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Moldova’s president says his country is ready to host Pan-Orthodox Council

Igor Dodon said the country will "stay loyal to our united Church" as the metropolitan diocese was createdi within the Russian Orthodox Church
Moldova’s President Igor Dodon Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Moldova’s President Igor Dodon
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

CHISINAU, October 16. /TASS/. Moldova’s President Igor Dodon has said his country will be prepared to host a Pan-Orthodox Council that would discuss the problems the Orthodox world has encountered following the decisions taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in relation to the Ukrainian Church.

"I suggest holding a Pan-Orthodox Council in the territory of Moldova. As an Orthodox Christian I feel deep regret and concern over the situation that has occurred in the Orthodox world," he said.

Dodon vowed that "Moldova will remain a canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate."

"The Moldovan metropolitan diocese was created in 1813 by Gavril Banulescu-Bodoni within the Russian Orthodox Church. We will stay loyal to our united Church," Dodon said.

He voiced firm support for the idea of convening a Pan-Orthodox Council, expressed by Patriarch John X, of Antioch and all the East, and welcomed by the clergy and flock of the Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Polish Orthodox churches and the churches of Alexandria and Jerusalem, and also the Orthodox Church in America. Dodon believes that Moldova can serve as a good meeting place.

"We are a unique Orthodox country located in the heartland of the Orthodox world. Moldova may serve as a meeting place for all heads of local churches at this dramatic moment. I am certain that through our joint efforts we will manage to find a way out of this complicated situation," he said.

Dodon described the conflict between the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church as "one of the most acute issues in the whole history of Orthodoxy."

"The church split may become a non-healing wound on the body of the Orthodox world. The authorities of the Orthodox countries together with the heads of local churches should exert every effort for the sake of overcoming it," Dodon said.

In response to Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s request for granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on October 11 declared it canceled the decision of 1686 that placed the Kiev metropolitan diocese under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. Also, Constantinople announced its return to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Besides, it lifted anathema from the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine - Filaret, of the Kiev Patriarchate, and Makary, of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church. The Russian Orthodox Church declared these decisions as uncanonical and unlawful. The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on October 15 ruled it was no longer possible to have eucharistic relations with Constantinople.