His Beatitude Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia: There is no place for schism in church life
On 31 January 2019, after the meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia answered several questions from journalists.
– Your Beatitude, I would like to ask you the most burning question – about the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine. I know that this issue was included in the agenda of a session of your Church’s Holy Synod. What decision will be taken – to support or not the newly established “Orthodox church of Ukraine”?
– The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia held its session the day before yesterday, and members of the Synod charged me with a duty to appeal to representatives of all the Local Orthodox Churches with a request to convene a pan-Orthodox meeting over the Ukrainian issue. Until all the developments in the Ukrainian church life are discussed and a conciliar decision is taken, our position will remain unchanged.
I would like to express support to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine. We are neighbours of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Having heard about the persecutions caused by what occurred last December, we have been praying and hoping for the solution to the problem created in the Ukrainian church life by the so-called “unification council” to be found in the near future.
– Do you think it is possible to restore communion between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate? How can the consensus be found?
– It is not only possible; it is necessary to restore communion. I believe that without dialogue, meetings and discussion of all the problems related to Ukraine and its church life there can be no progress.
– There is another important aspect. As far as we know, many Ukrainian citizens with their families are moving to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, integrating themselves into local Orthodox communities. How do you receive them? Tell us about it.
– We accept them all. Yet, we are categorical in our attitude to the schism: there is no place for it in the church life. Any schism can only be healed through repentance and return to the canonical Church. We say it also to those coming from Ukraine; if they were somehow connected with the schismatic organizations in their country, we explain to them what the schism is and that they have to guard against it.
DECR Communication Service