The Patriarchate of Constantinople is “in schism” with the Patriarchate of Moscow. In an interview with SIR news agency and InBlu Radio, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, did not mince his words about who is responsible for the current situation in the Orthodox world. “This is what Patriarch Bartholomew himself has chosen – he said -. He could opt for either being the coordinating centre for the entire Orthodox Church or provoking a schism. He opted for a schism”. Just a few days after the split that arose in the Orthodox world between Moscow and Constantinople after Patriarch Bartholomew’s decision to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the subsequent decision by the Moscow Patriarchate to break Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Metropolitan Hilarion travelled to Rome to attend the Synod on Young People and explained to SIR news agency and InBlu Radio the reasons and background that led to Moscow’s breaking with Bartholomew and the prospects for the future. “In accordance with the canon laws governing the Church – he explained -, the bishops who recognise schismatic groups become schismatic themselves. It is therefore our view that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is now in schism. This has serious implications even for ecumenical dialogue. Indeed, Metropolitan Hilarion said: “We will not take part in any Commission chaired or co-chaired by the Patriarch of Constantinople. Which means we will not take part in any theological dialogue chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople”. Answering a question as to whether this is an irreversible process, he said: “The process is reversible, but the condition for a return to normality is that the Patriarch of Constantinople should go back on his decision and rejoin the family of Orthodox Churches”.