08 September 2022, 21:45
Russian Orthodox Church on declaration of Latvian Church's autocephaly by parliament: they surpassed Middle Ages
Moscow, September 8, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has criticized the decision by Saeima, Latvia's parliament, to declare the independence of the Latvian Orthodox Church.
"Apparently, their belief in Political Expediency and National Security is so strong that they are not afraid of God to proclaim autocephaly," Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, an advisor to Patriarch Kirill, told Interfax on Thursday.
The secular authorities' decision on the status of the Church was well in line with the general logic of decision-making in many European countries, he said. "And who doubted? Such is a Europe we now have! The deadline for re-making the charter is especially fascinating," the priest said.
He recalled the cuius regio, eius religio ("whose realm, their religion") principle that existed in 16th century Germany.
"But in the 21st century, in Latvia, a secular state, where the Church is separated from the State by Constitution, where hardly anyone can even say how many Orthodox believers there are in parliament, how could such a thing be possible? They surpassed the Middle Ages," he said.
Earlier, the BNS news agency reported that the Latvian Saeima at a plenary session on Thursday passed in the final reading amendments to the law on the LOC submitted by President Egils Levits, which envisage changing the LOC status so that it would operate fully autonomously and independently.
The LOC used to act under the Moscow Patriarchate. According to Levits, the amendments will reinstate the LOC's historical status and rule out any authority of the Moscow Patriarchate over the Latvian Church.