bartholomew placed the schismatics of Kyiv, in Saint Sophia of Kyiv, and lost the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople – it was turned into a mosque”, said Patriarch Kirill.
“You took the Saint Sophia of Kyiv from the Orthodox people, from the Orthodox Church, and you lost your own personal Hagia Sophia… I find that a more obvious consequence, emanating from the Divine Will, is difficult to imagine. And the consequences came without delay because the sin was too great,” added the head of the Russian Church.
Patriarch Kirill described the act of recognizing the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as a crime and not a mistake, but hinted that he would pray for the Ecumenical Patriarch as the “crisis” must be overcome “jointly”.
“We must pray for one another. At least as far as private prayers are concerned, as it is difficult to do so during the services, as we do not commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople in the diptychs. However, we must pray for each other in order to overcome as soon as possible this crisis, that has been imposed from outside in Orthodoxy,” added the Patriarch of Moscow.