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ROC doubts schismatics to get autocephaly after Synod in Istanbul

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ROC doubts schismatics to get autocephaly after Synod in Istanbul


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ROC doubts schismatics to get autocephaly after Synod in Istanbul

Constantinople delays the creation of "autocephalous church" in Ukraine, says the head of Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media of the Moscow Patriarchate Vladimir Legoyda. He made this statement commenting on the meeting of Holy and Sacred Synod of The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul, RIA Novosti reports.

He finds the decision of the Synod very non-specific. Constantinople discussed autocephaly once again but did not even mention the date of the so-called unification council. At the same time it prepares a charter for a non-existent church.

President of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), Russian State Duma member Sergei Gavrilov said that Patriarch Bartholomew assured him in the "unification council" taking place before the end of 2018.

The Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Igor Yakimchuk noted that the hopes of Ukrainian authorities weren’t justified. Kiev hoped the meeting in Istanbul would result in a tomos of autocephaly but that never happened.

Only one point of three in the final document of the Synod concerns Ukraine and the only thing mentioned in it is the charter. How truly independent an "independent church" can be if it doesn’t even get to prepare its own charter, the priest of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) wonders. At the time time the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) prepared its charter itself, the archpriest added.

The degree of freedom Constantinople grants to subordinate structures is illustrated by its decision to abolish the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe adopted on November, 28. Igor Yakimchuk noted that this step was a surprise for all members of the Exarchate, including the First Hierarch.

He also recalled the decision of the Synod to canonize two saints for the Finnish Autonomous Orthodox Church. At the time Constantinople promised to grant the church an autocephaly but so far it has not provided it as well as the right to canonize the saints on its own. Meanwhile, the UOC itself conducts the canonization procedure, the archpriest noted.

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