Metropolitan Hilarion, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, commented on the final Communique of the meeting of Primates in Amman on February 27, reports TASS.
According to Metropolitan Hilarion, “the main result of the meeting was the agreement of the Churches to continue their consultations and interaction with one another. A wish was expressed that Patriarch Bartholomew would take part in the next such meeting”.
Explaining the wording of the Communiqué regarding pan-Orthodox consensus on the granting of autocephaly, the metropolitan noted that “historically autocephaly was granted in very different ways, and there is no single, generally accepted procedure in the Orthodox Church”.
He said that “when there was preparation for the Pan-Orthodox Council, this topic was discussed, it was on the agenda. And it was agreed that in the future all autocephalies will be given, first of all, at the initiative of the Mother Church, that is, the Church, which includes a specific Church that asks for autocephaly, and with pan-Orthodox consent”.
Metropolitan Hilarion recalled that a fundamental agreement was reached between the Churches on this issue, but it was not ratified. Then the topic of autocephaly was removed from the agenda of the Council, and as a result, no decision was made.
The hierarch said that “after the Crete Council was held, Patriarch Bartholomew in fact declared all these agreements void and began to unilaterally grant autocephaly”.
The hierarch is sure that even if Patriarch Bartholomew again refuses to take part in meetings in the Amman format, “consultations will carry on anyway”, and in the “communique it is written that it is desirable to meet before the end of this year”.
He emphasized that Patriarch Theophilus invited the Local Orthodox Churches for discussion and prayer in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem, “to pray for peace, for the unity of Orthodoxy, for all Christians”.
When asked whether the canonical communion of those Local Churches that were present at the meeting in Amman with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was discussed, Metropolitan Hilarion answered in the negative.