Russian Orthodox Church cuts all links with Constantinople

'May Become Catastrophic': Serbian Patriarch on Constantinople Ukraine Decision

'May Become Catastrophic': Serbian Patriarch on Constantinople Ukraine Decision

Metropolitan Ilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate's head of external relations, on Tuesday said that in doing so the Constantinople Patriarchate had destroyed its authority and that the Orthodox Church no longer had a single center.

Under the leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the patriarchate last week removed its condemnation of leaders of schismatic Orthodox churches in Ukraine. In February 1999, the same Patriarch Bartholomew serving now announced that the Constantinople Patriarchate was adding the Estonian Orthodox Church to its jurisdiction.

Volkov said that the Russian Church's response to Constantinople was strict and sufficient.

He had previously asked the Patriarch of Constantinople to grant independence to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Associated Press reports. The patriarch - now Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople - has always been recognized as first among equals, with the authority to organize pan-Orthodox activities like worldwide dialogue with the Catholics. In the first half of 2018 alone, Ukraine witnessed 10 new attacks on Russian Orthodox Churches. "This decision was foreseen, and it reflects the logic of Constantinople's actions since April".

In severing ties with Constantinople, Moscow said it would not participate in any global dialogues if the co-chair is a bishop of the ecumenical patriarchate.

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine has been under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church since the late 1600s.

After a three-day synod last week, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church took a momentous step.

Australia Mulls Following U.S. on Jerusalem Embassy Move, Recognizing Israel's Capital
S., which had already moved its embassy to Jerusalem. "I have made this decision without any reference to the United States". Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector that it annexed after the 1967 Middle East war, as its capital.

Tens of thousands of far-right activists marched through the centre of Kiev, waving red and black flags, a symbol of the nationalist movement, and blue and yellow Ukrainian flags.

Ukraine's government has lobbied for an independent church on the grounds that the Russian Orthodox Church is an instrument of the Kremlin, accusing it of stoking separatist sentiment in eastern Ukraine and of acting on behalf of Russia's intelligence services.

"It's an issue of Ukrainian independence. I think it's important that Alexander Lukashenko had the opportunity to say a word to all the bishops of the Belarusian Church, the members of the Synod, and also to hold informal discussions, particularly with representatives of Belarusian episcopate", said the Patriarch.

The authorities shall "ensure that there will be no use of force, but how do they then transfer our churches and local to others?", was concerned with the AFP Ukrainian archbishop Kliment Vetcheria, spokesperson of the Church loyal to Moscow.

These developments marked a rift between the two major Churches of Orthodox Christianity.

Among the backers of Constantinople's move are Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is running for re-election in March 2019.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.