Minsk, October 15, 2018
Today at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, convened in Minsk, Belarus, a resolution was passed by the Holy Synod concerning the Constantinople Patriarchate’s encroachment on the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, reports Patriarchia.ru.
At the session, the members of the Holy Synod recognized any further Eucharistic communion with the Constantinople Patriarchate as no longer possible.
“Participating in communion with schismatics and a person anathematized in another Local Church along with all the “bishops” and “clergy” ordained by him, encroachment on canonical territories not belonging to it, an attempt to deny its own historical decisions and obligations—all of this brings the Constantinople Patriarchate outside the boundaries of the canonical field, and, to our great sorrow, makes it impossible to continue Eucharistic communion with its hierarchs, clergy, and laity,” the Holy Synod resolved.
Further the document reads, “Henceforth and until the Constantinople Patriarchate renounces its accepted anti-canonical decisions, for all clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church it is not possible to serve with the clergy of the Constantinople Church; and for the laity, it is not possible to participate in the sacraments served in its churches.”
The Constantinople Patriarchate at the meeting of its Holy Synod from October 9–11 made the unprecedented decisions to lift the anathema from Philaret Denisenko, the self-proclaimed “Patriarch” of the “Kiev Patriarchate”, which was placed on him by the Moscow Patriarchate for his oath breaking and unrepentant schism from the canonical Church, leading others into that schism. The Constantinople Patriarchate also revoked the document it signed 300 years ago transferring the Kiev Metropolia to the Moscow Patriarchate. Both actions have been shown by experts in canon law and Church history both within and beyond Russia to be absolutely unprecedented and canonically unlawful.