ENGLISH VERSION: Priest N of St.–Petersburg Diocese of Moscow Patriarchate: “We hoped that the Church Abroad would help us to change the existing situation for the better”
– Portal-Credo.Ru: What is your opinion about the published documents that were elaborated jointly by the Moscow Patriarchate commission for dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (the ROCOR) and the ROCOR (L) commission for negotiations with the Russian Orthodox Church of the MP, and that were approved by the Hierarchs of the ROC MP and the ROCOR(L)?
– Priest N: I am deeply frustrated and disappointed. We hoped that the Church Abroad would help us to change the existing situation for the better. But there have remained untouched our two most important problems – ecumenism and the servility with respect to the secular authority. But those were exactly the two issues on which the ROCA was known for its strongly held positions. We had no forces for changing those problems from the inside, and it was our feeling that in that filed the hierarchs of the Church Abroad would be able to provide some assistance to us. It has now become evident that the ROCA will accept all the conditions
– In what way could the ROCA(L) change the attitude of the ROC MP hierarchs towards ecumenism and secular authority?
– To make our hierarchs cease concelebration with non-Orthodox confessions and to discontinue communion with those who think otherwise. There are many Orthodox, including bishops, who would like to do so. But this is a difficult task from the diplomatic point of view. Had the Church Abroad been more firm in its stand, it would have provided a good pretext to us.
– How could the ROCA help with respect to the attitude towards secular authorities?
– By merely assuming a different stand. An attractive stand is contagious, so many of our clerics would begin to follow suit. It is necessary to crowd out gradually those hierarchs who have soiled themselves. Retirement of some of those could have been made a condition for the unification. I would not like to name names.
– Why do you ask not to name you?
– Would you like me to lose my post and speak next time as a representative of "Alternative Orthodoxy"? The very fact of giving an interview to your portal is frowned upon. Although I think that you are quite useful. You are like a wolf, the body-snatcher of the forest – you don’t let people loosen up. Reading you is both interesting and shameful. Like reading the "Komsomolskaya Pravda".
Interview for Portal-Credo.Ru by Vladimir Ginsburg