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Russian Church Synod to hold emergency session on situation in Ukraine on Friday

The meeting will convene in the wake of a decision to start procedures paving the way to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's autocephaly

MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church holds an emergency session on Friday, with the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I chairing it, the Church said at its official homepage on Friday.

"On September 14, 2018, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will hold an emergency session in the Patriarchal and Synodic residence at St Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow," it said. "Patriarch Kirill I will chair it."

Sources at Moscow Patriarchate told TASS the discussions will most likely focus on the situation in Ukraine in the wake of a decision by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to appoint two exarchs to that country as part of the start of procedures to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The Synod of the Ecumenical Church reported on the appointment of the exarchs, Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon [the US] and Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton, on September 7.

At present, Ukraine is part of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church and the only canonical Orthodox Christian entity there is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Moscow Patriarchate. It has more than 12,000 parishes and 200 monasteries within its realm.

The Synod of the Russian Church expressed a resolute protest and profound indignation over the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s move and said the actions of the latter made manifest a gross violation of Church canons. It promised retaliatory steps on the part of Moscow Patriarchate shortly.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the chief of Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external Church relations said the Russian Church might break off relations with the Church of Constantinople if the latter legitimized the Ukrainian schism.