2020: Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church elevates Bishop Veniamin, “newly elected Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus,” to the church rank of Metropolitan. Photo: patriarchia.ru
The first two of these fears – see Moscow worried about possible moves to Orthodox autocephaly in Belarus and Moldova, and Protests May Lead More Orthodox in Belarus to Shift to Roman Catholicism, Experts Say – now appear to have been eclipsed by the third, given the actions of two prominent Belarusian Orthodox priests and those of the Universal Patriarch in Lithuania.
Constantinople could grant autocephaly to Belarusian Orthodox Church next, Gorbik says
That is because the exit of Orthodoxy in Belarus from under Russian control as the result of actions by Constantinople abroad and by those of priests and laity in Belarus from below would strike a mortal blow to Putin’s vision of a Russian world by eliminating Moscow’s domination over the last Orthodox majority country in the region.
That Moscow is worried about what Constantinople has been doing in Lithuania is no surprise (Vilnius Expects Constantinople to Establish an Exarchate in Lithuania Soon and Constantinople Patriarch Moves against ROC MP in Lithuania and Belarus). But what may be even more alarming for the Russian capital is the enthusiasm of Belarusians for it.
The Christian Vision telegram channel says that Constantinople’s involvement in Lithuania is important not only for that country but for Belarusians and Orthodox elsewhere because it will allow the faithful to follow their consciences and their church to develop naturally rather than on orders from abroad.
And in confirmation of that general hope has come the acceptance of two Belarusian priests, Georgy Roy and Aleksandr Kukhta, who have been forced to flee their country into Lithuania but have now been taken under the wing of the Ecumenical Patriarch.
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- Moscow worried about possible moves to Orthodox autocephaly in Belarus and Moldova (2021)
- Epiphanius reminds that all Orthodox parishes in Ukraine belong to the Ukrainian church
- Moscow Patriarchate nativizing its church branch in Belarus to prevent moves toward autocephaly (2020)
- Constantinople: Moscow could be stripped of autocephaly, while Belarus could gain it (2018)
- The next domino – Belarusian Orthodox hope for autocephaly
- Constantinople could grant autocephaly to Belarusian Orthodox Church next, Gorbik says
- Russian Orthodox Church in Belarus training fighters for Russian world in special camps (2015)
Tags: Belarus, Belarusian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church