Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Autocephaly Now! Belarusian Churchman Says Moscow will Decide Whether Pope Can Visit Minsk

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 11 – Metropolitan Pavel, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church in Belarus, says that the Moscow Patriarchate will decide whether Pope Francis can visit Belarus and that whatever decision Patriarch Kirill makes, the Belarusian church will naturally obey (krynica.info/be/2017/04/10/mitrapalit-pavel-rashehnne-pa-vizice-papy-prehragatyva-patryyarkha/).

            Rarely has anyone simultaneously shown just how Moscow, both religious and secular, understands what the Moscow Patriarchate understands the meaning of “canonical territory” to be and just how important it is for Orthodox churches in Belarus and Ukraine among others to separate themselves from it and become autocephalous and self-governing.

            Unless the faithful in these countries end their subordination to the Moscow church, these countries will have a difficult if not impossible time of pursuing a truly independent policy in non-religious areas, something both they and their supporters in the West need to focus on rather than ignore. 

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