In major break over Ukraine, Russian Orthodox Church splits from Constantinople

Catholic News Agency | 10/15/2018 | Staff
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Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct 15, 2018 / 05:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has cut ties with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, claiming his recognition of an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine departed from Orthodox Christian norms.

Metropolitan Hilarion, who heads foreign relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, said Russian Orthodox leaders decided to “break the Eucharistic communion” in response to actions it called “lawless and canonically void.”

Orthodox - Church - Decisions - Hilarion - Belarus

“The Russian Orthodox Church doesn't recognize those decisions and won't fulfill them,” Hilarion said in Belarus after a meeting of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“The church that acknowledged the schismatics has excluded itself from the canonical field of Orthodoxy.”

Sense - Constantinople - Patriarchate - Relations - Church

“We are hoping common sense will prevail and that the Constantinople Patriarchate will change its relations to existing church reality,” Metropolitan Hilarion said.

The break comes in response to the decision of Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the “first among equals” leader of the global Orthodox Church, to issue a statement Oct. 11 confirming plans for an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church and restoring ties with the previously schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate.

Announcement - Right - Patriarch - Metropolitan - Kyiv

The announcement also removed the traditional right of the Russian Patriarch to ordain the Metropolitan of Kyiv, a move which observers predicted would be perceived as a deliberate slight to Moscow. The right dated back to a canonical letter first issued in the year 1686.

Archbishop Yevstratiy, chief spokesman for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate and whose rehabilitation by Constantinople contributed to the current break with Moscow, said the Russian synod’s decision was a move towards “self-isolation.”

Facebook - Post - Sooner - Orthodox - Church

Writing in a Facebook post, he said “Sooner or later this will be fixed and the Russian Orthodox Church will return to communion.”

According to the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Press Service, Yevstratiy claimed that...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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