Friday, January 27, 2023

    Russia’s envoy, FSB operatives meet with Patriarch of Jerusalem: Experts suggest plans for Amman 2.0

    Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov has met with Patriarch Theophilus of Jerusalem. During the talks, issues of church-diplomatic relations of “paramount importance” were discussed.

    According to ROC’s press service, the meeting was attended by the chief of Russia’s Spiritual Mission to Jerusalem, a member of the IOPS (Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society) Archimandrite Alexander (Yelisov) and his deputy, Hieromonk Dometian (Markarian).

    It is worth noting that the IOPS operates in Jerusalem, headed by Colonel-General, retired FSB top operative Sergei Stepashin. Now they have stepped up their efforts to slow down the process of OCU recognition by the Jerusalem Church. Thus, at the meeting with Patriarch Theophilus, the Russian ambassador was accompanied by FSB envoys, who had previously participated in the celebration of Jerusalem Patriarch’s Name Day.

    According to pro-Russian experts, it was about the new initiatives to convene an anti-canonical assembly in Amman, despite its last year’s failure. “Today, the situation in inter-Orthodox relations seems to remain ‘in limbo…’ Figuratively speaking, the Versailles system has already collapsed and the Yalta system has not yet been set up… Following the Amman meeting in early 2020, the intention was announced to continue such communication, although due to the coronavirus pandemic, these plans were postponed. Given that the coronavirus seems to stay with mankind ‘for good,’ it would be impractical to further postpone the solution of the most acute problems of the Orthodox world due to the disease,” Russian experts opine on their “Chrism Center” platform on Telegram.

    It should be recalled that in April this year, despite the failure of the Amman meeting, ROCinU hopes to further pursue such a format.

    Russia exploits the Patriarch of Jerusalem as a tool to call out the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch. To this end, Theophilus in February 2021 called for a re-run of the non-canonical Amman meeting, although last year’s “Amman” failed – the fact even the Russian experts have recognized.

    Earlier it was also reported that the president of Greece expects from Patriarch Theophilus III full support of the Church of Constantinople.

    It is also worth noting that the ROC has been actively working with the churches that have not yet recognized the OCU. One of those is the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, one of the world’s oldest.

    On February 28, 2021, chief of Russia’s Spiritual Mission to Jerusalem, Archimandrite Alexander (Yelisov), a member of the IOPS, handed over to the Church of Jerusalem’s Patriarchate three thrones donated by ROC Patriarch Kirill.