Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Kathimerini: US backs Ecumenical Patriarchate in church row

Kathimerini: US backs Ecumenical Patriarchate in church row

The Moscow Patriarchate, which is aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church, long dominated in Ukraine but since the 1991 Soviet break-up has been challenged by a rival known as the Kyiv Patriarchate. Now, as Constantinople has launched a procedure of granting independence to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, some experts warn such attacks might further intensify.

Just another arcane theological dispute, you might think.

Ukrainian government troops remain in a tense stand-off in the east and Russian rule in Crimea, unrecognised internationally, has triggered wide-ranging sanctions against Moscow.

"The Dushanbe diocese is the canonical subjection of the Russian Orthodox Church".

The move is seen as a step towards the Constantinople Patriarchate granting independence to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church despite protests from Russian Federation.

Recall, October 11, in Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at the end of the Synod, announced its decision regarding Ukraine.

This reversed a 1686 decision to place the Ukrainian Church within the territory of Russia's Moscow Patriarchate. About this in an interview with Radio Ozodi reported by Monk (in the Orthodox Church a monk with a priest) Vladimir, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the UNN. Sometimes they ceremonially bless Russian military jets and space rockets.

Last week, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whose Patriarch Bartholomew is seen as the first among equals of Orthodox Church leaders, agreed to recognise the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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Mr Putin participates in big Church celebrations for Easter, Epiphany and Christmas. The move led to the Russian Orthodox Church breaking from the Greek Orthodox Church.

The split of Orthodox Christianity or the isolation of Russian Federation?

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the Kremlin was watching developments "very carefully and with a great deal of worry".

Russia also said it had to protect ethnic Russians ahead of its military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

So there is potential for serious conflict, not least because Ukraine's Orthodox believers are divided among three Churches: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), the Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the small Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). According to him, all Orthodox Christians should get united, while problems of the Eastern Orthodox Church should be considered at a council which all heads of local churches should attend. And it is now backing the creation of a new unified Orthodox Church based in Kiev. This matters because Church Jurisdictions, as well as political world leaders, are choosing sides, from Scotland, all the way to Qatar.

At the same time he said that the recognition by Constantinople of an independent church in Ukraine was "a move that leads to schism" and opens up the possibility of new splits within other Orthodox churches.

The Serbian Church is close to Moscow; the Greek Church less so, but many Greek clergy feel close to both Russian Federation and Serbia.

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