Russian Orthodox Church breaks off relations with Ecumenical Patriarchate over Ukraine church
The Russian Orthodox Church broke off relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, seat of the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, on Monday over the latter’s decision to grant autocephaly, or independence, to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The decision came during a meeting of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod in Minsk, Belarus.
In statements to the press reported by Sputnik, representative of the Moscow Patriarchate’s External Relations Department Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk said that “our Holy Synod was unable to make a different decision, because the entire logic of the Constantinople Patriarchate’s recent actions was leading to this.”
He also expressed the hope the decision will be reversed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which counts in its fold close to 300 million Orthodox Christians.