Holy Synod of Russian Church will evaluate Greek Church’s decision on Ukraine at fall session


Moscow, October 14, 2019

The Bishops’ Council of the Greek Orthodox Church formally resolved to recognize the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” at its extraordinary session on Saturday.

The Holy Synod of the Greek Church had previously recognized Patriarch Bartholomew’s right to grant autocephaly and empowered Abp. Ieronymos to guide the Greek Church to a decision. The Bishops’ Council, a broader body than the Holy Synod, consisting of every bishop of the Church, reaffirmed these Synodal decisions and accepted the Archbishop’s recommendation to recognize and enter into communion with the OCU.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Church will evaluate this decision of the Greek Church at its upcoming session, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, the Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion.

“We will carefully study the decisions made. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will assess them and their consequences for the Orthodox world and for inter-Church relations,” the Church representative said.

The next session will be held soon, sometime in the fall, he said.

Recall that the Russian Synod responded gradually to the incursions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople into its canonical territory last year. After Constantinople sent two Patriarchal Exarchs to Kiev in September to begin preparing to create the OCU, the Russian Synod resolved to stop commemorating Patriarch Bartholomew, but not to break communion.

Later, in October, when the Synod of Constantinople took it upon itself to unilaterally lift the canonical punishments imposed by the Russian Church upon the Ukrainian schismatics and to receive them in the clerical ranks they claimed for themselves, the Russian Synod resolved to fully break communion with Constantinople.

Speaking at a press conference after the Greek hierarchs’ decision on Saturday, Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos), one of the most authoritative of the Greek hierarchs today, flippantly responded to a question about the Russian Church’s reaction, saying, “We do not think about reactions; we did our duty to ensure unity. Anyone who wants to create a schism takes the responsibility.”

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Alexander Leitner10/14/2019 11:15 pm
The Russian Orthodox Church has no other option as to break communion with the greek church. They are in communion with schismatics,deposed and unordained priests, Bartholomew is a heretic and ecumenist.
Bob 10/14/2019 7:08 pm
"Terrified" of what? Of defending truth, law, and order? Sacrificing truth, law, and order for the bogus virtue of "unity?" That is exactly what ecumenism is until it becomes fully diluted into putrid nothingness. I simply pray and I believe the Russian church will stand for what is right and withstand the arrows of ridicule and persecution from its "sister" churches.
Eddie10/14/2019 4:09 pm
Vlachos! "Duty" to whom? Christ? Or the US State Department and the corpse of what was once a great Church in Istanbul?
Alexander Leitner10/14/2019 3:58 pm
Bartholomew is a heretic.
Joseph Lipper10/14/2019 3:16 pm
Hopefully the Russian Church will not respond by breaking communion with the Church of Greece and lending support to the schismatic Greek Old Calendarists. The Church of Greece really had no other option, as per their tomos, but to support the decisions of the EP, acknowledging the right of the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant autocephaly. The Church of Greece is now in a vulnerable position. Likewise, probably all of the other Local Churches are terrified of how the Russian Orthodox Church may now respond.
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