Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk recalled that historically, according to the 28th rule of the Council of Chalcedon, Constantinople occupied the second place after Rome in the diptych of Churches. When in 1054 there was a break in communion between Constantinople and Rome, primacy in the family of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, as it were, automatically passed to Constantinople. He said this during a speech at the International Scientific and Practical Conference on the topic: “Catholicism of the Church: theological, canonical and historical dimensions.”
Commenting on the statements of theologians from the Church of Constantinople, he noted that, in their opinion, the head of the Phanar is “the first without equal,” “that he can redraw the borders of the Local Churches at his discretion. That he can invade the limits of the Local Churches, establish his own order there and arrange his stavropegia. That for all Churches it is the highest court of appeal. That he can, with a stroke of the pen, abolish the multimillion-strong Church, which has more than a hundred bishops, more than twelve thousand parishes, more than two hundred and fifty monasteries, and transfer its rights and names to a schismatic structure. That he can declare the self-ordained a legitimate bishop and “restore the dignity” to a person who has never had such a dignity or has lost it due to falling into schism.”
“Threats to the unity of Orthodoxy arising from the actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople require broad conciliar understanding on the part of hierarchs, clergy, monastics and laity,” said Metropolitan Hilarion.