Patriarch Theophilus is sure that the communion of the primates of local Orthodox churches is the best way to solve global problems and hopes to hold a new meeting of the heads of Orthodox churches in the “Amman format” in the coming months.
“I was very encouraged by the willingness of the leaders to meet, and I look forward to new opportunities to share my thoughts with them in the coming months,” the patriarch said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published on Saturday.
He expressed confidence that the communion of primates of local Orthodox churches provides the best solution to the most global problems. “In the Orthodox Churches, it is vital that we continue to meet each other in the spirit of Christian love and brotherhood and discuss issues that divide us too easily. By living hospitably and sharing everything, we invite the Holy Spirit to unite us,” patriarch Theophilus said.
The meeting of primates and delegations of six local Orthodox churches, at which issues of the unity of world Orthodoxy were discussed, was held on February 26, 2020 in Amman. It was attended by the heads of four local Orthodox churches: Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch Theophilus III of Jerusalem, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, and Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. The primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Onuphry, also took part in the meeting, and two more churches – Romanian and Polish – sent their delegations to the meeting. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as well as the primates of the Greek, Cypriot and Albanian churches, refused the proposal of Patriarch Theophilus to gather to solve the problem of the split of the Orthodox world due to the situation in Ukraine.
There were no representatives of Alexandria and some other local churches at the meeting. The final communiqué of the meeting in Amman provided for the next meeting of its participants before the end of 2020.