In Defense of the Unity of the Russian Church, Inter-Orthodox relations, News
On 26th December 2019, at its session held in Moscow, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church gave consideration to the consequences of the recognition by the Primate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria of the schismatic structure acting in Ukraine. Earlier, on 8th November, during the Divine Liturgy in Cairo, Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria commemorated at the Great Entrance, along with Primates of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches, the head of the Ukrainian schismatic group and officially announced his recognition of this uncanonical structure.
The Synod of the Russian Church expressed “deep sorrow over the uncanonical actions of Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria who had entered into communion with schismatics.”
As the Synod members emphasized, the decision of Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria to recognize the Ukrainian schismatics runs counter to His Beatitude’s repeated statements in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its Primate, Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, made on various occasions, in particular, in the course of his last visit to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on 27th September – 1st October 2018, three weeks after the intrusion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople into Ukraine by means of appointment of its “exarchs” to Kiev.
It was noted that the decision on the recognition of the schismatic structure in Ukraine had not been taken at the session of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria held on 7th – 9th October, nor had it been put to the vote of its hierarchs. Therefore, it does not have conciliar nature, but was taken by the Primate of this Church unilaterally.
The Russian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod confirmed the impossibility of commemorating the name of Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria in the diptychs, as well of the prayerful and Eucharistic communion with him.
At the same time the Russian Orthodox Church maintains church communion with the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria, with the exception of those who supported or will support in future the legalization of the Ukrainian schism.
By its decision the Synod suspends the activities of the Representation (Metochion) of the Patriarchate of Alexandria to the Moscow Patriarchal Throne, reorganizes the Representation of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of Alexandria into a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cairo and takes the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church located on the African continent out of the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, giving them a stravropegic status.
DECR Communication Service