clear
Saturday November 17th, 2018 6:41PM

Russian Orthodox Church debates strategy on Ukraine

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MOSCOW (AP) — The head of the Russian Orthodox Church chaired a meeting of top priests Friday to decide how to respond to the move by Orthodox Christianity's leading body to send two envoys to Ukraine.

The Russian church claims authority over the church in Ukraine. But many Ukrainian parishes are rejecting the Moscow Patriarchate and have formed a separate church that is pushing for recognition as a self-governing, or autocephalous, institution. The church in Ukraine has been tied to Moscow Patriarchate for hundreds of years.

Calls for self-government have accentuated since Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and its support for pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

Last week, those advocating self-government received a fillip when the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate said it was sending two bishops to Ukraine as a step toward declaring ecclesiastical independence for the church there.

The move by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is considered the "first among equals" of Eastern Orthodox clerics, followed a meeting last month with Russian Orthodox Church's head, Patriarch Kirill, which failed to narrow their differences.

Patriarch Kirill strongly condemned the move while opening Friday's meeting of the Holy Synod and compared it to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's actions during the split in the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920s.

Metropolitan Onufriy, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that answers to Moscow Patriarchate, told the Holy Synod via a video call that the bishops sent by Bartholomew I had already arrived in Ukraine and established contacts with the heads of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has urged the Istanbul-based Patriarchate to grant Ukrainian Orthodox clerics full ecclesiastical independence from Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters Friday that "worrying information about possible decisions regarding the church in Ukraine causes concern."

Peskov noted that "the state can't interfere in the church affairs," but added that "preservation of the Orthodox unity is the only preferable scenario for Moscow, as well as for the entire Orthodox world."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart
Hurricane Florence has lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 mph winds and terrifying storm surge, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to a half-million homes and businesses
9:09AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Defying dangers, Idlib residents protest Syria's Assad
Syrian activists say residents in the country's last opposition-held province, Idlib, are demonstrating against President Bashar Assad, in defiance of an expected government offensive to retake the territory
9:08AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Monster typhoon barrels closer to north Philippines, China
Typhoon Mangkhut has retained its ferocious strength and shifted slightly toward more densely populated coastal provinces as it barrels closer to the northeastern Philippines, where a massive evacuation is underway
9:02AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
No joke as ex-comic becomes Slovenia's new prime minister
Slovenia's new prime minister used to make people laugh, but there is nothing funny about his new role
7:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
Kremlin: Britain could ask to interrogate poisoning suspects
The Kremlin says that Russia would consider a request by British investigators to come and interrogate the two men accused of poisoning a former spy.
6:48AM ( 2 hours ago )
Abe aims to rewrite Japan constitution as he seeks 3rd term
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is vying for a third three-year term as ruling party leader, extending his stay in power to work on his long-cherished ambition _ to revise the country's constitution
6:20AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart
Hurricane Florence has lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 mph winds and terrifying storm surge, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to a half-million homes and businesses
9:09AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Defying dangers, Idlib residents protest Syria's Assad
Syrian activists say residents in the country's last opposition-held province, Idlib, are demonstrating against President Bashar Assad, in defiance of an expected government offensive to retake the territory
9:08AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Monster typhoon barrels closer to north Philippines, China
Typhoon Mangkhut has retained its ferocious strength and shifted slightly toward more densely populated coastal provinces as it barrels closer to the northeastern Philippines, where a massive evacuation is underway
9:02AM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Perry says US energy sector ready for hurricane
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the U.S. electricity sector was well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lost power
8:56AM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: NTSB responds to area of gas explosions
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to Massachusetts to investigate a series of gas explosions blames for one death and dozens of fires
8:47AM ( 28 minutes ago )