2020-02-26 10:15:00

Russian Orthodox Church feels calm about decision of most Churches not to send their delegates to Amman meeting

Amman, February 26, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church does not think that the decision of most local Churches not to attend the meeting on Ukraine in Jordan will make this forum less reputable.

"The absence of certain churches from the Amman meeting does not make it less significant. In the past, four churches refused to attend the Crete assembly, but Patriarch Bartholomew held the meeting just the same and the decisions made at that assembly are deemed to be mandatory by the Churches, which took part in it," head of the Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion said in an interview with Interfax.

In his words, the meeting due in Amman on February 26 is not expected to make any decisions. "This is not a decision-making meeting; the goal is a brotherly discussion of pressing problems and a search for ways to deal with the crisis," he said.

According to the hierarch, the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to discuss intra-Orthodox problems in any format, including those bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral. "The Crete assembly convened by the Constantinople Patriarch in 2016 was also missed by some," he said.

Somebody has to help Orthodox Churches find a way out of the crisis, Metropolitan Hilarion said. "The Patriarch of Jerusalem has initiated the discussion, and we are grateful to him," he said.

"Let us hope that the meeting in Amman will start the discussion of common Orthodox problems and that other churches will join it down the road," he said.

As reported earlier, only four out of 15 local Churches will be represented by their leaders at the meeting in Jordan. Besides Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, the meeting will be attended by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, and Metropolitan Rastislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

The Polish and Romanian Orthodox churches will send their hierarchs to Amman. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople refused to attend the meeting from the beginning because, as he said, only he was vested with the power to convene such meetings. Other Greek Churches, including the Orthodox Church of Greece, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, and the Orthodox Church of Albania, followed in his footsteps. There will be no delegations from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, as well as from Georgian, Bulgarian, and Cypriot Churches, either.