The Russian Orthodox Church accused the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate based in Istanbul of supporting dissident priests in Ukraine that broke away from the Russian church in the latest issue to overshadow the already fragile ties between the two churches.
The Moscow-based church, which oversees Orthodox churches around the world, claims authority over churches in Ukraine where pro-Russian insurgents started a violent conflict in 2014 that led to the secession of several regions in the country.
Metropolitan Hilarion, who heads the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, told a recent meeting of religious leaders in Geneva that the church was concerned over actions of priests from the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. He said priests from the U.S. and Canada churches, loyal to the Istanbul-based patriarchate, were engaged in "anti-canonical actions" in Ukraine and declared the patriarchate's "readiness to grant autocephaly" to Ukrainian priests who broke away from the Moscow-based church. Hilarion further criticized priests from the United States and Canada that accept "to honor people who were defrocked and excommunicated from the church and prayed together with them." He called upon the Istanbul patriarchate to stop the two churches from "destroying pan-Orthodox unity."
The Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate had not commented on accusations as the news went to print.
Both churches have been competing for decades for ecumenical status in the Orthodox world. The Fener Patriarchate in Istanbul is seeking a "primus inter pares" or "first among equals" status among 12 churches, but the Moscow-based Russian Church has questioned its attempts to do so. Despite tensions, Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church and Bartholomew of the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate met in Istanbul last year and jointly presided over a mass.
The Russian Orthodox Church seeks to increase its influence on the Orthodox faithful according to experts, especially in line with Russia's new policy pursuing a more active role in the international community. Experts say the church is instrumental in drumming up the support of the Russian diaspora across the world for Moscow's policies.
to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the
used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan
ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen