Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cyprus Orthodox Church head shares Alexy II concerns with Estonian and Ukrainian state interference in church matters

23 July 2008, 12:45

Moscow, July 23, Interfax - Primate of the Cyprus Orthodox Church Archbishop Chrysostomos is concerned with interference of Ukrainian and Estonian authorities in church matters.

"When political authorities interfere in church affairs, they often destroy instead of building up as very few politicians today coordinate their life with moral spiritual values," Archbishop of Cyprus said at his meeting with Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

"We are deeply concerned with such a situation, the archbishop further said, we don't approve of such actions. Holy canons should have a priority in the Church and be rigorously observed. We are urged to build up and not to destroy unity."

Patriarch Alexy expressed his anxiety that certain politicians "want to split centuries-old spiritual and canonical bonds between Ukrainians and Russians and some Orthodox brethren are ready to help them in it."

According to him, "it threatens with the total chaos in Church relations."

Alexy II also spoke on the history and current situation of Orthodoxy in Estonia, where the state helped develop non-canonical structure of the Constantinople Patriarch and refused to acknowledge the fact that Estonia had been a part of the Moscow Patriarchate canonical territory for centuries.

"When we face the lack of Orthodox solidarity in our attitude to schismatic leaders, when Orthodox hierarchs, our brothers, give schismatics an occasion to say that there are local Churches to back them up, all believers take it especially hard. The precious unity is being destroyed. The entire Orthodoxy suffers loss," the patriarch stressed saying that it largely refers to the Ukrainian situation.

Archbishop of Cyprus also believes local Churches should be unanimous in preventing splits that could damage ecumenical Orthodoxy.

"It's so frightful to bring a schism to the Church, after all each of us will have to answer to God!" Archbishop Chrysostomos said.

Patriarch Alexy thanked his guest for his firm and principal position, the Moscow Patriarchate official website reported.


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