2018-09-13 11:53:00

The Russian Orthodox Church urges UOC believers to unite around Metropolitan Onufry

*** The Moscow Patriarchate response to Constantinople won't be moderate - secretary of a Synodal Department

Moscow, September 13, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate urges believers and clerics of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to unite around Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev as Constantinople is intruding to its canonical territory.

"The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is headed by a wonderful person, who has high spiritual authority in Orthodox world. Today they need to unite around him, around clerics and bishops: if consolidation of Orthodox people is evident, there is a chance to withstand the strains. The power of Orthodoxy is in unity," Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Affairs of the Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk told Interfax-Religion.

He didn't name concrete measures that can be taken by the Moscow Patriarchate in response to actions of the Constantinople Church, saying only that they would not be moderate.

"We consider various scenarios, I won't specify which of them our Synod. However, the Constantinople Patriarchate abandons the canonical field, so it cannot expect that anything will restrain the Russian Orthodox Church in its response actions," the priest said.

It was reported that Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed two exarchs in Kiev as part of preparations to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Such was Constantinople's response to the request by President Pyotr Poroshenko to issue a tomos for the creation of the united local church in Ukraine.

The Moscow Patriarchate considered this step Constantinople as intruding to its canonical territory.