Tbilisi, December 28, Interfax - Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia deeply regrets the conflict between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Constantinople Patriarchate over the start of the process for granting autocephaly to Ukraine.
"I want to draw attention to what is happening in Ukraine between Constantinople and Moscow. The situation in Ukraine is extremely unpleasant, there is no unity of opinions, no accord. The Russian church stopped remembering the Constantinople patriarch and severed eucharistic communion as Constantinople has started the procedure for granting autocephaly to Ukraine, which aggravates the current crisis even more. This makes us very sad," the patriarch was quoted as saying by the Georgian Patriarchate before the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church on Friday.
Ilia II said the Orthodox Church had gone through many trials and "overcame them all with God's bliss."
"I hope that the brotherly connections between the Churches will be restored by God's force," the Georgian patriarch said.
The top hierarchs at an earlier meeting of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church could not make a coordinated decision on the issue of Ukraine's autocephaly. It was decided to postpone the discussion of the issue until the next session.
On October 11, the Constantinople Patriarchate's Synod in Istanbul abolished its 1686 decree handing the Kiev Metropolitanate over to Moscow, announced the creation of a mission in Kiev, and rehabilitated the leaders of self-proclaimed Orthodox churches in Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchate's Synod responded by severing ties with Constantinople.