The ROC cannot deny the Orthodox believers of Turkey in pastoral care in the conditions when the Patriarch of Constantinople took the side of the schism. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk said this in an interview with the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, according to the website of the DECR ROC.
Answering a question from journalists: “How do you explain the fact that Patriarch Theodore was inclined to recognize the Ukrainian schism, while for many years he supported the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by Metropolitan Onufriy?”, The head of the DECR MP replied:
“I don’t think he himself was inclined to admit the split. I believe he was forced to do this. But I don’t want to speak on his behalf or speculate about the reasons for his decision. It was accepted, and in the new reality created by the unprecedented actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople to legitimize the Ukrainian schism, we simply had no choice.
We could not deny the clergy, who realized the erroneous position of their Patriarch, in accepting them into the bosom of our Church. In the same way, we cannot deny the Orthodox believers of Turkey in pastoral care in the conditions when the Patriarch of Constantinople took the side of the schism. “