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Patriarch Irinej of Serbia: Ukrainian problem can divide Orthodox world in the 21st century

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia: Ukrainian problem can divide Orthodox world in the 21st century
Version for print
30 January 2019 year 08:50

On 29 January 2019, after the meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia gave a brief interview.

– Your Holiness, first of all, we would like to ask you about your current visit to Moscow in such a difficult time for the Russian Church. What are your impressions and hopes?

– It is a great honour and joy for us to visit Moscow, especially for such celebrations as the 10thanniversary of enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. It is a momentous event for the Russian people, for the Russian Orthodox Church, greatly important for the Universal Orthodoxy as well.

– What is your attitude to the newly organized “church” in Ukraine and what are the ways to settle the conflict which now seems insoluble?

– It is a great problem not only for the Russian and the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, but for the whole Orthodox world. This problem has been brought into the Church and will have far-reaching repercussions. We all, Orthodox Christians, should be fully aware of this problem, for it can have the same consequences as the one that arisen in the 11th century. The 11th century problem divided the Church into the Eastern one and the Western one, and this problem in the 21st century can divide the Orthodox world and have serious repercussions.

We should formulate this problem with regard to Constantinople in order to remove it from the agenda. If this problem will not be solved, then, regrettably, we will have to take a concrete position on this issue. It is a blow to the unity of the Orthodox Church and it is the Patriarchate of Constantinople that will more than anyone else be aware of its aftermaths. And it is in Ukraine that we will see painful after-effects of the actions which are being committed today.

We offer fervent prayers, asking the Lord to grant peace unto us and to return unity to the Orthodox world, without which the Church cannot exist. And we must exert every effort to restore this unity.

– Your Holiness, what do you think of the recent decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to allow a second marriage for priests?

– It surprised us greatly, because this decision runs counter to all the existing canons. Unfortunately, it is a sign of our times and of the temptation that the Church is going through.

– The Serbian Church is also facing difficulties; I mean the Montenegrin shismatics. What do you do to respond to this problem? And is it true that the Serbian priests are being exiled from Montenegro?

– Regrettably, Montenegro betrayed Serbia and chose a wrong path. They repudiate their Serbian name and proclaim themselves Montenegrin, a nation independent from Serbia, a nation that has its own culture, its own language. Regrettably, they also formed their own “independent church.” The head of this “church” is a man who was defrocked and who proclaimed himself metropolitan of Montenegro. And it is from Constantinople that they are awaiting recognition.

Yes, it is true that currently the clergymen and monastics who came to Montenegro from Serbia and carry out their holy mission there are being subjected to persecutions. Regrettably, the Serbians are being exiled from Montenegro.

DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru

Version: Russian

Materials on the theme

An Open Letter from Greek Clergy and Laity on the Ukrainian Issue

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: От руководства Украины мы ожидаем невмешательства во внутреннюю жизнь Церкви [Interview]

Письмо профессора Целенгидиса членам Священного Синода Элладской Церкви по украинскому вопросу [Article]

Metropolitan Nektarios of Kerkyra: We recognize only one canonical Church in Ukraine – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Theology of the love of power or how a layman teaches bishops. On admonitions of Vlasios Phidas to the Serbian Church [Article]

Интервью архиепископа Верейского Амвросия журналу Сербской Патриархии [Interview]

Пастырь, каким благословил Господь Украину в тяжелое время [Greetings and addresses]

Paper read by Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Niksic (Serbian Orthodox Church) at international academic reflection-action conference on Violations of Rights of Believers in Ukraine [Article]

An Open Letter from Greek Clergy and Laity on the Ukrainian Issue

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: От руководства Украины мы ожидаем невмешательства во внутреннюю жизнь Церкви [Interview]

Письмо профессора Целенгидиса членам Священного Синода Элладской Церкви по украинскому вопросу [Article]

Presentation by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the Budapest Forum for Christian Communicators [Article]

Интервью митрополита Волоколамского Илариона информационному агентству «Ромфея» [Interview]

Patriarch Irenaeus: ‘Serbian’ Athos is with Canonical Church of Ukraine [Interview]

A hierarch of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia: Churches are ready to meet and address the Ukrainian issue together [Interview]

Patriarch Irenaeus of Serbia: Russian Church is one of the strongest ones in the world [Interview]

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: От руководства Украины мы ожидаем невмешательства во внутреннюю жизнь Церкви [Interview]

Письмо профессора Целенгидиса членам Священного Синода Элладской Церкви по украинскому вопросу [Article]

Митрополит Бориспольский Антоний: Появились «черные регистраторы» церквей [Interview]

Theology of the love of power or how a layman teaches bishops. On admonitions of Vlasios Phidas to the Serbian Church [Article]

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: Сила Европы должна заключаться в нравственном стержне европейского общества [Interview]

Metropolitan Nektarios of Kerkyra: We recognize only one canonical Church in Ukraine – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Жить в единении с Богом и ничего не бояться [Interview]

Интервью митрополита Волоколамского Илариона информационному агентству «Ромфея» [Interview]

Patriarch Irenaeus: ‘Serbian’ Athos is with Canonical Church of Ukraine [Interview]

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: При Патриархе Кирилле церковная жизнь получила второе дыхание [Interview]

A hierarch of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia: Churches are ready to meet and address the Ukrainian issue together [Interview]

Other interview

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: Сила Европы должна заключаться в нравственном стержне европейского общества

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: От руководства Украины мы ожидаем невмешательства во внутреннюю жизнь Церкви

Жить в единении с Богом и ничего не бояться

Митрополит Бориспольский Антоний: Появились «черные регистраторы» церквей

Metropolitan Hilarion: Recognition of the OCU by any Church will only deepen the division

Интервью архиепископа Верейского Амвросия журналу Сербской Патриархии

Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион: Молимся, чтобы Господь помог нам уврачевать сообща язвы, наносимые Церкви

Metropolitan Hilarion: Events in Ukraine have shown that the structures created by Patriarch Bartholomew are unviable

Воссоединение Киевской митрополии с Русской Церковью: как это было и почему

Митрополит Лимасольский Афанасий: Восхищаюсь тем, как митрополит Онуфрий принял этот кризис