30 November 2018, 15:18
Synod meeting in Istanbul shows Constantinople not going to give Ukraine real autocephaly - Russian Church
Moscow, November 30, Interfax - The final document of the Synod meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that ended in Istanbul on Thursday clearly indicates the real level of the "independence" of the church Constantinople is trying to create with the support of Ukrainian authorities, the Russian Orthodox Church said.
"Despite the fact that several days ago, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities had high hopes for the Constantinople Patriarchate's Synod meeting and even promised to bring a tomos on autocephaly for the church they're creating from Istanbul, the real results of the meeting for them were quite moderate," Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, the secretary for inter-Orthodox relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax.
One of the three clauses of the Synod's communique is dedicated to the Ukrainian issue, he said. It indicates that the charter of the future independent church has already been elaborated. "The question is arising: what will its independence be like, if it is not even trusted to work out its own charter?" the priest said.
The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church drafted and adopted its own charter, and the discussion was free and transparent, he said.
"The level of 'freedom' Constantinople grants to its subordinate church bodies clearly illustrates the other two clauses of the communique," the priest said. "One of them is on abolishing the exarchate of Russian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe, which was a total surprise for all of its members, including its primate," he said.
Another decision is on the canonization of two saints of the Finnish Autonomous Orthodox Church, which still does not have the right to canonize its own saints, "though some time ago, in efforts to separate it from the Russian church, it was promised autocephaly, which has not been granted yet," Father Igor said.
"The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, unlike the Finnish Orthodox Church, canonizes its saints on its own," he said.