Дата публикации

World orthodoxy turbulence area

Modern Orthodox world map was taking its shape gradually, including under the influence of significant political events. Differences between the churches in the XX and XXI centuries were a common phenomenon, but the conflicts, that would have dragged into their orbit the entire Orthodox world, did not arise.

The tectonic shifts in the world Orthodoxy took place in December 2018 after the granting of Tomos of Autocephaly by Constantinople Patriarch to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate and the creation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC).

This exacerbated the relations in the Orthodox world, because some Orthodox churches recognized UOC, some did not, and some churches took a waiting position. Another consequence of the Ukrainian Tomos was the growth of autocephalous spirits in other churches, which increased the tension within the local churches.

The disagreements between the churches over the Ukrainian Tomos, sharp rhetoric of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) on the Ukrainian issue and the break by ROC of relations with a number of churches have changed the balance of power in the Orthodox world, in which Constantinople claims the dominant position.

On February 26, 2020, the Meeting of the Primates of Orthodox Churches in a "brotherly", but confidential format, was held in Amman, the capital of Jordan. At the same time, eight of the fifteen churches refused to participate in the forum and only four local churches were represented at the level of their Primates.

ROC expects the meeting to be a "fraternal debate of the primates and representatives of the local Orthodox Churches on the issues of concern to the Orthodox world". The most likely points of the agenda are the "Ukrainian issue", as well as the growing tension between the Serbian Orthodox Church and Montenegro.

However, it seems that the outcome of the "fraternal meeting" will be a further segmentation and isolation of the "Greek" and the "Russian" Orthodox world. The turbulence area also includes the "no man's land" - the churches, which so far refrain from official recognition or non-recognition of the UOC.

The possible scenarios of events development may be the crystallization of the Orthodox world "bipolarity", or further strengthening of Constantinople and "distribution" of new autocephalies by them. On the one hand, it will enrich the Orthodox world map, on the other hand it will postpone the inter-Orthodox dialogue for even more distant prospect.