The Russian Orthodox Church cannot accept the fact that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been established in Ukraine and the intentions of other sovereign nations to have their own autocephalous churches.
It’s no surprise as these developments testify to the rapid loss of the Russian Church’s influence on entire countries, which makes it impossible for them to further instill the “Russian world” ideology outside Russia and leads to painful budget cuts.
The ROC clergy simply refuse to recognize that church processes in Ukraine, Moldova, Montenegro and other countries are a strong expression of people’s will, when the clergy, believers, and governments stand together for their own church independence and oppose anti-state ideology.
That is why the ROC is increasingly playing up to the Kremlin propaganda in shaping the image of a powerful external foe, which is allegedly “attacking” Orthodoxy, sowing a “split” and seeking to dislodge the Moscow Patriarchate.
In particular, the head of the external church relations department at the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfeev), directly stated that the United States is a geopolitical adversary for the ROC.
“The Russian Orthodox Church, which is essentially about consolidating people, engaging people in different countries, about uniting not dividing them, is for the United States, whether we like it or not, a geopolitical adversary. That is why there is an opinion in the United States that in order to weaken the Russian Orthodox Church, it must be dismembered,” Vzglyad quoted the bishop as saying.
He expressed the position that “such an order” from Washington was “fulfilled” by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, when, Alfeev claims, he “encroached on the territory of Ukraine.”
“Patriarch Bartholomew promised to heal the schism, but instead of being healed, the schism deepened,” he said, adding that in the post-Soviet space the ROC allegedly played a consolidating role and continued to support people in interstate conflicts.
The fact that the Kremlin has masterminded all interstate conflicts in the post-Soviet space without exception, with the ROC retaining a pro-Moscow position, Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfeev) prudently chose to keep silent about.