Russian Orthodox says ecumenical cooperation can help young people

  • Russian Orthodox says ecumenical cooperation can help young people

Russian Orthodox says ecumenical cooperation can help young people

The Russian Orthodox Church said on Monday (15 October) it had made a decision to sever all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in protest over its endorsement of Ukraine's request for an "autocephalous", or independent, church.

Ukraine last week secured approval from Constantinople to establish an independent church in what Kiev said was a vital step against Russian meddling in its affairs, but that the Russian Orthodox Church lamented as the biggest split in Christianity for a thousand years. With a congregation of just over five million followers, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is still considered to be the oldest Orthodox Church and the Mother Church of most modern Orthodox churches while its leader, the Ecumenical Patriarch, is widely seen as the spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians, even though his status is nothing like that of the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church.

Amfilohije's reaction reflects also a fear that Constantinople might now acknowledge another breakaway church, the Montenegrin Orthodox Church.

The Russian Orthodox Church, which claims traditional and canonical authority over the Orthodox community in Ukraine, has denied taking political sides in the conflict and said it has worked for peace in eastern Ukraine.

After Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said it was time to move towards granting autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church from Moscow, Serbia's Church leader accused him of promoting a schism.

The diocese is the canonical subjection of the Russian Orthodox Church. He also said that the present situation in the inter-Church relations has become an unfortunate result of Kiev's reckless policies.

Writing in a Facebook post, he said, "Sooner or later this will be fixed and the Russian Orthodox Church will return to communion".

Dushanbinsky of the Orthodox Church after the Russian Orthodox Church severs the ties with Constantinople.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is running for re-election in a March vote, has pushed Bartholomew to grant independence to the Ukrainian church.

Ukraine's parliament on Thursday voted to hand over a landmark Kiev church to the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate after it agreed to recognize the independence of Ukraine's Orthodox Church.

Kiev, now the capital of Ukraine, is the site of the 988 baptism of Vladimir the Great, the grand prince of Kiev, which resulted in the Christianization of Kyivan Rus', a state whose heritage Ukraine, Russia and Belarus all claim.

However Metropolitan Rostislav of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia wrote to Patriarch Kirill condemning "any attempt to legalise Ukrainian schismatics".

Constantinople has annulled the transfer of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Moscow's jurisdiction, which happened in 1686.