On August 3, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine met with a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which is part of the Moscow Patriarchate on the same basis as the UOC (MP).
The official website of the Jerusalem Patriarchate reports that the delegation includes Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) of Berlin and Germany and two other bishops. In addition, judging by the photo, the head of the ROCA mission in the Holy Land, Archimandrite Roman (Krasovskyi), also took part. The Patriarch blessed the bishops and pilgrims and wished a blessed feast of Mary Magdalene in the Gethsemane Monastery of the ROCA in Jerusalem. Theophilos will also take part in the joint celebration.
It is worth noting that the Jerusalem Patriarchate is under significant Russian influence. Its superior regularly meets not only with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, but also with Russian Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov. The parties do not hide that the issue of Ukraine is one of the central ones in their negotiations. Also, significant financial receipts from the state budget of the Russian Federation and from Russian and pro-Russian oligarchs to the accounts of the Jerusalem Patriarchate were never denied. After the full-scale invasion, this trend did not change. In particular, Patriarch Theophilos has already visited the embassy of the aggressor state in Israel, which is located in another city, Tel Aviv, twice (in 2022 and 2023). At the very outset of the invasion, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem did not send its representatives to the meeting of the Council of Churches of the Holy Land, headed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, against the war.
On April 7, 2022, Anatoly Viktorov told the patriarch about “the progress and conduct of the special operation.” Judging by the reports fromf both sides, Theophilos did not protest the invasion in any way, but only thanked the Russian authorities for financing the construction of a new temple of the Jerusalem Patriarchate in Palestine.
Since kicking his first term as primate, Theophilos has repeatedly spoken favorably of Vladimir Putin, in particular in 2014 and thereafter. Now he is silent about his attitude toward the Russian leader.
It should be recalled that the Patriarch of Jerusalem arrived for the celebration of the Day of Russia.