Russian Orthodox Church Breaks Ties With Constantinople
The Russian Orthodox Church is breaking its ties with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which means its members will no longer be able to participate in sacraments at churches of the Constantinople Patriarchate. The church hopes that common sense will prevail. The church is led by the Russian Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, who is responsible for foreign affairs.
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Patriarch of Constantinople
The Patriarch of Constantinople has broken ties with the Russian Orthodox Church, but what does the split mean for the Russian Church? It means that clergy from the Russian Church will no longer be able to serve alongside their counterparts in the Greek Orthodox church. Likewise, Russian Orthodox laity will be unable to take part in weddings, baptisms, and communions in Greek churches. The split will also affect the relationships between Russia and the West.
The breakup is a sign of the declining influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, and this will impact Russia’s domestic and international relations. Although other Orthodox Churches have not broken ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Russian Orthodox Church is now left isolated by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Despite this, the Russian Orthodox church still has about the same number of believers as the other Orthodox churches. However, the breakup could make the Russian Orthodox church less useful to the Russian state, and could cause Moscow to continue supporting anti-Western elements in other Orthodox churches.
Regardless of the outcome of this situation, it is important to remember that the establishment of the church took time. According to Andrei Kuraev, an expert on the Orthodox church, the Russian church had been in schism with Constantinople for nearly a century before Constantinople finally recognized it as a separate church. In addition to this, the Greek church also refused to become subordinate to the patriarch of Istanbul. After that, Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia broke away from the Greek church.
Church of Ukraine annexed to Patriarchate of Moscow
The Patriarchate of Moscow is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its faithful are estimated at about 30 percent, while a survey suggests that only about 12% of Ukrainian Orthodox are Russian Orthodox. In addition, the Patriarchate of Moscow has a larger following than the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has been challenging its authority for centuries.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has remained in communion with the Patriarchate of Moscow, despite the internal disputes and Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church changed its Charter, and issued an official resolution. The change is not final, however. There are still several ways for the Church of Ukraine to respond to this latest controversy. The church council could declare the council’s decision void, replace Onufriy with a more pliable leader in Ukraine, or work to preserve the unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Patriarchate of Moscow also tries to influence the Church of Ukraine in a number of ways. For example, it has made it easier for the Russian Orthodox Church to interfere in the affairs of Kyiv metropolitan. The Moscow authorities have also increased their involvement in ecclesiastical life of the Ukraine since 1659.
Church of Russia boycotts council of russian orthodox church
A Church of Russia delegation has been criticized for boycotting the Council of Russian Orthodox Church, which met in Moscow in late May. Some Orthodox leaders say the Council is an attempt to use the Orthodox Church as a political tool. They argue that the Church is not independent and that it should be governed by a central body.
Until 1917, no Orthodox church council existed in Russia, which caused the church reform movement to stall. The absence of an all-Russia council meant that many proposals by priests and bishops were shelved. The last representative body to exist before 1917 was the Riga diocese council, which consisted of only 18-20 representatives. This meant that women and the lower clergy were excluded from the meetings.
The Council’s purpose was to determine how the Russian Orthodox Church should relate to the state and secular society. The Church has a historical component, but it does not take sides in interethnic conflicts. Its mission is to foster peace and reconciliation.
Church of Russia no longer participates in structures chaired by Patriarch of Constantinople
Russia’s breakup with the Patriarchate of Constantinople is a result of the conflict between the two churches over post-Soviet space. The two Patriarchates have been at odds for decades over various issues, including the schism in Estonia. The current standoff lasted for more than a decade. In the pre-Soviet period, the Estonian Orthodox church was a subordinate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 1945, however, it was taken over by the Moscow Patriarchate. This separation led to two Orthodox churches in the country. During the Soviet period, the Orthodox Church of Estonia was in exile in Russia.
In the meantime, the Russian Patriarchate is trying to expand its authority in Orthodoxy, and has been provoking tensions between the two churches. In 2016, Patriarch Kirill met with Pope Francis in Cuba, which was seen as a power play by Russia.