By Kostas Onisenko
The chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, has been turned into a spokesman against the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Every week, during his broadcast on the Russian state channel “Russia 24”, the Russian hierarch makes verbal attacks against Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, apparently reflecting the positions of the Russian Church.
In his latest show, which aired last Saturday, the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk referred to a recent conference in Moscow to challenge the Ecclesiastical Rules concerning primacy in the Orthodox Church. The Metropolitan characterized as primacy of honor, the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Church.
Among other things, Hilarion said: “It was and remains a primacy of honor and not a primacy of power. And when the Patriarch of Constantinople begins to exercise authoritarian powers, when he begins to declare that he can interfere in the affairs of any Local Church, when he declares that he can redesign the borders of the Churches, that he can by his own decision annul acts and agreements made 300 years ago, then, of course, the Local Orthodox Churches do not agree with that. This is what we were discussing at the Church of Christ the Savior, this is what the Patriarch (Kirill) was talking about, these were discussed by the visitors from other Local Orthodox Churches”.
Hilarion implied that the Ecumenical Patriarch’s decisions are driven by “human weaknesses and passions” and directly challenged the powers of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, saying that this happens “when one or the other person begins to appropriate powers that he does not really have.” We have recently met with the demands of the Patriarch of Constantinople for special privileges and responsibilities in the Orthodox Church, which are related to the papal responsibilities in the Roman Catholic Church “.