The Estonian Ministry of Justice expects a clear message from the Estonian Orthodox Church condemning the war. He summoned Estonian Metropolitan Yevgeny (Reshetnikov), who leads the Estonian Orthodox Church to the MP, to clarify his position on Russian Patriarch Kirill’s calls for war.
“If it turns out that the clergy here really justifies the war and the terror that Russia is waging in Ukraine, there is no doubt that the state will have to react very strongly to this, in particular by suspending the activities of this church in Estonia,” Justice Minister Lea Danilson Yarg said.
The Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate said Metropolitan Yevgeny would arrive in Estonia on Monday, after which the Interior Ministry would give him two days to make a statement.
If by October 12, Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets said, he does not unequivocally condemn Patriarch Kirill’s belligerent statements, the minister will propose to revoke Metropolitan Evgeni’s permanent residence permit in Estonia.
“As for these statements in Russia, it’s really scary. It’s like some terrorist Islamist states where religious leaders are calling for violence, war and murder. This is something we in Estonia condemn and The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Cyril, said the other day that in the war against Ukraine, Russian soldiers were fulfilling their vocation and duty to the motherland and society, so their actions were comparable to self-sacrifice. According to Kirill, fallen Russian soldiers will be absolutely forgiven of all their sins. On September 27, in his sermon after the liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Cyril declared the importance of spiritual mobilization, which he said should help “complete the reconciliation between Russia and Ukraine.” At the same time, “reconciliation” in the understanding of the ROC should not go in the direction of “dangerous compromise”, the Estonian foreign minister said.
Metropolitan Yevgeny (Reshetnikov) was elected head of the Estonian Orthodox Church (MP) in 2018. Until then, he was a longtime rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow, professor of moral theology, chairman of the Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In Estonia, two Orthodox canonical structures exist in parallel. One is the Estonian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), and the other is the one that broke away from it and came under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate “Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church” with Archbishop Stefan of Tallinn ( Haralambidis), previously Metropolitan for La France du Patriarchate, in charge.