Metropolitan Hilarion (C), First Hierarch, with the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
On March 21, 2022 the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) took the decision to allow individual parishes to stop commemorating Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in liturgical services, whether or not the parish’s local bishop continues to do so. This information was conveyed for publication to Orthodoxy in Dialogue by an internal source with first-hand knowledge of the matter.
At least some of the credit for this turn of events goes to Orthodoxy in Dialogue. Our readers will remember our ROCOR Archbishop of Canada Justifies Wholesale Slaughter of Ukraine and especially our Open Letter to the Hierarchs, Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, composed by a parishioner at Holy Trinity ROCOR Cathedral in Toronto. Both of these continue to receive enormous attention from our readers globally. The present announcement will go far in restoring some of ROCOR’s original reputation for opposing the conscription of the Russian Orthodox Church into complicity with state violence.
It remains to be seen what retaliatory action Patriarch Kirill will take against ROCOR. He has recently stated that dropping his name from liturgical commemoration—as has become more and more widespread in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate—is tantamount to schism.
We at Orthodoxy in Dialogue applaud the ROCOR Synod’s courage in taking this first step toward doing the right thing regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Patriarch Kirill’s role in the violence.