MINSK, October 15. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that he is opposed to any schism in the Orthodox Church calling it dangerous, a TASS correspondent reported.
"A split is always bad, it means negative consequences, and that’s the most dangerous thing. We believe everything that is going on in Orthodox Christianity is a sensitive issue," he said at his meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Monday. "The world has changed, and not for the better, with the entire population of our globe becoming hostages."
According to Lukashenko, "that affects primarily the Church and the clergy." "I would like to wish you and all the bishops of our church wisdom and patience. As church members, we will try to maintain the unity in all events in order to preserve peace on earth. We’ve come too close to a red line," the president said.
"Unfortunately, our church was often a hostage of international relations, sometimes our inappropriate steps," Lukashenko added.
A meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church presided over by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will be held in Minsk on Monday. It will focus on evaluating the actions by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine and hammering out the Russian Church’s retaliatory measures.
A spokesman for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople earlier said that its Holy and Sacred Synod had decided to reinstate the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine, Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate and Makariy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, to their hierarchical and priestly ranks. In addition, it announced plans to bring back the Kiev Metropolitanate under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and launch the process for granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church.
The Russian Orthodox Church, along with some Local Orthodox Churches, regard these moves as hostile and illegitimate, which can result in a profound schism within Orthodox Christianity.