Moscow, September 24, 2021
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church met in Moscow yesterday and today under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Among other things, the hierarchs evaluated and condemned the recent visit of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Ukraine, which was undertaken without the invitation and blessing of the proper canonical authorities—Patriarch Kirill and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
As the Synod notes in its report, such an act is a “gross violation of the canons, in particular, the 3rd Canon of the Council of Sardica, and the 13th Canon of the Council of Antioch.”
The Synod “also noted the purely political nature of the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew, which reveals his dependence on external forces in relation to the Church.”
While the Russian Church remains ever grateful to Constantinople for bringing it the Orthodox faith, “the noble exploits of the ever-memorable Patriarchs of Constantinople in the past do not justify the current canonical crimes of Patriarch Bartholomew.”
By entering into communion with the schismatics in Ukraine, Pat. Bartholomew lost the trust of millions of Ukrainian Orthodox faithful, the Synod laments, and bears responsibility for undermining the unity of the Church.
The Russian Church has consistently responded to Constantinople’s ill-willed attacks on its canonical territory. After Pat. Bartholomew sent exarch bishops to Ukraine to prepare for the false “unification council” without the proper episcopal permission, the Synod authorized Pat. Kirill to cease commemoration of Pat. Bartholomew, but without breaking communion.
However, after Constantinople announced in October that it had entered into communion with anathematized schismatics and that it intended to create a new church on the territory of the ancient Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Russian Synod fully broke communion with Constantinople, which had willfully become one with the Ukrainian schismatics.