Riga, November 7, Interfax - The Synod of the Latvian Orthodox Church (LOC) has denied media reports on its transition from the Moscow Patriarchate to the Constantinople Patriarchate.
"All reports on the alleged transition or transfer of our Church to Constantinople amount to a bare-faced lie. It has been invented by enemies of the Orthodox faith and reproduced by the mass media," the LOC Synod said in a statement posted on the LOC website.
The Synod said the rumors began after a new organization named the Latvian Orthodox Autonomous Church in the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate was registered in the register of the country's enterprises on October 24. It is led by Viktor Kontuzorov, who was excommunicated by the LOC Assembly in 1997. The decision was recognized throughout the Orthodox world.
"Viktor Kontuzorov has not been an Orthodox Christian since then and he has no relation to Holy Orthodoxy," the statement said.
Members of the Synod said the current situation is as follows: the LOC is registered in Latvia and the Latvian Orthodox Autonomous Church is registered in the Constantinople jurisdiction on Kontuzorov's initiative. "These are two different legal entities, which have nothing in common. The new registration has no relation to the Latvian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and it has no influence on the situation of our Church and its name," the Synod said.
In closing, the hierarchs of the canonical Church called on their flock "not to believe these provocative ideas," saying that "all these stories are targeted not only against the Latvian Orthodox Church but against every Orthodox Christian in Latvia."