The Autocephalous Patriarchate of Russian Orthodox Church Ukraine

russian orthodox church ukraine

The Russian Orthodox Church has a very large population in Ukraine. It has a long history of interfaith relations with Ukraine.

This is the reason why the Russian Orthodox Church has a very strong presence in Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchate is very concerned about the recent developments in Ukraine.

Autocephalous Church

The Autocephalous Church of russian orthodox church ukraine is an Eastern Orthodox Christian Church that traces its history to the introduction of Christianity by Volodymyr the Great. It is the largest autocephalous Orthodox Church in the world.

The Church has been recognized by the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Greece, as well as the Orthodox Churches of Alexandria and Cyprus. It also has ties with the Georgian Orthodox Church.

However, the Russian Orthodox Church has not recognised the autocephaly of the Church in Ukraine. This has led to a lot of tension between the two sides.

Earlier this year, the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced its intention to grant autocephaly to Ukraine. In response, the Russian Orthodox Church suspended its ecclesiastical relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Autocephalous Patriarchate

The Autocephalous Patriarchate of russian orthodox church ukraine was founded in January of 2019 by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with the ratification of the Patriarchal and Synodal Tomos. This was the first time in history that such a Tomos had been issued to an autocephalous Church.

The repercussions of this process have been massive, as it has strained Orthodox unity and relations with other Christian churches. It has also fueled schisms within the Church, which threaten to undermine its very survival.

However, the Russian Patriarchate has shown a consistent willingness to grant autocephaly when it serves its own interests. For example, it bestowed broad autonomy to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but kept it as part of the Moscow Patriarchate.

In recent years the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been in conflict with the Moscow Patriarchate over the Ukrainian Church’s autocephaly. This rift is being further deepened by the establishment of another rival “diocese” in Africa.

Autocephalous Bishops

Autocephaly (literally “self-headed”) is a status of a Local Church within the Orthodox Church, whose primatial bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. It is obtained through a variety of methods, and is often granted by an ecumenical council or a patriarch or primate.

The earliest example of an autocephalous Local Church was the Church of Alexandria, which received its independence from the Byzantine emperor in 466. This is the earliest recorded case of autocephaly, but it was not formally recognized by all Orthodox Churches.

Today, the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, and Cyprus have all recognized the autocephaly of Ukraine, and other Orthodox Churches are considering doing so as well. But Georgia, a country that shares many Orthodox beliefs with Ukraine, does not recognize the Ukrainian autocephaly.

In response, the pro-Kremlin media have tried to spread misinformation about the autocephaly of Ukraine and the schismatics who claim that they are part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This has only worsened the situation in Ukraine and splintered the Orthodox Church.

Autocephalous Clergy

Autocephaly is a term that refers to the independence of a religious church or a group of churches from a mother church, usually the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Patriarch of Constantinople grants autocephaly to an individual or organization after it has been accepted by all the other autocephalous Churches.

Generally, an autonomous church is self-governing with the mother church only having the right to appoint the highest-ranking bishop. The usual form of governance in an autonomous church is through a synod.

In the case of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the decision to achieve full autonomy was made by the head of the Church, Metropolitan Filaret. He subsequently requested that the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church grant it autocephaly.

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