11 July 2008, 11:44
Moscow, July 11, Interfax - Bishop Diomid of Chukotka is an instrument in hands of certain forces who strive to set up an alternative to the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, the Moscow Patriarchate representative to the European Institutions Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria believes.
"We're dealing with a project someone promotes. And Bishop Diomid is used as a person to associate it with. While the project's objective is to create another alternative to the Russian Orthodox Church with some similar name," Bishop Hilarion said at an Interfax press conference.
According to him, the already existing structures of such kind are "too marginal and small" and produce an impression of "virtual Churches," with bishops "bearing titles and panagias," but probably without flock.
Bishop Hilarion compared Bishop Diomid to "Priest Gapon (leader of the Assembly of Russian Factory workers in 1904-1905 - IF), who tries to rally people together inspiring them with fighting against the unknown for the unknown sake."
"The mix he serves us as an ideology, including fight against the so-called heresy of ecumenism, faithfulness to the Council of 1613, denial of mobile phones and the like, are absurd ideas that could hardly be digested by normal people," the Moscow Patriarchate representative believes.
He hopes that the Chukotka hierarch will repent in his actions in several days left before the Holy Synod session which is to consider the situation. In case Bishop Diomid refuses to strike sail, the Bishops' Council decision on his defrocking will take effect, Bishop Hilarion reminds.
"Bishop Diomid will surely disagree with such a decision saying that "I am the Church rather than they are." Even now he calls the Bishop's Council "the council of wolves." Afterwards he may award himself with some title, for instance, a patriarch of All Russia, an exarch of Netherlands or a metropolitan of Ireland. Such things have already happened in history, I regret," Bishop Hilarion noted.
According to him, it is very important for the Russian Orthodox Church to clear up its position on situations of such kind. Today, many clerics don't dare to engage in open controversy with their opponents knowing that "they will surely sling mud upon everyone who interferes."
"Every time I am asked to comment on any of Diomid's actions, I know that I will get a backstroke somewhere in a nasty article at an ugly portal. This is a present day reality - everyone can say anything, there's no need to prove it," Bishop Hilarion said.
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