2018-09-13 13:03:00

Constantinople's actions can result in a schism in Orthodoxy, exceeding the Great Schism of 1054, Russian church official says

Moscow, September 13, Interfax - The schism in global Orthodoxy caused by non-canonical Ukrainian autocephaly can be compared, and perhaps, even exceeds the Great Schism of 1054 between the Orthodox and the Catholic Orthodox Churches.

"It is necessary to understand that much more people than in XI century will participate in the schism, considering how the population has grown since then. So the scale and drama of this schism will be much sharper," Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Affairs of the Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk told Interfax-Religion.

The history proves that after break up in the eucharistic (prayerful - IF) communication between Churches, this abyss tends to grow, events of both world and domestic history witness to it: the old rite schism of the 17th century "is not healed, and nobody knows how to heal it."

"Such splits easily appear, but it is difficult to overcome them and here we can deal with a deep schism as there are millions believers, thousands churches and parishes in Ukraine," the priest said.

He reminded that in 1054 the existing Christian Church was divided in two. "Something of the same kind can happen today as the Russian Church is not less than a half of all Orthodox Christianity," the interviewee of the agency stressed.

According to him, the Moscow Patriarchate "will spare no effort to protect its parishioner," as "violence and chaos are real."

It was earlier reported that Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed two exarchs in Kiev as part of preparations to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchate considered this step Constantinople as intruding to its canonical territory.