Nicosia, Cyprus, May 13, 2022
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Russian Church’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), met with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus yesterday, May 12.
The meeting is noteworthy given that the Russian Church has been out of communion with the Archbishop and certain other hierarchs of the Cypriot Church since the Cypriot primate entered into communion with the Ukrainian schismatics in October 2020. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill stopped commemorating the Archbishop following the decision of the Russian Synod in November. A few days later, the Cypriot Synod voted 10-7 “not to oppose this decision” of Abp. Chrysostomos. However, several hierarchs have maintained a firm Orthodox stance, and the Russian Church has maintained communion with these bishops.
Met. Hilarion is currently in Cyprus to participate in the Orthodox Pre-Assembly of the World Council of Churches, and was invited to dinner by Archbishop Chrysostomos, reports the DECR.
The Department reports:
They exchanged opinions about prospects of inter-Orthodox relations and bilateral contacts between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, which have been exacerbated after Eucharistic communion was discontinued with Archbishop Chrysostomos and several hierarchs who recognized the legitimacy of the schismatic community in Ukraine in 2020. The Archbishop reminded Metropolitan Hilarion of the mediatory efforts he had made to help settle the Ukraine issue and of his trips to Local Orthodox Churches to discuss this problem. The interlocutors also dealt with a few other matters of mutual concern.
Met. Hilarion also met with Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in New Jersey in October 2019. At that point, the Russian Church had been out of communion with the entire Patriarchate of Constantinople for a year, after it entered into communion with the Ukrainian schismatics, and later created a new schismatic church and granted it a “tomos of autocephaly.”