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No decision on Ukrainian autocephaly yet

October 10, 2018, 21:19 UTC+3

The second day of the Holy Synod is over, and so far, there is no news for Ukraine

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KIEV, October 10. /TASS/. So far, the Synod of the Church of Constantinople has not made a decision on granting Ukraine the status of an autocephaly, the Pryamoy TV channel stated on Wednesday.

"Literally two minutes ago, representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate came out to meet us and said that the second day of the Holy Synod is over, and so far, there is no news for Ukraine," a TV reporter said during a live transmission.

On Tuesday, a session of the Synod of the Church of Constantinople began, during which it may take a decision on granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. The session is expected to last three days, until October 11.

Autocephaly debate

In April 2018, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko addressed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople with a request to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church.

On September 7, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, as part of preparations for providing autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, appointed its exarchs (envoys) in Kiev, which is the Moscow Patriarchate’s canonical territory.

On September 23, Patriarch Bartholomew said during a Divine Liturgy in Istanbul that Ukraine has the right to obtain autocephalous status, while the Patriarchate of Constantinople has the sole right to provide autocephaly.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church responded by saying that Constantinople’s actions were a crude violation of church canons and stopped mentioning Patriarch Bartholomew during church services and conducting joint services with Bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Currently, Ukraine has one canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is a self-governing church constituent of the Moscow Patriarchate. Also, there are two religious organizations not recognized by the Orthodox Christian world - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

The Ukrainian authorities have tried to create a Local Orthodox Church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate on numerous occasions since 1991.

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