Moscow, July 9, 2018
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with a delegation from the Patriarchate of Constantinople today to discuss “issues related to the problems of preserving inter-Orthodox unity,” reports the site of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The focus of the discussion was the ongoing issue of the schismatics in Ukraine who are seeking legitimization and a tomos of autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with the backing of President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine. Having received an appeal from Poroshenko, the Holy Synod of Constantinople resolved to meet with representatives of the fraternal Local Orthodox Churches to discuss the issue.
The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been within the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate for more than 300 years.
The Constantinople delegation consisted of His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul and His Eminence Metropolitan Bartholomew of Smyrna. His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk and Archpriest Nikolai Balashov from the Russian Church’s Department for External Church Relations also participated in the meeting.
The meeting was useful for both sides, Fr. Nikolai told RIA-Novosti following the talks.
“The parties found the meeting useful, and the members of the delegation of the Church of Constantinople promised to convey to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople the position of the Russian Orthodox Church that was expressed at the meeting,” Fr. Nikolai stated.
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