Russian Orthodox Church suspends Conference of European Churches membership

The Russian Orthodox Church suspended its membership of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) on Saturday, the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations told Interfax-Religion.

"The reason for this decision was the unwillingness to consider a membership application by the Estonian Orthodox Church, a self-governing Church within the Moscow Patriarchate, which is illegitimate, groundless and going against the constitution and the CEC rules," it said.

In this situation, the Russian Orthodox Church, "displaying solidarity with our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Estonia, has made the decision to suspend its CEC membership until a positive decision is made on admitting the Estonian Church to this organization," it said.

"We have to point out with deep regret that the CEC is losing its role as a reconciling and consolidating force in that it has increasingly more often been ignoring the voices by churches from the countries outside the European Union. Thus, the Conference is losing its historical mission of being a bridge between the east and the west of Europe," it said.

Source: Interfax religion