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Metropolitan Hilarion: Archbishop Chrysostomos of …

Metropolitan Hilarion: Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus had sincerely wished to help when the Ukrainian schism was about to happen

DECR Communication Service, 24.05.22. 

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with His Beatitude Chrysostomos, Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus in Nicosia on May 12, 2022. The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus invited the DECR chairman to dinner, during which they exchanged opinions on the prospects of inter-Orthodox relations and the bilateral contacts between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, which have become complicated after the Eucharistic communion had been discontinued with Archbishop Chrysostomos and several hierarchs who recognized the legitimacy of the schismatic community in Ukraine in 2020.

The Archbishop reminded Metropolitan Hilarion of his mediation attempts to settle the Ukrainian issue and of his trips to Local Orthodox Churches to discuss this problem.

“Archbishop Chrysostomos spoke at great length about his efforts made for reconciling Orthodox Churches. When the news broke that the Patriarch of Constantinople decided to legalize the Ukrainian schism, Archbishop Chrysostomos undertook a mediation mission. He visited several Local Orthodox Churches, including the Serbian and Romanian Churches, and conversed with the Archbishop of Albania. The aim was to elucidate their position on the schism in Ukraine,” said Metropolitan Hilarion.

According to the hierarch, the events were developing very fast. “Archbishop Chrysostomos was not able to pay visits to other Churches on time. Besides, he became seriously ill, and his mediation mission has fallen short. However, I believe that he had sincerely wished to render help in the situation when the schism was just about to happen and seemed possible to be prevented.”

Commenting on the current relationship with the Church of Cyprus, Metropolitan Hilarion underscored: “Such a disappointing turn of events in relations among Churches sometimes happens. The Church of Cyprus is two thousand years old; its being-in-history ascends to Ss Paul and Barnabas who visited Cyprus and established the Church there. The history of the Russian Orthodox Church goes back more than one thousand years. I believe it very important to have held the inter-Orthodox Pre-Assembly meeting in Cyprus. It seems to me that all these Local Churches understand the significance of the Russian Orthodox Church and the necessity of maintaining dialogue regardless of what had happened.

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