MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II and Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See's Secretariat of State Paul Gallagher have expressed their disappointment over the state of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Georgian Patriarchate’s press service informed on Tuesday.
"The parties have expressed the pain they feel in their souls due to the current difficult relations between the Constantinople and the Moscow Patriarchates, and due to the difficult social and political situation in the world, adding that they are praying for peace," the message states.
Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II said during the meeting that humanity has been on the precipice of disaster many times, and it is important to protect Christian values to avoid the situation repeating.
Earlier, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople announced the decision to lift the anathema against leaders of two extracanonical churches in Ukraine - Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate and Makariy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, a representative of the patriarchate informed on the outcomes of the Holy Synod, which took place on October 9-11. The Ecumenical Patriarchate also announced that it is starting the process of granting autocephalous status to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In response to this, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has made a decision to break off all relations with Constantinople
Currently, Ukraine has one canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is a self-governing church constituent of the Moscow Patriarchate. There are also 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.