23 March 2019, Saturday, 10:33
A Challenge for Everyone

Laurinas Kashchyunas: Autocephaly Is Personal Matter Of Believers


In Lithuania, the authorities do not interfere in the affairs of the church, as contrasted with Belarus.

Deputy of the Lithuanian Seimas Laurinas Kashiunas stated that to the Charter97.org website, commenting on the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk and the forthcoming provision of autocephaly to Ukraine:

– The journalists note that there was not a single Belarusian priest at the synod in Minsk. However, the BOC has joined its decisions. How do you comment on this?

– I see here very strict control and a political decision. This is a very bad example, an example of how it should not be.

– The orthodox in Lithuania, as in Belarus, still belong to the Moscow Patriarchate. Can the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate be the impetus for the emergence of an autocephalous Orthodox Church in Lithuania and Belarus – among all the nations that formed the GDL?

– It would be a very positive transformation, but I understand that the reality is a bit different. The vertical and hierarchy in this area is very strong. And it's hard for me to imagine that this could happen. The Orthodox Church does not interfere in the politics of Lithuania. As well as the state.

– Should Lithuania take an active position in this process, considering that Belarus is a dictatorship and Lithuania is a democracy?

– Our church is separated from the state. The authorities will not interfere in church decisions – here Lithuania is different from Belarus. The authorities do not penetrate into all spheres of human life. But I will say that autocephaly is a personal matter of the believers.