At its working session on Monday, October 15, 2018, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved to cut all ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople following their decisions regarding the church situation in Ukraine.
The Holy Synod of the Russian Church has learned ‘with profound pain’ about the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s report published on October 11 confirming the intention ‘to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church and the opening a ‘stavropegion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Kiev’.
Another decision made by the Church of Constantinople which was examined by the Russian hierarchs was the ‘restoring in the rank of bishop or priest’ of two religious leaders in Ukraine and ‘returning their faithful to church communion’.
According to the statement published on the Moscow Patriarchate’s official website, ‘it is impossible for all the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church to concelebrate with the clergy of the Church of Constantinople and for the laity to participate in sacraments administered in its churches.’
The hierarchs of the Russian Church call upon ‘the Primates and Holy Synods of Local Orthodox Churches to a proper evaluation’ of this situation and ‘to a joint search for a way out of the grave crisis tearing apart the body of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.’
Finally, they express their ‘all-round support’ for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev, and for the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church ‘at a time so hard for her.’
‘We pray for the strengthening of her faithful standing in a courageous vigil for the truth and unity of the canonical Church in Ukraine.’
The archpastors, clergy, monastics and laity of the whole Russian Orthodox Church were urged ‘to enhance their prayers for our brothers and sisters of the same faith in Ukraine.’
Photo: Osman Orsal / Reuters