2021-09-24 17:24:00

Patriarch of Constantinople who visited Kiev has no right to speak on behalf of Orthodox world - Russian Church

Moscow, September 24, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has condemned the recent visit by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Kiev.

"The arrival in Kiev by Patriarch Bartholomew and the people accompanying him without an invitation from the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine and the lawful hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is recognized as a major violation of the canons," according to the journals of the Synod session, which ended in Moscow on Friday.

The session participants said the visit by Patriarch Bartholomew, "which exposes his dependence on forces that are external to the Church" is "purely political" and condemned the continuing "anti-canonical actions" by the Constantinople patriarch, which are aimed at destroying the unity of Orthodoxy.

The administration of the Russian Orthodox Church believes that Patriarch Bartholomew lost the trust of millions of believers by supporting the schism in Ukraine. "In a situation where a majority of the world's Orthodox Christians do not have church communion with him, he no longer has the right to speak on behalf of all global Orthodoxy and present himself as its leader," the Synod said in a final document.

The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church confirmed the adherence of the Moscow Patriarchate to the norms of canonical law and the universally recognized principles of inter-Orthodox cooperation, its openness to all-Orthodox discussions on the current situation in the world's Orthodoxy and emphasized that the responsibility for undermining the unity of the Orthodox Church rests wholly with Patriarch Bartholomew.

In closing, the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate expressed support to Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the archpriests, priests and the entire canonical Ukrainian church.

According to earlier reports, Patriarch Bartholomew visited Kiev on August 20-24 at the invitation of the secular administration of Ukraine on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the country's independence.