The Russian Orthodox Church /ROC/ deems it as "a clerical split" that the Romanian Orthodox Church has established its own structure, the Metropolitanate of Bessarabia, in Moldova, which is considered the canonical territory of the ROC, metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Kirill said as visiting Chisinau.
A new eparchy may appear on the territory of another eparchy only "if the churches the eparchies belong to do not recognize each other", he said. He described the above fact as "church lawlessness".
"Not church expediency, but politics" is at issue in this case, and it "has created a most dangerous precedent", the metropolitan believes. "The idea of the split originated in Romania", while Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II repeatedly sent letters to Romanian Patriarch Teoctist proposing to resume the dialog, but received no answer, he said.
The decision of the Romanian patriarch to turn to a lay court instead of discussing the problem of the Bessarabian Metropolitanate with the Moscow patriarchate "in a brotherly way" was "a serious mistake", the Russian priest said.
The Metropolitanate of Bessarabia was created between the two world wars and was restored after a related petition of Moldovan clergymen and believers in 1992. According to the ruling of the European human rights court and the PACE special recommendation, the Moldovan government had to register the church, canonically within the Romanian Patriarchate's jurisdiction.
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