Moscow, September 7, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate sees the Patriarch of Constantinople's decision to appoint two bishops as its exarchs in Ukraine as an unprecedentedly gross incursion into its territory and warns that this step would not be left unanswered.
"The appointment by the Patriarch of Constantinople of his episcopal representatives in Ukraine, without agreement with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, is nothing but an unprecedentedly gross incursion into the Moscow Patriarchate's canonical territory," Vladimir Legoyda, head of the Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations, said on a social network on Friday evening.
"These actions cannot be left unanswered," he said.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate's Permanent Delegation to the World Council of Churches announced in a statement on its website earlier on Friday that it had appointed Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States and Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton (Canada) as its exarchs in Kiev "within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine."
Both Archbishop Daniel and Bishop Hilarion "are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate," the statement says.