10/16/2018, 09.46
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Moscow breaks communion with Constantinople

by Vladimir Rozanskij

For the Patriarchal Synod of Moscow, it is a "forced decision" after the recognition of the "schismatics" (ie Filaret of Kiev, of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church). Also Putin and his Security Council worried about the tensions between Orthodox of Russian obedience and of Kiev in Ukraine.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate declares that it is impossible to maintain Eucharistic communion with the Orthodox Church of Constantinople. This was announced by the patriarchal synod gathered yesterday in plenary session in Minsk in Belarus. Also present at the Synod was Metropolitan Onufrij of Kiev, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox jurisdiction loyal to Moscow.

According to Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfeev), the Russian bishops consider the decision to break communion with Constantinople “a forced” one, the result of "the recent actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople". The decision means that the priests of the patriarchate of Moscow will no longer be able to celebrate the liturgy together with the representatives of the ecumenical patriarchate, including the churches of the monasteries of Mount Athos, where monks of the two Churches now in conflict are often present in the same community.

"The Church that recognized schismatics [ie Filaret of Kiev - ed], and has restored relations with them, has excluded itself from the canonical scope of the Orthodox Church," concluded Ilarion.

At the same time Russian President Vladimir Putin gathered the Security Council in Moscow, to evaluate the announced recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly. According to statements by the spokesman Dmitri Peskov, "we talked about the situation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the other Churches considered schismatic do not interest us".

Responding to journalists' questions about the possible measures of the Russian government to resolve the issue, Peskov noted that "obviously the civil authorities in Russia cannot meddle in inter-church dialogue, they never have and never will, but since Orthodoxy is one of the religions confessed in the Russian Federation, everything that happens in the Orthodox world is subjected to special attention by the State".

However, Russia is determined to defend the rights of its nationals in every circumstance and in every country, Peskov recalled, even in the case of possible confiscation of the properties of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

In recent days, some statements by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have thrown more fuel on 

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