Russian Church denies accusations of restrictions of autonomous Churches' rights
- [quote]Moscow, February 7, Interfax - Hegumen Savva (Tutunov), deputy property manager of the Moscow Patriarchate, has denied the information that the decisions made at the Bishops' Council, which has recently been held in Moscow, reduced the powers of autonomous Churches included in the Moscow Patriarchate.
Among these churches are the Ukrainian, Estonian, and Japanese Orthodox Churches and some other Churches with broad self-administration powers.
"This [information] is too alarmist and is not true," the priest said at a press conference addressing the outcome of the Bishops' Council on Monday.
Father Savva said Item №1 of the chapter, which deals with autonomous churches, provides that every autonomous Church operates on the basis of a special document called Tomos. A Tomos is a basic document determining the entire life of this Church and the recent Council meeting did not abolish these Tomoses," Father Savva said.
As an example, the priest mentioned the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"Although Ukraine [Ukrainian Orthodox Church] is a self-regulating Church within the Russian Orthodox Church. It has special rights that are different from those of the Moldovan, Latvian, and Estonian Churches. Their Tomos is a foundation of their life and no one can abolish it. There has to be a special decision to abolish a Tomos, but it's not very likely," Father Savva said.