Photo: Sergey Pyatakov / RIA Novosti
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has decided to suspend a joint service with the Constantinople Patriarchate and the prayerful commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the divine services. The head of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion compared the decision of the Synod with the severance of diplomatic relations, RIA Novosti reported.
“In fact, this rupture of relations. If we take an example from secular life, then the solution is roughly equivalent to the severance of diplomatic relations”, — said Metropolitan Hilarion.
The Moscow Patriarchate also suspended its participation in the Episcopal assemblies, theological dialogue and all structures, where the chairs or co-chairs are the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Believers of both Patriarchates will still be able to commune from one chalice. However, the Moscow Patriarchate will be forced “to break off the Eucharistic communion with Constantinople” (joint communion), if Constantinople will continue anticanonically activities on the territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The entire responsibility for the tragic consequences of this separation will be “personally to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the bishops who supported him”, quoted by “Interfax” Hilarion.
The members of the Synod believe that the situation around Ukraine represents a “danger for the whole world of Orthodoxy”, therefore, the ROC appealed to all local churches with a call “to initiate a fraternal pan-Orthodox discussion of the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine.”
Patriarch Kirill on September 14, said that Constantinople interferes in the Affairs of the ROC as well as in 1920-ies, when the Russian Church “was in the hardest conditions”.
September 7, Patriarch Bartholomew appointed two exarchs in Kiev “in preparation for the granting of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.” In Ukraine there are three organization calling itself Orthodox churches: unrecognized Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. UOC has a wide autonomy within the Russian Church and does not require autocephaly.
Video, photo All from Russia.