Patriarch Theodoros II: no place for politics in Church matters

Moscow, December 1, 2016

 

Politicians should not interfere in Church matters, and
it’s necessary to observe the principle of the
indivisibility of the Church, declared Patriarch Theodoros
II of Alexandria and All Africa in an interview with
RIA-Novosti, commenting on the
situation with the efforts to create an independent
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

“I know Ukraine very well—both bishops and
laity—and have a very good understanding about what
incentives the people are pursuing, who are trying now to
sow discord in Ukraine. From the very beginning, when the
problem of the Church schism had only just arisen, the
Alexandrian Patriarchate and I, as its representative,
have taken the position that the Ukrainian Church is an
integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church. When I
served the Divine Liturgy in the Kiev Caves Lavra I stated
that for the Alexandrian Church the canonical primate of
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is Metropolitan Vladimir of
Kiev and All Ukraine. Then when the schismatics attempted
to forcibly enter, without invitation, into the Holy
Trinity church which was then a podvoriye of the
Alexandrian Church in Odessa, I stood in the doorway and
said: ‘It’s not going to happen.’ The
ancient Alexandrian Church formulates its position thus:
we stand before God together with the Russian Orthodox
Church and call for the Orthodox Church to be one and
undivided, as it always has been. There is no place for
politics in Church matters. Politicians come and go, but
the Church abides unto the ages of ages,” said the
primate of the Alexandrian Church.

There is currently operating in Ukraine the canonical
Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is a self-governing part
of the Moscow Patriarchate, and also the ecclesial
structures, unrecognized by the Orthodox world, the
“Kievan Patriarchate,” and the
“Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.”

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