The Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew I of Constantinople (R) receiving Moscow Patriarch Kirill (L). Istanbul, Turkey. August 2018 (Photo: orthodoxia.info)
At a meeting of a Moscow conference on “World Orthodoxy: Primacy and Collegiality in the Light of Orthodox Doctrine,” the Russian church leader extended his criticism of Bartholomew ever since the latter granted autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, something Kirill believes he had no right to do.
According to the Moscow Patriarch, the church since the fifth century has had established rules for such things; and Bartholomew has violated them, an action that is forcing the Russian church as a guardian of order to consider how to respond, a decision about which, he said, will take place at a November meeting of the Russian church.
According to Andrey Melnikov, editor of NG-Religii, Moscow has three choices: seeking to remove Bartholomew by an appeal to these principles and even bringing him before a religious court, creating a parallel Orthodox world led by Moscow rather than Constantinople, or threatening one or the other but continuing to live with the existing ambiguities.
The latter is the most likely, the religious affairs specialist suggests; but by speaking of church decisions of 17 centuries ago, Kirill is showing that he is prepared to raise the stakes considerably, a move that promises to increase tensions among the Orthodox patriarchates and may presage new challenges to the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s traditional status.
- Ukrainians raise $1 million to restore burned St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kyiv
- Moscow’s labeling of Protestant groups with Latvian and Ukrainian links ‘undesirable’ has other Protestants in Russia worried
- 39% of Orthodox in Ukraine allied to Ukrainian church, more than twice than to the Moscow church
- Moscow worried about possible moves to Orthodox autocephaly in Belarus and Moldova
- Epiphanius reminds that all Orthodox parishes in Ukraine belong to the Ukrainian church
- Another ancient Orthodox church recognizes Ukrainian autocephaly despite Moscow’s efforts to block it
- Moscow Patriarchate nativizing its church branch in Belarus to prevent moves toward autocephaly
- 130,000 Ukrainians come to church for Easter as Moscow Patriarchate ignores COVID-19 quarantine