MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East who is currently in Moscow has called on all local churches to speak out against the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s actions in Ukraine where a new ecclesiastical institution brokered by Constantinople was established recently, the press service of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia reported.
"Speaking after a divine service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Patriarch John of Antioch called on all local churches to raise their voice against the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s lawlessness," the press service said.
Patriarch John of Antioch arrived in Moscow to take part in celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of Patriarch Kirill’s enthronement.
Church standoff in Ukraine
Ukraine’s current leadership has sought to create a local Orthodox church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate in the country since it came to power after the 2014 coup. Last April, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko sent a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople requesting autocephaly for the Ukrainian church.
The Poroshenko regime cobbled together a "unification council" that was held in Kiev on December 15, which announced the creation of a new church, the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Tomos of Autocephaly (a clerical decree on establishing an independent church) was handed over to its head, Metropolitan Epiphany, on January 6.
Both the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church consider the newly-established ecclesiastical institution to be schismatic. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church earlier said full communion with Constantinople was no longer possible.