MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The Russian Orthodox Church has recognized Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople as a schismatic based on the Orthodox Church canons, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Russian church’s external relations, said on Rossiya’24 TV channel on Saturday.
"The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has joined the schism himself by recognizing schismatic individuals. That is how the church canons work. Therefore, the Patriarch of Constantinople is a schismatic for us," Metropolitan Hilarion said.
On October 11, a Synod meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided to "proceed with granting autocephaly (self-governance) to the Church of Ukraine." The Synod revoked a legally binding status of the 1686 letter, which empowered the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev. In addition, the Synod decided to re-establish the office of the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kiev, which means its head would be subordinate directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Moreover, the Synod lifted an anathema from the heads of two uncanonical churches in Ukraine - Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate, and Makary of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church.
In response, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church said on October 15 it had been left with no choice but to sever Eucharistic ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.