LAST UPDATE: 14.10
Mission of orthodoxtimes.com to Karlsruhe
As an “example of rude pressure from a high-ranking representative of state power” towards the World Council of Churches, the oldest inter-Christian organization, Metropolitan Antonios of Volokolamsk commented on yesterday’s – particularly critical of the Russian Church – speech by the President of Germany, Frank Steinmeier.
According to a statement issued by the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, part of which is headed by Metropolitan Anthony after the expulsion of Hilarion, “the speech of the President of Germany contained completely unfounded accusations, completely ignoring all humanitarian efforts made by the Patriarchate of Moscow in the context of the controversy in Ukraine, as well as an unequivocal demand from the Assembly of the World Council of Churches, to condemn the Orthodox Church of Russia.”
The Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, who heads the delegation of the Church of Russia to the Assembly of the WCC in Karlsruhe, added that the speech of the German president “is an intervention in the internal affairs of the World Council of Churches, an attempt to challenge the peace and politically neutral nature of his work”.
In fact, he cited the speech of the Secretary-General of the WCC, Fr. Dr. Ioan Sauca, who spoke before the German president, “stressed the importance of the presence of the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Assembly, since this lies in the very nature of the largest inter-Christian organization called upon to promote dialogue, peace and mutual understanding.”
He commented that the rest of the speeches made during the first day of yesterday’s 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches show that “the accusations of the President of Germany about the Church of Russia did not receive the support he expected.”
Finally, the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk expressed the hope that the World Council of Churches will continue to be “a platform for dialogue, which does not follow in its work a biased political class of specific states, but aims to claim peace and harmony.”
Reaction of the Evangelical Church of Germany to Steinmeier’s statements on the Church of Russia
The reaction of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD-Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland) to the statements of German President F. Steinmeier yesterday against the leadership of the Russian Church was intense.
According to information from orthodoxtimes.com, the members of the Evangelical Church are reportedly annoyed by the persistence of the German president regarding the presence of the Russian delegation at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Karlsruhe.
In fact, they believe that it is in complete contradiction with the whole style and mentality of the World Council of Churches as a mediator, a role that the WCC has cultivated in recent decades.
Especially after the speech of the Secretary General of the WCC, who stressed the need that the decision of the Church of Russia to participate in the Assembly was unanimous, stressing that “we have decided that the World Council of Churches is a free space for dialogue, and we must find a way to agree, not disagree.”