Legoyda: no one in Ukraine will not betray his Church

© RIA Novosti / Alexander Matroskasplitter of the Synodal information Department of the ROC Vladimir Legoyda. Archival photoLegoyda: no one in Ukraine will not betray his Church© RIA Novosti / Alexander Natruskin

On the eve of an emergency meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church and society and the media Vladimir Legoyda gave an exclusive interview to RIA Novosti. Interviewed By Alexey Mikheev.

The situation is certainly extremely unpleasant, but I would still question so did not put. Those non-canonical steps being taken by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, led to a clear assessment of the Holy Synod of the Russian Church. It follows from this that we are willing to take tough retaliatory measures if Fanar (the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople in Istanbul. — Approx. ed.) will not change the approach to the problem.

Of course. And we protested. We know the reaction of the local Churches, their support of Metropolitan Onufriy (Primate of the Ukrainian Church. — Approx. ed.) Another thing is that until recently this position was maintained and Constantinople! The more surprising the reversal. But apparently my colleagues just do not bother, since they decided on these steps.

Also — what is the mandate of these representatives of the exarchs? What will they do? Who is going to communicate? They cannot ignore of Metropolitan Onufriy as the canonical Primate of the Church — but how are they going to communicate if they came into his territory without asking his consent? Why would they engage? With an apology?

Don’t want to step on shaky ground hypotheses, but we hear rather strange comments from Constantinople in the last days. These comments often did not correlate with the steps that have already been made. For example, when the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, says about the opportunity to solve everything peacefully, nor in any way causing the split, is not very clear, why, then, committed a direct violation of the canons! And why the Ecumenical Patriarchate thinks that does not follow the reaction from the Russian Church? Definitely, will follow.

And you think we passed the «decision point», as they say in aviation? Or you can still «leave on the second circle»?

Think about passed the point of no return we can only speak in a situation when they committed the actions leading to serious consequences for mutual communication. But we don’t see reaction to the statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Church from the 8th of September. This does not contribute to calm the situation. Today will pass extraordinary session of our Synod. Wait for its decisions.

But Archbishop Hilarion (head of the Department for external Church relations. — Approx. ed.) has said that all means of diplomacy have been exhausted…

So. But it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to return to dialogue. The point of no return is not passed even in relations with the Ukrainian schismatics — provided they are ready to follow the canonical healing of the situation.

How ordinary people behave, what to do? Today I read a Facebook post about the service in the Church of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky at MGIMO, where, during the petitions for peace in Ukraine, all the congregation knelt. Think them unsophisticated?

Everyone — experienced and inexperienced — it is important to pray hard. The prayer for peace in Ukraine, about which you said, and who for years performed in churches of the Russian Church, and has taken on a new meaning. For any person, simple and complex, and a layman, and working in Church structures is the most important thing today is prayer.

In addition, we live in a time when anyone can attend and in the media field. And there is no need to afford statements that will provoke irritation or other similar emotions. Often, we specifically call on these emotions, but as the Scripture says, «the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God» (Jas. 1, 20). This is unacceptable.

Vladimir Romanovich, how is it possible this whole situation? This is the legacy of the 90s? Or started earlier?

The theme of autocephaly, as it is known, was the cause of the split. Rather, the reason was political and personal ambitions of some people, in a theme independent of the Church. Surprised by the position Fanara, which suddenly begins 300 years later to talk about the letter of the Patriarch Dionysius the Second from 1686, which was transferred to the Metropolitan of Kiev supposedly temporary control of the Moscow Patriarch. The only «argument» from what I heard that concerned those events, was that the Metropolitan of Kiev should commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople. But it’s a symbolic expression, a tribute, order of honor, if you will! The commemoration of the primates of the other Churches is not an indication of their power. But even if we assume that this is so — although it is not, in such matters Canon law says about the Statute of limitations. He is 30 years. But not 300!

And something else that is important. No matter what alarmists, whatever telegram channels whatever you throw, say, almost half of the clergy of the UOC dreams of autocephaly is not. The Ukrainian flock loves and honors its Primate — his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, loves and honors their Patriarch his Holiness Kirill. And she’s not expecting any of autocephaly.

Let them experience those who stirred up this mess, let them realize their responsibility, let them think on what field went. And those who so desire the coveted autocephaly from Constantinople, let him think here over what: what if there is some of the Kyiv Metropolitanate, subordinate to Constantinople? As a first step. (A separate question — from whom it will be.) And then the Archdiocese will receive autocephaly. But this «later» can last for years. Or century. Or… Why not? Once the disposition of Constantinople is so changeable.

There is a danger that this whole situation will provoke a civil conflict?

Of course. That’s why we’re talking about the high responsibility of those who are now trying to decide something. If implemented line with the legalization of the schism, then with very high probability it will lead to aggravation. Because in a situation where dissenters are not recognized by anyone, in just four years, more than 40 churches have been selected from the canonical Church. And if there is a structure, which will receive a mandate from Constantinople, and will officially lay claim to all Orthodox churches in Ukraine, where will this lead? Whatever wrote psevdoanalitiki about the violent desire of all believers to attain at once to gain autocephaly, we know the mood of others. And people temples will not give up. Will not betray their faith and the Church.