“A Threat to All of Orthodoxy”: The Russian Orthodox Church Commented on Constantinople’s Decision to Send Exarchs to Kiev

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The appointment of exarchs to Kiev by the Constantinople Patriarchy was adopted “without coordination with the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufry, and this is the most flagrant violation of church canons”. This was reported on the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church on September 8th.

“It completely contradicts the invariable position of the Constantinople Patriarchate that remains to this day and Patriarch Bartholomew personally, who repeatedly said that he recognises the Most blessed Metropolitan Onufry as the only canonical head of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine,” it is said in the statement.

The Russian Orthodox Church claims that the Constantinople Patriarch interpreted historic facts incorrectly and has abused his powers. Also, in the official statement it is said that these actions lead relations between the Russian and Constantinople Churches down a blind alley and also pose “a threat to the unity of all the world’s Orthodoxy”.

“The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church states that the completeness of responsibility for these anti-canonical acts belongs to Patriarch Bartholomew personally and those persons in the Constantinople Church who support them. The reciprocal actions of the Moscow Patriarchate will follow in the nearest future,” summarised the Russian Orthodox Church.

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