Patriarch Kirill initiates Pan-Orthodox discussion of Ukrainian autocephaly
Patriarch Kirill has sent letters to the Primates of all the local Orthodox Churches, proposing to launch a “Pan-Orthodox discussion” of autocephaly for Ukraine.
According to Obozrevatel, which cites RIA Novosti, Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Mykola Balashov, reported this.
“The letters outline the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue of Ukrainian autocephaly and the possible negative consequences of the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople for the unity of universal Orthodoxy,” Balashov said.
"They also contain a proposal to make efforts to launch a Pan-Orthodox discussion of the current situation,” he said.
As reported, on September 7, the Ecumenical Patriarchate appointed two exarchs in Kyiv to prepare for the process of granting autocephaly.
The Russian Orthodox Church called this appointment "”an invasion into its canonical territory” and threatened to break the Eucharistic communion.
On September 14, the Synod of the ROC decided to cease participation in the entities under the auspices of the Constantinople Patriarchate and stop mentioning Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the Divine Liturgy.
On the same day, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate Onufriy, reporting to the participants of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, said that his Church clergymen would not meet exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine, because they came to Ukraine without their blessing.
On September 17, at a meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, the exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate stated that the process of granting autocephaly of the UOC is a “resolved issue”.
As RISU reported earlier, on September 23, Patriarch Bartholomew stated that the Church in Ukraine would receive the status of autocephaly in the near future, in spite of the existing obstacles, and this would happen because it was entitled to it.
On September 26, the Synod of the UOC-MP called the appointment of exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate “a gross interference in the internal affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the encroachment on its canonical territory.”
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church may receive autocephaly on October 9-11, 20018.