News and events

Support of the Russian Patriarch Aleksey II for regulation of the inside-Orthodox conflict in Macedonia with renewal of the dialogue ( 16.11.2005 )

- What is the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church towards the activity of the canonically unrecognized Orthodox Churches in Macedonia and Montenegro?


It is our conviction that every division in the Church is a sickness we should overcome in the spirit of Christian love and fraternal dialogue, based on the sacred Canons of the Church. You are familiar with the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church is a multinational one. It unites the Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusian, Moldovan and representatives of a multitude of other nations. I have just come back from Moldova, where in most of the churches the worship is in the Moldovan language, still, it does not hinder us from understanding each other, love each other and value our unity.


So much more we are grieved by those frames of mind that can unfortunately be observed among the Orthodox nations in the Balkans. In the Church of Christ there must not be room for nationalism, which decreases the dignity and rights of the other nations. It is necessary for us to value most of all the unity of faith, which is beyond all the national differences, respecting at this the patriotic feelings of all people.


As regards Montenegro, I do not think that an utterly small-numbered group of people who do not have canonical ordination can be called a Church and represent the Montenegrin people. The Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Coastal Areas, renown throughout Orthodoxy, has all the grounds for this.


More complicated are the things in the Republic of Macedonia. We are deeply sorry that for already 40 years there has been prolongation of the division due to which the majority of the Orthodox faithful in this country is outside the full church communion with its brothers of the same faith in Serbia and Montenegro and in the whole world. If from the Orthodox communion owing to unsolved problems the whole nation is eliminated—that is a great loss for the entire Orthodox family, about which no one can remain indifferent.


What is necessary is a dialogue, steps towards one another, particularly in the present time which is rather uneasy for the Orthodox Christians in the Balkans. For its part, the Russian Orthodox Church is always ready to give a more powerful support in the process of the negotiations for the solution of this old church problem.

taken from the official web site of the Russian Orthodox Church: