Autocephaly would definitely pose a threat to the Belarusian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Pavel (Ponomaryov), Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, said in the interview with state-run TV station STV.
“Thank God, there is no pursuit of autocephaly in Belarus for now. Indeed, there are some voices: “Why don’t we ask autocephaly for Belarus?” But you know, one should speak quite frankly, and I must say openly: the attempt to impose autocephaly in Ukraine is an awful tragedy; if such thing happens to Belarus, it will mean death of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. It will be a death penalty to Belarusian Orthodox Church. Thank God, these days Belarusian bishops, priests and almost all believers do not flirt with the idea,” the head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church said.
At a recent meeting the Minsk diocese decided to make the congregation aware of the undesirability of their participating in sacraments of the united Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
A few days ago, Ecumenical Patriarch handed tomos of autocephaly over to leader of Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
In April 2018, Ukraine’s parliament approved Petro Poroshenko‘s address to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to grant Ukraine a tomos of autocephaly. This idea was also supported by the leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).
On October 11, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to issue a tomos of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Synod recognized as illegal the annexation of the Metropolitan of Kyiv by Moscow in 1686 by cancelling the corresponding decree on obedience. Moreover, the Ecumenical Patriarchate restored Ukraine’s schismatic Patriarch Filaret (Denisenko) and schismatic Archbishop Makariy (Maletych) to canonical status.
On October 15 in Minsk, the Russian Orthodox Church split from the Patriarchate of Constantinople as a response to their decision on Ukraine’s autocephaly. According to the statement, there was the ‘attempted interference of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the affairs of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church’. The Belarusian Orthodox Church supported the decision of the ROC.