"Constantinople is legalizing schism, undermining unity"

The Patriarchate of Constantinople says it will begin the process of granting independence to the church in Ukraine in relation to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Source: Tanjug
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(Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

This decision was announced after Thursday's regular session of the Synod, the AP reported.

The Constantinople Patriarchate announced that a decision made in 1686 had been abolished, according to which the Kiev Metropolitanate was given to the Moscow Patriarchate.

By abolishing this decision, the Constantinople Patriarchate lays right to the church in Ukraine, Sputnik reported.

The Russian media also report that Russian Patriarch Kirill's secretary said this decision is a legalization of a schism and a catastrophic move by which the red line was crossed.

The Russian Orthodox Church has effectively severed diplomatic relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate, Sputnik said.

The decision of the Constantinople Patriarchate to accept the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church represents the legalization of the schism, and will also lead to irreparable consequences for Orthodox Christianity, a spokesman for Patriarch Kiril said.

According to Vladimir Legoida, the Russian Orthodox Church will officially assess the moves of the Constantinople Patriarchate on October 15

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, meanwhile, said that the Patriarchate of Constantinople had already made a decision on granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian church.

"The decision has already been made," he told reporters in Kiev, commenting on the outcome of the three-day synod of the Constantinople church.

According to him, it is an issue of Ukrainian security, statehood and world geopolitics.

"It is the fall of the third Rome," Poroshenko said, adding that Ukraine would guarantee religious freedom to members of all confessions.

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