Russian church continues dispute with Constantinople


Religiina Pravda, 28 April 2021


The RPTs [Russian Orthodox Church] is continuing to smear mud on Patriarch Bartholomew because he granted autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine [PTsU}. In particular, the vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the RPTs, Archbishop Leonid, in an interview declared that "For Bartholomew, the only canonical church in Ukraine is a grouping consisting of unrepentant schismatics," the RPTs website says.


As the representative of the RPTs declared, the Russian church does not bear responsibility for the rift with Constantinople.


"The patriarch of Constantinople and his synod did not simply lay a foundation of his jurisdiction in Ukraine; he did something that totally exceeds the limits of Orthodox ecclesiology. He simultaneously declared Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Onufry, who is recognized by everybody, and more than 100 bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church uncanonical and that they hold their titles illegally. At the same time, he announced that a grouping, fully consisting of persons who were separated from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and are unrepentant schismatics hostile to it, is the only canonical church in Ukraine," he noted.


The representative of the RPTs called the PTsU "an assemblage of schismatics" and declared that Bartholomew "broke communion with the UPTsMP; after all in his opinion such a church no longer exists."


"Is it really possible now to imagine that the patriarch of Constantinople will invite Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Onufry to concelebrate? On our part, we were forced to cease communion with the Constantinople church, being guided by church canons," the Russian hierarch declared. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 April 2021)

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