2020-02-27 11:26:00

Churches to continue autocephality dialogue even if Constantinople refuses to participate

Amman, February 27, Interfax - Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople's refusal to participate in inter-Orthodox dialogue on the procedure for granting autocephality will not impede its continuation, the Russian Orthodox Church said.

"If he refuses again, consultations will carry on anyway," head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion told the press following a meeting of heads and delegations of local Orthodox Churches in Amman.

The main result of the meeting was the agreement of the Churches to continue their consultations and interaction, he said.

The next meeting in this format is scheduled to take place before the end of the year, and Patriarch Bartholomew is invited to join in.

Meanwhile, a letter written by Patriarch Bartholomew was published on the same day as the Amman meeting. He accused participants at the meeting of trampling upon church foundations.

"If we want to stay true to ourselves, to live by faith, and to obey the centuries-old principles of Orthodoxy, a local Church should not [attend a meeting] that involves the local Church siding with the Russian Federation," Patriarch Bartholomew said in his letter to Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, the organizer of the meeting. In Patriarch Bartholomew's opinion, the Patriarch of Jerusalem should have contacted him before putting forward the initiative, if he wanted to solve problems of the Orthodox world.

Nonetheless, the final communique of the Amman meeting indicated that the question of church autocephaly, including in Ukraine, should be resolved by Orthodox consensus.