04 July 2008, 15:46
Russian priest calls "shameless" the intent of Bartholomew I to visit
Ukraine without invitation of Alexy II
Moscow, July 4, Interfax - The intent of Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew of Constantinople to visit Ukraine without prior consent
of Patriarch Alexy II shows his full disregard of the Russian Church,
Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, head of the Moscow Patriarchate
Department for Relations with the Armed Forces, says.
"Such attitude of Constantinople patriarchs to canons, history, and
this country is shameless. Nothing can explain it to Russians. May be
it is some inner irritation which drowns historical gratitude which
they should feel," Fr. Dimitry said Friday to Interfax-Religion.
"We feel completely ignored - there is no canons, no Russian
Patriarch, and no Russian Church," Fr. Dimitry said.
This is how he commented the intent of Bartholomew I to attend the
celebration of 1020th anniversary of Baptism of Russia in Ukraine by
the invitation of Victor Yushenko but without the relevant invitation
by Alexy II.
According to Fr. Dimitry, this invitation of Bartholomew I to Ukraine
and attempts to establish the independent of Moscow Orthodox Church
in this country were the "result of consultations by Yushchenko's
allies who helped him to come to power and hold it."
"This is one segment of the global politics which is aimed at making
troubles for Russia," Fr. Dimitry said.
Commenting prior statements and actions of some members of
Constantinople Patriarchate aimed at supporting the Ukrainian church
separatists, Fr. Dimitry said, "The fact that the American Ambassador
in Ukraine was prohibited to go to Moscow Patriarchate churches,
proves that the USA Administration has direct relation to all the
above. It is quite evident, who they support."
According to Fr. Dimitry, "the Constantinople Church and the Ellada
Church owe to tens of thousands Russian people who gave their lives
for the freedom and independence of Greeks."
"Therefore, this dislike to Russians and Russia which we now feel
from Greeks (Greeks are a majority of believers and clergy of the
Constantinople Church - IF) is very regrettable."
According to Fr. Dimitry, the existence of ancient Greek
Patriarchates has for centuries "depended on the Russian empire." "If
we come to Greek Athos, we see Russian icons and Russian chandeliers.
The Simonopetra Monastery restoration was paid by Russian money," Fr.