ROC may open branches in Turkey in the event of a schism with Constantinople, the expert said

© RIA Novosti / SputnikАркадий Mahler. Archival photoROC may open branches in Turkey in the event of a schism with Constantinople, the expert said© RIA Novosti / Sputnik

The Russian Church in the event of any interruption of communion between the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates can «without remorse» to open their churches on the territory of the Turkish Republic, told RIA Novosti the Chairman of Byzantine club «Katechon» at the Institute of philosophy, RAS Arkady Maler.

On Friday in Moscow held an emergency meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to its results can be made concrete steps in response to the decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to send their exarchs to Ukraine.

«If our Church will break Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, for us its canonical territory will no longer represent such values as before, and we reserve the right to open their parishes on its canonical territory, that is, in Turkey, Northern Greece, the Aegean Islands and where we want. Because for us, this Church would cease to be the Church in the strict sense of the word,» said Mr. Mahler.

According to him, the number of the Orthodox population of Turkey is constantly decreasing and today does not exceed five thousand people – largely due to the fact that the churches of the Patriarchate of Constantinople most of the time closed and «actually turned into a ghetto». This does not prevent Panaro (district of Istanbul, where the residence of Patriarch Bartholomew) to pursue an aggressive policy in other parts of the world, said the expert.

«Since 1920-ies of the Patriarchate of Constantinople professed religious-political ideology that asserts that all areas of the world that are not within the canonical bounds of other Churches, are automatically its territory. For instance, it was the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, almost all the Islands of the world and half of Asia,» continues the analyst.

India in Constantinople also considered «their» territory, despite the fact that canonically she is within the jurisdiction of the Church of Antioch with the centre in Damascus. Today she is in a difficult situation in connection with the ongoing civil war in the region and is not able to open in Indian temples. «This is the Constantinople. Absolutely rude attitude,» said Mahler.

Earlier, the Patriarchate of Constantinople said that «in preparation for the granting of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine» was appointed its Exarch in Kyiv. This decision strongly condemned the Moscow Patriarchate, calling it an intrusion on the canonical territory of other local churches. The Chairman of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion said that the Moscow Patriarchate will break Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the event of the giving them the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church.