Moscow, January 18, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has not ruled out that a certain part of the Orthodox world may move to the camp of schismatics.
"We know that not only people, but even Churches are retreating from God and are deprived of His grace. History knows many examples of such apostasy, when entire Christian communities retreated from the faith, distorted the true faith, entered into schisms, uniting with people who didn't have the gift of Divine grace. Even today there is a threat that a part of Orthodoxy, under the influence of powerful external forces that have nothing to do with the Church, may be wounded by this sin and leave the Source of eternal life to a place where there is only a rite, but there is no salvation," the patriarch said on Epiphany Eve after the liturgy at the Alexander Nevsky Skete near Peredelkino, .
He appealed to those who are still thinking about who to be with, with the Church or with the schism. "Brothers and sisters, it's not just a human choice, it's not a choice of a place to live, it's not a choice of where to go - to the right or to the left. This is the path to salvation or to destruction, because the path that leads us away from the one holy catholic and apostolic Church deprives us of the grace of God," the primate said.
The topic of schism in world Orthodoxy became more active after Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople created the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) at the end of 2018 on the basis of two non-canonical religious organizations. At first, none of the Orthodox Churches in the world, except Constantinople, recognized it, but then the OCU gradually began to receive the support of a number of hierarchs and primates of Greek origin.
The fault line has deepened even further after more than a hundred clerics of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who did not agree with the creation of OCU, has declared their desire to move together with the flock to the Moscow Patriarchate. At the end of December, 2021, they were admitted to the Russian Orthodox Church, whose Synod established its exarchate in Africa, which caused indignation on the part of the Greek bishops who recognized the OCU.