MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. The current moods in the Orthodox world and the recognition of the Ukrainian schism by several local churches have been provoked by Western politicians and special services, who are seeking to destroy Russian Orthodoxy, head of the African Patriarchal Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Klin Leonid said in an interview with TASS.
"This situation around the establishment of the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been directly provoked by Western politicians and special services, which make no secret of the fact that they have entire departments working to destroy Russian Orthodoxy. We are aware of this situation and are taking steps we think necessary," he said.
The African Patriarchal Exarchate was set up by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on December 29, 2021, after the Patriarchate of Alexandria recognized the schismatic structure in Ukraine.
Metropolitan Leonid, who visited Egypt on June 24-28, noted with regret that the position of the Patriarchate of Alexandria has not changed. "We regret it, but these decisions were not initiated by us. I would describe them as reckless decisions, which entailed a schism in the Ecumenical Orthodoxy. The Russian Orthodox Church is not a church, which will tolerate violations of the canonical rules and norms, the exarch stressed.
He admitted that African clergy who opted to leave the Patriarchate of Alexandria for the Russian Orthodox Church Exarchate are persecuted in a number of countries, for example, in Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, up to criminal prosecution. The Russian Orthodox Church is doing its utmost to help these people, he added.
The schism is the Orthodox world began in 2018 after the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church was set up through the merger of two schismatic organizations at the initiative of the then Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, who granted the Tomos of autocephaly to it. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was supported by First Hierarchs of the Alexandria, Greek, and Cypriot Churches. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of local Orthodox Churches refuse to recognize the new structures.