There are also reports of provocations on the part of the Romanian and Ecumenical Patriarchates
Chișinău, Moldova, October 23, 2018
Against the background of the ongoing troubles with the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning Ukraine, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s upcoming visit to Moldova has been reduced from four days to two, and his planned service in the Chișinău Cathedral has been canceled, reports RIA-Novosti.
Pat. Kirill was initially scheduled to Moldova October 25-28, but he will now visit the fraternal Orthodox country only on October 27 and 28. This reduction was announced by Moldovan President Igor Dodon several days ago.
“Initially it was planned that his visit would continue for four days. Two days ago there was a possibility that the Patriarch would not come at all, but I spoke with the Patriarch and convinced His Holiness to come on the 27th and 28th; he will be in Moldova for two days,” Pres. Dodon said on NTV Moldova.
Pres. Dodon also recently proposed holding a pan-Orthodox Council in Moldova, a country where 97-98% of the country identifies as Orthodox, to deal with the Ukrainian issue that has developed into a breaking of communion between the Russian and Constantinopolitan Patriarchates.
While Pat. Kirill has visited Moldova twice before, in 2011 and 2013, his upcoming trip will mark his first visit to the Cahul-Komrat Diocese, where he will celebrate a moleben on the central square on Saturday and meet with the faithful, and to the Bălți-Fălești Diocese, where he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy the next day and again meet with the local faithful, reports RIA-Novosti.
While the Patriarch’s updated schedule does not include any services in the capital cathedral, at the same time, it is possible that he could serve there at the suggestion of Pres. Dodon, reports REGNUM.
However, according to Dmitry Pakhomov, the Director of the international “Christian Solidarity” foundation, credible sources convey directly from the scene that certain forces will hold provocative public events during the Russian Patriarch’s visit, aimed at creating a negative opinion about both Pat. Kirill and the Russian Orthodox Church as a whole in Moldovan society.
Pakhomov also reports some very disturbing information, that on November 25, during Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Romania to concelebrate the solemn consecration of the new Romanian National Cathedral in Bucharest, which OrthoChristian previously reported on, the two primates could make a joint statement on the illegality of the accession of the Orthodox Church of Moldova to the Russian Orthodox Church, and on the urgent need to divide Moldovan ecclesiastical territory between the Romanian and Ecumenical Patriarchates, with the autonomous region of Gagauzia going to Constantinople.
There are currently two canonical jurisdictions operating in Moldova: the autonomous Moldovan Orthodox Church under the Russian Orthodox Church, with more than 1,000 parishes, and the Metropolis of Bessarabia of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which has 84 parishes in Moldova, the Odessa region of Ukraine, and the Chuvash region of Russia in the Ural mountains.
From 1791 to 1812, Moldovan territory was part of the Moldovo-Wallachian Exarchate of the Constantinople; From 1812 to 1918, it was an eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church; from 1918 to 1940 the territory constituted part of the Metropolitanate of Bessarabia during the existence of Greater Romania; from 1940 to 1992 the territory constituted the Metropolis of Chisinau and Moldova of the Church of Russia, receiving autonomy in October 1992. The current Romanian Metropolis was founded in 1992 by His Grace Bishop Peter (Paduraru) of Bălți who had defected from the Moscow Patriarchate.
While the conflict between the two Churches continues, His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of the Russian Moldovan Church reached out to the Romanian Metropolis to encourage greater dialogue and cooperation in the name of their common faith, to which the Romanian Metropolis responded positively.
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