The Belarusian priest Alexander Shramko, now living in Lithuania and forbidden in the ministry, commented in an interview with “Religious Pravda” on exaggerations about “Moscow’s arbitrariness” in church matters. According to him, now “there is no mechanism for studying the opinion of the church people of Belarus …the decision is made by politicians, because autocephaly does not advance without them, from within the Church is not possible to soberly and calmly resolve such issues.”
“The arbitrariness of Moscow is an exaggeration. Because in the Church there is no vertical at all – it exists in separate layers. For example, we served in the Belarusian language, had an academy with a free organization …The Moscow Patriarch does not control the whole of Belarus – it lives its own life.
For example, I have now arrived in Lithuania. From the point of view of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Lithuanian diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church is ordinary, it has no special status. But the state registered it as the Lithuanian Orthodox Church and the degree of subordination of this Church to the external center is not interesingt to the state …In any case, the life of Orthodox Christians in Lithuania differs from the ordinary diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church,” said Alexander Shramko.
Also, according to him, there is no truth in the conflict between the Phanar and the Russian Orthodox Church. “Both sides showed shortsightedness and made the wrong steps. Moscow’s decision to break off communication was made out of despair – they did not know what to do, but they had to react. Even some hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate do not comply with this decision…”, says Fr. Alexander.