On 16th March 2022 His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had a long-distance conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate the metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hilarion spoke about the results of the conversation with the presenter of the Church and the World TV programme Yekaterina Gracheva.
“Under the present conditions, of course, it has been very important that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and the head of the Anglican communion speak about what is happening,” said the chairman of the DECR, noting that the Church of England is the established church in Great Britain, the Archbishop of Canterbury has a seat in the House of Lords along with a number of other bishops and can exert a direct influence on politics. Metropolitan Hilarion also noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, which consists of an association of Anglican Churches in the former British colonies, in Africa and other parts of the world, and of parishes scattered across the globe.
The metropolitan emphasized that the meeting between His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Archbishop Justin Welby, although taking place in a distanced format, had important meaning for the preservation of good relations between the primates of the two Churches from the perspective of articulating, in as far as it is possible, a common approach to the situation in Ukraine.
“We are now living in two completely different information expanses, which is to say, for example, that we here in Russian receive one set of information, while those in the West, whether it is the Pope or the Archbishop of the Canterbury, are in receipt of completely different information. These two information fields in reality do not come into contact with each other. Therefore, when we hold this type of dialogue, even in distanced format, it allows us to exchange information. Often the participants in the conversation learn from each other that which they would not be able to find out as a result of these two worlds now living in isolation from each other,” said metropolitan Hilarion.