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On 14 September 2018, at its extraordinary session, the Holy Synod adopted a statement concerning the uncanonical invasion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“The unilateral, uncanonical actions of the See of Constantinople in the territory of Ukraine, committed while ignoring completely the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, indicate a direct support for the Ukrainian schism. It constitutes a great temptation among the millions-strong flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that the Patriarchate of Constantinople, considering itself to be the Mother Church for the Ukrainian Church, gives to its daughter a stone instead of bread and a serpent instead of a fish (cf. Lk. 11:11),” the statement reads.

The document notes that “in this critical situation, when Constantinople has practically refused to resolve the matter by means of dialogue,” the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to suspend the liturgical prayerful commemoration of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the con-celebration with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

“In the event that the Patriarchate of Constantinople will continue to carry out its uncanonical activities in the territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we will be compelled to completely break off the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. All the responsibility for the tragic consequences of this division will lie personally with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the hierarchs supporting him,” the statement says.

Being aware that the current situation puts in jeopardy the whole world Orthodoxy, the members of the Synod asked the Local Autocephalous Churches for support and called upon the Primates of the Churches “to fully realize our shared responsibility for the fate of the world Orthodoxy and initiate a fraternal pan-Orthodox discussion on the church situation in Ukraine.”

Patriarchal Press Service/

DECR Communication Service