Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople promised the Russian Orthodox Church not to interfere in church affairs in Ukraine, and the Russian Orthodox Church believed these words. It was a big mistake, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, told the Greek newspaper Romfea. The interview is published by the DECR ROC website.
“As you know, in 2016 at the Synaxis of the Primates in Chambesy, Patriarch Bartholomew said publicly, in front of all delegations of the Local Churches: “We recognize Metropolitan Onuphry and welcome him as the only canonical hierarch of our Orthodox Church in Ukraine, together with the holy bishops subordinated to him,”” – said the hierarch.
Metropolitan Hilarion says: “Patriarch Bartholomew also promised not to interfere in church affairs in Ukraine either before the Council or after it. We believed these words. We thought: since the Ecumenical Patriarch says so, let us really, as he promises us, hold a Council, and after that we will continue to discuss the topic of autocephaly. We shouldn’t have believed him, he deceived us. This was our big mistake.”
“Now we are told that if we had attended Council on Crete, then we would have agreed on Ukraine, and nothing of the subsequent events would have happened.
But if you remember that the topic of Ukraine was by no means on the agenda of the Council, it turns out that the only motive for Patriarch Bartholomew’s actions was revenge. That is, out of a sense of revenge, he decided to grant “autocephaly” to the schismatics, to “legalize” the anathematized Filaret Denisenko?” – comments Metropolitan Hilarion.