Home page News
Patriarch Kirill addresses the Synaxis of Pri…

Patriarch Kirill addresses the Synaxis of Primates of Local Orthodox Churches

On January 22, 2016, the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches met at the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Orthodox center in Chambesy.

Addressing the Synaxis, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia noted that each meeting of the Primates of Orthodox Churches is an event of special importance. ‘It is an opportunity for us to exchange opinions, to discuss problems of concern for us and to make agreed decisions on matters of pan-Orthodox significance. But above all, it is an opportunity to feel again our unity, especially when we together partake of one Cup in the awareness that we all are one Body in Christ (Rom. 12:5)’, His Holiness said. He also expressed gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople who initiated and organized the meeting.

In his address, Patriarch Kirill spoke on various aspects of the preparation of the Pan-Orthodox Council.

‘Gathering together, we are clearly aware that our Church is One and Catholic, that our priority concern is to preserve and consolidate her unity, which is the basis of our entire ministry, including our joint efforts for strengthening the conciliar principle in the Church. The Holy and Great Council is called to become a visible, clear and convincing testimony to the unity of the Orthodox Church. And we all realize that the Council can become such only if it reflects the true unanimity of the Local Orthodox Churches. It is for the sake of this unanimity that we all are to work hard together in the pre-council period’, His Holiness stressed.

In this context, Patriarch Kirill stated with satisfaction that ‘the concern for the absence of pan-Orthodox recognition of His Beatitude Metropolitan Rostislav, Primate of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which has been repeatedly voiced both by the Moscow Patriarchate and other Churches, has been heard. His Beatitude is with us today, duly recognized now by all the Local Churches.’

Speaking about problems impeding the full-fledged unanimity among the Local Orthodox Churches, Patriarch Kirill expressed regret over the breach in communion between the Patriarchate of Antioch and Jerusalem. To restore it, His Holiness believes, is an urgent task in our days when the whole world is following with anxiety the developments in the Middle East since, indeed, ‘it is from religious communities in this region that people expect an example of solidarity and readiness to overcome differences’.

His Holiness highlighted in detail the church situation in Ukraine, saying, ‘In Ukraine today over 30 churches have been captured by force and 10 more are under threat. Schismatics and nationalists who support them claim it as ‘voluntary moves’ of the faithful to the so-called ‘Kiev Patriarchate’. Actually, these are real gangster raids in which they hold an assembly of persons who have nothing to do with the community and then, with the help of local authorities, forge the deeds and capture the church through the efforts of local militant nationalists, driving out into the street the community of the church together with its priest!’

The Primate of the Russian Church expressed deep concern for the actions of some hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who, on their visits to Ukraine, expressed their support for the schismatics allegedly on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch of Constantinople, thus sowing temptation among the Ukrainian faithful and clergy. It is impossible to imagine, he continued, that in Switzerland or in Greece or in any other country in Europe representatives of a different confession could come to an Orthodox church and ‘make the decision’ that they will use this church from now on. ‘But in Ukraine it is a reality. The canonical Church’s communities driven away from their churches have won all their legal cases, but schismatics and their semi-gangster armed units ignore court rulings’.

Patriarch Kirill cited as a glaring example of nationalists’ hatred towards the faithful of the canonical Church in Ukraine the situation in the Ptichya village near Rovno, stressing that the proponents of the schism ‘are sowing evil by consciously creating an inter-confessional conflict and splitting the Ukrainian society’.

‘Quite recently, one of their supporters said in public that if His Beatitude Onufry, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, still belonged to the canonical Church, it was only because no suitable tool of torture, such as an electric or soldering iron, was found. It is terrible to imagine what would have happened if these bandits had been granted canonical legalization and had joined us!’ His Holiness stated.

Patriarch Kirill thanked sister Local Churches, especially those of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Serbia, Bulgaria and Poland, for their prayer and support for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. ‘His Holiness Irenaeus, Patriarch of Serbia, was quite right when he wrote to me about Ukrainian schismatics: these people belong to Orthodoxy only by name and ‘their disdain for Christian moral norms and willingness to hate and spill blood is a living testimony to this’. The only path for these people to come back to the Church lies through repentance. We are asked why we do not want to unite with them and are called to begin dialogue almost on an equality with them, but what harmony is there between Christ and Belial?

‘The Orthodox people of Ukraine continue to support the canonical Church. Now the schismatics are frantically fabricating public opinion polls to prove their popularity in the country. However, many Ukrainian archpastors say that the number of people in churches of the canonical Church has grown. The recent procession with the cross held by our faithful in Kiev on the St. Vladimir Day brought together tens of thousands of people, whereas the similar event conducted by schismatics ended in a shameful fiasco. Few churches, which they have managed to grab from Orthodox communities, have become deserted while real Orthodox communities have not disintegrated but continue to worship in the most unfavourable conditions. I trust in the future of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; her faithful are united in their condemnation of the schism and violence, and this evil only strengthens them in their feat of love and faith’.

His Holiness continued by noting that the process of preparations for the Pan-Orthodox Council has noticeably intensified of late. He dwelt on the reasons for the failure to implement a number of instructions given by the previous meeting of the Primates to the Special Inter-Orthodox Commission and the 5th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference. He pointed in particular to the importance of taking into account the positions of all the Orthodox Churches which carry out their mission in various situations. In this connection, he mentioned still unconsidered proposals made concerning the Pan-Orthodox Council agenda items in the last two years by a number of Local Churches including the Churches of Antioch, Russia, Georgia, Serbia and Bulgaria.

Patriarch Kirill also spoke of the need to review the draft document on Calendar, noting that the topic of ‘a more accurate determination of the date of Pascha’ is not at all relevant for the Orthodox Church and can only sow discord among many believers’.

No less concern, His Holiness said, is caused by the draft document on Impediments to Marriage, which only contains a bare list of canonical impediments and fails to reflect the Church’s position on the institution of family in the modern world.

As one of the very important areas of work Patriarch Kirill singled out the topic of Autocephaly and the Manner of Granting it, proposing that the Council approve the fundamental agreement already reached by the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission that the establishment of new autocephalous Churches should be a pan-Orthodox action requiring consensus of all the Local Orthodox Churches in each particular case.

His Holiness also stressed the need for a preliminary examination of the Council’s draft document on the Orthodox Diaspora.

Among the points of detailed consideration in Patriarch Kirill’s address was the issue of the venue of the Council, which had already been raised in the address of His Holiness Patriarch Irenaeus of Serbia.

‘As we can see, many problems are to be solved together in order to make possible the convocation of a Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. I am sure that the real reason for which many documents are still lacking agreement does not lie at all in the existence of opposite opinions of Churches but in the ineffective methodology of preparing the Council’, Patriarch Kirill stressed. In this connection, he shared the experience of the work of the Inter-Council Present of the Russian Orthodox Church in the form of open discussions enabling any church member concerned to express his or her position.

‘I believe, it is in this way, openly, the preparation of the Council should proceed if we really care for its success’, the Primate of the Orthodox Church said, stressing the importance of having the Council’s draft documents published and overcoming a lack of reliable information that provokes suspicion among many believers.

‘It is my conviction that the long ripened publication of the Council’s draft documents and an opportunity for discussion on them will not at all prevent the holding of the Council but will show us and the whole world the truly conciliar nature of our Church, thus helping consolidate the pan-Orthodox unity’, His Holiness said calling the gathering to pray together to the Lord for His help in the joint efforts for the benefit of the Church and in overcoming all the difficulties standing in the way towards her Great and Holy Council.

Patriarchal Press Service

DECR Communication Service

Поделиться:
Holy Synod members commemorate Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and late archpastors of Russian Church

13.04.2021

Address delivered by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the session of the Holy Synod on 13th April 2021

13.04.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s first session in 2021

13.04.2021

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

10.04.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over the terrorist attack in Makassar

29.03.2021

Patriarchal condolences over the train crash in the Egyptian province of Sohag

27.03.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs online session of the Supreme Church Council

26.03.2021

Patriarch Kirill congratulates the president of Greece on the occasion of the 200 th anniversary of the struggle for the liberation of the Greek nation

25.03.2021

Patriarchal greeting to His Beatitude Mar Béchara Boutros Cardinal Raï with the 10th anniversary of enthronement

25.03.2021

Patriarchal congratulations to Archbishop Seraphim of Sendai on his 70th birthday

23.03.2021

Patriarchal сondolences over the killing of believers of the Ethiopian Church in the Oromia Region

13.03.2021

Patriarch Kirill congratulates Metropolitan Porfirije on his election to the Serbian Patriarchal See

18.02.2021

Patriarch Kirill presented with Serbian highest national award

15.02.2021

Supreme Church Council holds first online session

11.02.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral marking 12th anniversary of his enthronement

01.02.2021

Holy Synod members commemorate Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and late archpastors of Russian Church

13.04.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s first session in 2021

13.04.2021

DECR Сhairman sent condolences on the death of Cardinal Edward Cassidy

12.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: actions of a politician must not come into conflict with his religious convictions

11.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has kept his love for Orthodoxy for the rest of his life

09.04.2021

First meeting held in 2021 by Presidential Council for International Cooperation’s commission for interaction with religious associations

09.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Summit of the heads of Churches is possible in foreseeable future

06.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The issue of a change of calendar and Paschalia is not on the Russian Church’s agenda

03.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: There exist within the Church differing opinions regarding the permissibility of IVF

03.04.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can know God through Divine energies

28.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: the Church does not bless the same-sex cohabitation, for it is a sinful way of life

27.03.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs online session of the Supreme Church Council

26.03.2021

DECR chairman meets with leaders of Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists

25.03.2021

The memory of fighters of the 1821-1823 Greek liberation movement is prayerfully honoured in Moscow

25.03.2021

DECR chairman meets with Ambassador of Montenegro to Russian Federation

25.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us

07.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America

07.12.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

29.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God

19.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God

06.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible

25.10.2020

Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people

27.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us

13.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation

30.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: God is willing to give everyone a wonderful gift of faith, but people must be willing to accept it

16.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should be mindful of the value of human life

02.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates liturgy at Church of Antioch’s Moscow Representation on its patron saint’s day

26.07.2020

Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message