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The Moscow–Constantinople schism,[a] also known as the Orthodox Church schism of 2018,[b] is a schism which began on 15 October 2018 when the Russian Orthodox Church unilaterally severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. This was done in response to a decision of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 11 October 2018 which confirmed the intention of moving towards granting autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, to reestablish a stauropegion (church body ruled directly by the Ecumenical Patriarch) in Kiev, to revoke the legal binding of the letter of 1686 which led to the Russian Orthodox Church establishing jurisdiction over the Ukrainian Church, and to lift the excommunications which affected clergy and faithful of two unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox churches. Those two churches, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), were competing with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (UOC-MP) and were considered "schismatics" (illegally segregated groups) by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
In its synod on 14 September 2018, the Moscow Patriarchate had broken off participation in any episcopal assemblies, theological discussions, multilateral commissions, and any other structures that are chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In its statement of 15 October, the Russian Orthodox Church barred all members of the Moscow Patriarchate from taking part in communion, baptism, and marriage at any church controlled by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The schism forms part of a wider political conflict involving Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimea and its military intervention in Ukraine, as well as Ukraine's desire to join the European Union and NATO. This schism is reminiscent of the Moscow–Constantinople schism of 1996 over canonical jurisdiction over Estonia, which was however resolved after less than three months.
- 1 Background
- 2 September 2018: Russian Orthodox synod's "retaliatory measures" and the aftermath
- 3 Question of Ukraine's autocephaly
- 4 Break of communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Russian Orthodox Church
- 5 Further escalation
- 6 Reactions
- 7 Canonical issues
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Literature
After the baptism of Rus'[c] this lands were under the control of the Metropolitan of Kiev. Among the 24 metropolitans who held the throne before the Mongol invasion, only two were of local origin and the rest were Greek. Usually, they were appointed by Constantinople and were not chosen by the bishops of their dioceses, as it should be done according to the Canon. After the Mongol invasion, the southern part of Rus' was heavily devastated and the disintegration of Kievan Rus' accelerated. Metropolitan Kirill III, who occupied the throne for 30 years, spent almost all of his time in the lands of Vladimir-Suzdal Rus' and visited Kiev only twice, although earlier he had come from Galicia and had been nominated for the post of Metropolitan by the prince Daniel of Galicia. After the new Mongol raid in 1299, Metropolitan Maksim finally moved to Vladimir in the north, and did not even leave a bishop behind. In 1303 a new cathedra was created for south-west Rus' in Galicia and the new Metropolitan was consecrated by Constantinople, but its existence ended in 1355 after the Galicia–Volhynia Wars. In 1325, Metropolitan Peter moved to Moscow, thus greatly contributing to the rise of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which gradually conquered other Russian principalities in the northeast of the former Kievan Rus'. Another part of Kievan Rus' gradually came under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland, which entered into rivalry with Moscow. In particular, the Grand Dukes of Lithuania sought from Constantinople a separate Metropolitan for the Orthodox who lived in their lands. Although the Metropolitan in Moscow continued to retain the title of "Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus'", he could not rule the Orthodox outside the borders of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Constantinople twice agreed to create a separate Metropolitan for Lithuania, but these decisions were not permanent, Constantinople being inclined to maintain a single church government on the lands of the former Kievan Rus'.
In 1439, Constantinople entered into union with the Roman Catholic Church. In Moscow, this decision was rejected outright, and Metropolitan Isidor, consecrated by Constantinople, was accused in heresy, imprisoned, and later expelled. In 1448, the council of north-eastern Russian clergy in Moscow, at the behest of prince Vasily II of Moscow, elected Jonah the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus' without the consent of the Patriarch of Constantinople. In 1469 Patriarch Dionysius I stated that Constantinople would not recognize any metropolitan ordained without its blessing. Meanwhile, the metropolis of Kiev (de facto in Novogrudok) stayed under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Moscow's de facto independence from Constantinople remained unrecognized until 1589 when Patriarch of Constantinople Jeremiah II approved the creation of a new, fifth Orthodox Patriarchate in Moscow. This decision was finally confirmed by the four older Patriarchs in 1593.
The Patriarch of Moscow became the head of "all Russia and Northern countries", and Chernihiv (now in Ukraine) was one of his dioceses. However, he had no power among the Orthodox bishops of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, who remained under the rule of Constantinople. At the same time, the Orthodox hierarchs of those lands were inclined to the Union with Rome, despite the resistance of their parishes, who formed the Orthodox brotherhoods (or fraternities) to keep their identity. On the way from Moscow, Jeremiah II visited the lands of present-day Ukraine and committed an unprecedented act, granting Stauropegia (direct subordination to Patriarch) to many Orthodox brotherhoods. This provoked the anger of the local bishops and soon the Union of Brest was proclaimed, which was supported by the majority of the Orthodox bishops of the Commonwealth, including Metropolitan Michail Rogoza. Officially, the Orthodox (but not the Uniate, subordinated to Rome) Metropolis of Kiev in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was eliminated and re-established only in 1620, in subsequent co-existence with Uniate Metropolis. That led to sharp conflict and numerous revolts culminating in the Khmelnytsky uprising.
In 1654, Russia entered the war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; it quickly occupied, for a while, the lands of present Belarus, and gained some power over the Hetmanate pursuant to the Pereyaslav Agreement (1654). The official title of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow was "Patriarch of Moscow and all Great, Lesser, and White Russia". However, the Metropolitan of Kiev Sylvester Kossov had managed to defend his independence from the Moscow Patriarchate. The Moscow government, which needed the support of the Orthodox clergy, postponed the resolution of this issue.
In 1686, Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius IV approved the new Metropolitan of Kiev, Gedeon Chetvertinsky, who would be ordained by the Moscow Patriarchate and thus transferred, albeit with certain qualifications, a part of the Kiev ecclesiastical province to the jurisdiction of Patriarchate of Moscow (the Russian Orthodox Church).
In the 1924 Tomos (decree) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which granted independence to the Polish Orthodox Church, the previous transfer of the Kyivan Church to the jurisdiction of Moscow (in 1685–1686) was declared uncanonical. In addition, the decree pointed out that the conditions of the synodal "Act" of 1686 – which specified that the Russian Orthodox Church was only to consecrate the Metropolitan of Kiev – were never adhered to by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
1996 schism over Estonia
The Moscow–Constantinople schism of 1996 began on 23 February 1996, when the Russian Orthodox Church severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and ended on 16 May 1996 when the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate reached an agreement establishing parallel jurisdictions. The excommunication was in response to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's decision on 20 February 1996 to reestablish an autonomous Orthodox church in Estonia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate's canonical jurisdiction.
The 1996 schism has similarities with the schism of October 2018: both schisms were caused by a dispute between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning the canonical jurisdiction over a territory in Eastern Europe over which the Russian Orthodox Church claimed to have the exclusive canonical jurisdiction, such territory being a part of the former Soviet Union, which upon its collapse had become an independent state (Ukraine in 2018, Estonia in 1996). The break of communion in 1996 was made by Moscow unilaterally, as in 2018.
September 2018: Russian Orthodox synod's "retaliatory measures" and the aftermath
On 14 September 2018, in response to the appointment of two exarchs (deputies of the Ecumenical Patriarch) in Ukraine (Daniel (Zelinsky) and Hilarion (Rudnyk)), and in response to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's plans to grant autocephalous status to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the synod of Russian Orthodox Church held an extraordinary session to take "retaliatory measures" and decided:
1. To suspend the liturgical prayerful commemoration of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
2. To suspend concelebration with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
3. To suspend the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in all Episcopal Assemblies, theological dialogues, multilateral commissions and other structures chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
4. To adopt a statement of the Holy Synod concerning the uncanonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine.
A statement was released the same day explaining the situation and the sanctions taken to protest against the Ecumenical Patriarch's behavior. On the same day, Metropolitan Hilarion clarified the situation in an interview, stating that this decision is not a rupture of Eucharistic communion and does not concern the laity, but nonetheless added:
"But we refuse to concelebrate with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople since every time they mention the name of their Patriarch during the liturgy while we have suspended it. [...] We do not think, of course, that all this will finally shut the door for dialogue, but our today's decision is a signal to the Patriarchate of Constantinople that if the actions of this kind continue, we will have to break the Eucharistic communion entirely. [...] [A]fter the breaking-off of the Eucharistic communion, at least a half of this 300-million-strong population will no longer recognize him as even the first among equals."
On 23 September 2018 Patriarch Bartholomew, during a mass he was celebrating in the Saint Fokas Orthodox Church declared that he "had sent a message that Ukraine would receive autocephaly as soon as possible, since it is entitled to it"
On 30 September 2018, in an interview to Izvestia daily published on the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion commented: "The Russian Church does not need to fear isolation. If Constantinople continues its anti-canonical actions, it will place itself outside the canonical space, outside the understanding of church order that distinguishes the Orthodox Church."
On 2 October, Patriarch Kirill of the ROC sent a letter to all the autocephalous Orthodox churches to ask them to hold a "Pan-Orthodox discussion" concerning the question of Ukraine's autocephaly.
On 5 October, the Metropolitan Pavel, head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church (exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church), announced the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on 15 October in Minsk. He said that "The situation with the Orthodox Church in Ukraine will be on the agenda of the meeting". This meeting had been announced previously on 7 January 2018 and was at the time "most likely to take place in mid October."
On 9 October, Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church warned that "if the project for Ukrainian autocephaly is carried through, it will mean a tragic and possibly irretrievable schism of the whole Orthodoxy." He added that "ignoring sacred canons shakes up the whole system of the church organism. Schismatics in other Local Churches are well aware that if autocephaly is given to the Ukrainian schismatics, it will be possible to repeat the same scenario anywhere. That is why we state that autocephaly in Ukraine will not be ‘the healing of the schism’ but its legalization and encouragement."
Question of Ukraine's autocephaly
On 11 October 2018 the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it would grant autocephaly to the "Church of Ukraine". This decision led the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to break communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 15 October 2018, which marked the beginning of the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism. On 15
December 2018, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was formed after a unification council between the UAOC, the UOC-KP, and two bishops of the UOC-MP. Most of the hierarchs of the UOC-MP ignored the council and over half of them had sent invites back to the Ecumenical Patriarch. On 5 January 2019, Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, signed the official decree (tomos) that granted autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and officially established the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. On 6 January, after a Liturgy celebrated by Metropolitan Epiphanius and Patriarch Bartholomew, Partriarch Bartholomew read the tomos of the OCU and then gave it to Metropolitan Epiphanius.
Break of communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Russian Orthodox Church
On 15 October 2018, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, meeting in Minsk, decided to cut all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate. This decision forbade joint participation in all sacraments, including communion, baptism, and marriage, at any church worldwide controlled by Constantinople. At the time of the schism, the Russian Orthodox Church had over 150 million followers, more than half of all Eastern Orthodox Christians. The same day, after the synod, a briefing for journalists was given by Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, in which he declared that "[t]he decision on complete cessation of the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople was taken today."
Doctor in theology Cyrill Govorun (uk) of the UOC-MP argued that the break of communion between the churches of Moscow and Constantinople did not constitute a real schism (like the one of 1054), but a "slit". Protestant publication Christianity Today called the break of communion between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church the "biggest schism since 1054" and "the biggest Christian schism since the Protestant Reformation"
On 12 November the first priest was sent by Patriarch Kirill to Istanbul (Turkey) "at the request of Russian believers who live in Turkey". On 14 December the Ecumenical Patriarchate published an announce of Metropolitan Sotirios of Pisidia in which he condemned the plans of the ROC priest to celebrate a mass in Belek (Turkey) with the help of the Russian consulate and without the permission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which has canonical jurisdiction over this territory.
On 26 November, Metropolitan Hilarion declared that the ROC would send a priest in South Korea and declared the plans "to create a full-fledged parish", because until the 1950s in Korea was a Russian Spiritual Mission whose faithful were in the 1950s transferred to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's jurisdiction. The priest is scheduled to be sent by the end of the year.
On 27 November 2018 the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to dissolve the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe (AROCWE) "thereby entrusting its faithful to the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne in Europe". This decision was made without any official requests from the hierarchs of the diocese and caused confusion. On 15 December Pastoral Assembly of AROCWE decided to call an extraordinary General Assembly, scheduled for 23 February 2019. This General Assembly will discuss the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to dissolve the AROCWE. ROC officials responded with a reminder of the proposal to move to the Moscow Patriarchate of 2003.
On 7 January 2019, during the festive Christmas liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Patriarch Kirill of the ROC did not mention a single name of the primates of other local Orthodox Churches, with whom the ROC is in canonical communion. Such commemoration (in Greek, it is called "diptych") is demanded by a church charter and is a centuries-old tradition. In contrast to this, the head of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius, solemnly listed the names of all the primates, including the "Most Holy Patriarch of Russia Kirill".
- Russia: On 12 October 2018, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, "held an operational meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council" (the Security Council of Russia) that discussed "a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues, including the situation around the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine", according to Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
- Ukraine: Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, enthusiastically welcomed Constantinople's October decision, and presented the Ukrainian Church's independence as part of Ukraine's wider conflict with Russia, and Ukraine's desire to integrate with the West by joining the European Union and NATO. On 28 November 2018 Ukrainian President Poroshenko declared that the Kerch Strait incident was provoked by Russia in order to force Ukraine to declare martial law and therefore to prevent Ukraine from receiving its tomos of autocephaly.
- United States: The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, urged all sides to respect the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reiterating the United States' "strong support for religious freedom and the freedom of members of religious groups".
- Belarus: the President of Belarus, the country in which the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church took place, met members of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on 15 October 2018 after the ROC's decision to sever communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- Montenegro: On 21 December 2018, the Montenegrin President said the State of Montenegro had the responsibility to consolidate the autocephaly of the unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church.
Reactions of the Orthodox churches
Numerous Orthodox churches took position concerning the question of the canonical jurisdiction over Ukraine, whether before or after this schism.
The schism has its root in a dispute over who between the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Patriarchate of Constantinople has canonical jurisdiction over the See of Kyiv (Kiev) and, therefore, which patriarchate has canonical jurisdiction over the territory of Ukraine. "[T]he principal argument proposed [concerning the granting of the ecclesiastical status of autocephaly to Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarchate] is that Ukraine "constitutes the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow" and that, consequently, such an act on the part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate would comprise an "intervention" into a foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction." The Patriarchate of Moscow's claim of canonical jurisdiction is based mostly on two documents: the Patriarchal and Synodal “Act” or “Letter of Issue” of 1686, and a 1686 Patriarchal Letter to the Kings of Russia. Both those documents are reproduced in the "Appendix" section of a study published by the Ecumenical Patriarch called The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church – The Documents Speak. The Church of Constantinople claims the Church of Constantinople has canonical jurisdiction over the See of Kyiv and that the documents upon which the Russian Orthodox Church bases its claim of jurisdiction over said See of Kyiv do not support the ROC's claim.
On 1 July 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarch said that Constantinople was the Mother church of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and declared that "Constantinople never ceded the territory of Ukraine to anyone by means of some ecclesiastical Act, but only granted to the Patriarch of Moscow the right of ordination or transfer of the Metropolitan of Kiev on the condition that the Metropolitan of Kiev should be elected by a Clergy-Laity Congress and commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch. [It is written] in the Tomos of autocephaly, which was granted by the Mother Church [Constantinople] to the Church of Poland: “[...] original separation from our Throne of the Metropolis of Kiev and of the two Orthodox churches of Lithuania and Poland, which depend on it, and their annexation to the Holy Church of Moscow, in no way occurred according to the binding canonical regulations, nor was the agreement respected concerning the full ecclesial independence of the Metropolitan of Kiev, who bears the title of Exarch of the Ecumenical Throne..."" The ROC considers this argument "groundles[s]".
Ecumenical Patriarchate's claims
The Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a document authored by various clerics and theologians called The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church – The Documents Speak. This document analyzes canonical historic documents (namely the Patriarchal and Synodal "Act" or "Letter of Issue" of 1686 and the 1686 Patriarchal Letter to the Kings of Russia) to see if the claim over the See of Kyiv by the Patriarch of Moscow is canonical or not. The date of publication of this document is unknown, but the earliest online version can be found on 28 September 2018 on the website of the Greek Orthodox Archidiocese of America in PDF in English as well as in Greek. In September 2018, the Holy Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Malta issued a translation which was on 17 October published on the official Italian website of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe. The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church was translated in Ukrainian as of 6 October 2018.
The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church concludes that:
"[T]hrough the autocratic abolition of the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch by each Metropolitan of Kyiv, the de jure dependence of the Metropolis of Kyiv (and the Church of Ukraine) on the Ecumenical Patriarchate was arbitrarily rendered an annexation and amalgamation of Ukraine to the Patriarchate of Moscow. [...] All these events took place in a period when the Ecumenical Throne was in deep turmoil and incapable "on account of the circumstances of the time to raise its voice against such capricious actions[.]" [...] The Church of Ukraine never ceased to constitute de jure canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. [...] The Ecumenical Patriarchate was always aware of this despite the fact that, "on account of the circumstances of the time", it tolerated the arbitrary actions by the Patriarchate of Moscow. [...] [T]he Ecumenical Patriarchate is entitled and obliged to assume the appropriate maternal care for the Church of Ukraine in every situation where this is deemed necessary."
Constantin Vetochnikov, two PhD in theology, PhD in history and member of the Collège de France, who participated in Augustus 2016 to the 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Belgrade where he made a report on the subject of the transfer of the See of Kyiv, and who helped the Ecumenical Patriarchate on The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church, declared on 27 December 2016 that the transfer of the See of Kyiv from the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church "never took place".
Later, Vetoshnikov made an analysis of the arguments of the Russian Orthodox Church. He pointed out that, according to the strict dogmatic approach (akribeia, ἀκρίβεια), the whole territory of Russia was originally subjected to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. After the Muscovy had gone into the schism in the XV century, it received autocephaly according to a more flexible approach (oikonomia, οἰκονομία) to heal this schism. The Metropolitan of Kiev at the same time remained within the jurisdiction of Constantinople. Then, also according to the oikonomia approach, the right to ordain Metropolitans of Kiev was transferred to the Patriarch of Moscow. This was not a change in the boundaries of the Moscow Patriarchate eparchy, as it was issued by a document of a lower level (ekdosis, ἐκδόσεως), which was used for various temporary solutions. For pastoral reasons, the Ecumenical Patriarchate subsequently did not assert its rights to this territory. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union there was a split among the Orthodox of Ukraine and the Russian Church for 30 years failed to overcome this split. And now, also for pastoral reasons, the Ecumenical Patriarchate was forced to act in accordance with the principle of akribeia, and so it decided to abolish the right to ordain Metropolitans of Kiev which had been earlier transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate in accordance with oikonomia.
Arguments against the Ecumenical Patriarchate's claims
On 20 August 2018, the pro-Moscow anonymous site Union of Orthodox Journalists analysed the Ecumenical Patriarchate's claim of jurisdiction over Ukraine and concluded the See of Kyiv had been transferred to the Patriarchate of Moscow. They added that even if the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to abrogate the 1686 transfer, the territory covered in 1686 by the See of Kyiv's territory was "a far cry from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of today" and covered less than half of Ukraine's current territory.
Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, declared in an interview that Constantinople's plan to "grant Autocephaly to a part of the Russian Orthodox Church [...] that once was subordinate to Constantinople [...] runs counter to historic truth". His argument is that the entire territory of Ukraine has not been under Constantinople's jurisdiction for 300 years because the Kiev metropolis that was incorporated into the Moscow Patriarchate in 1686 was much smaller (it did not include Donbass, Odessa and some other regions) and therefore does not coincide with the present-day territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A similiar argument was given on 13 November in a live phone interview to Radio Liberty by the Head of the Information and Education Department of the UOC-MP, Archbishop Clement.
Archbishop Clement of the UOC-MP considers that "to revoke the letter on the transfer of the Kiev Metropolis in 1686 is the same as to cancel the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils of the 4th or 7th centuries."
On 8 November the pro-Moscow anonymous website Union of Orthodox Journalists analyzed the same documents as The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church (the Patriarchal and Synodal "Act" or "Letter of Issue" of 1686 and the 1686 Patriarchal Letter to the Kings of Russia) and concluded that the See of Kiev had been "completely transferred to the jurisdiction of the Russian Church in 1686".
Possibility of a pan-Orthodox synaxis on the question of Ukraine
The possibility of a pan-Orthodox synaxis (consultative assembly or conference) has been raised before and after the official break of communion.
On 29 September 2018, the Reverend Alexander Volkov, the press secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow, declared that the local Orthodox churches may initiate a pan-Orthodox Synaxis on the issue of granting autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine, however the problem was that the convening such a synaxis is "a prerogative of the First among the Equals, that is, the Ecumenical Patriarch". Volkov noted there was "[o]thers forms [of pan-Orthodox synaxis]. There are the elders of the Church who can take this task upon themselves. [...] If you look at the Diptychs [the table specifying the order of commemorating the Primates of Orthodox Churches – TASS], the next in line [after the Ecumenical Patriarch – TASS] is the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria. Or else, there is the so-called synaxis of the eldest Patriarchs – of Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch[.]"
Thus far, Patriarch John X of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of the Church of Cyprus, the Polish Orthodox Church primate Metropolitan Sawa (Hrycuniak), the Orthodox Church in America primate Metropolitan Tikhon,[d] Archbishop Anastasios, primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church, and three hierarchs of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Metropolitans Gabriel of Lovech, John of Varna and Veliki Preslav, and Daniel of Vedin) have expressed their desire for a pan-Orthodox synaxis or pan-Orthodox council over the question of Ukraine in various statements. On 12 November 2018, the synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church published a communiqué in which they requested the convocation of a Pan-Orthodox Synod.
On 7 November, answering the question "Who could, for instance, convene a Pan-Orthodox Council and chair it?", Metropolitan Hilarion declared in an interview, which was published on the official website of the ROC Department for External Church Relations, that it was "obvious" that the Ecumenical Patriarch could not chair a Pan-Orthodox Council since "the most important problems in the Orthodox world are linked with precisely his [Ecumenical Patriarch] anti-canonical activity".
On 4 December, in an interview, when asked about the fact that convoking a pan-Orthodox council was "according to the canons" a prerogative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Metropolitan Hilarion replied: "which canons ? [...] I believe those canons do not exist, the Ecumenical councils were not convoked by the Ecumenical Patriarch, they were convoked by the emperor. The fact the Patriarch of Constantinople has been given the right to convey councils in the 20th century is the result of a consensus reached by the local Orthodox churches. It is not at a personnal initiative that the council is convoked, but only with the consent of all the local churches. We had, until recently, the first among equals, that is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who convoked the councils in the name [...] of the local Orthodox churches. Now, the unifiying element is no more the Patriarchate of Constantinople which, so to speak, autodestroyed itself. It is its decision. [...] We have to think about the future: who will convoke the councils, will it be the Patriarch of Alexandria, or another Patriarch, or else we will generally not have a council? Whatever. The Patriarch of Constantinople, as long as he stays in schism, even if he convokes a council the Russian Orthodox Church will not take part in it."
Information directly related to the subject of the article:
- Granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
- Reactions of the Orthodox churches to the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism
- Unification council of the Orthodox churches of Ukraine
- Orthodox Church of Ukraine
- 1996 Moscow–Constantinople schism
- Bulgarian schism
- Schism of 1054
- Eastern Orthodox Church organization
- Russian irredentism
- Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present)
- Russia–Ukraine relations
- Russian nationalism
- Ukrainian nationalism
- Russian: Раскол между РПЦ и Константинопольским; Ukrainian: Розкол між РПЦ і Константинопольським, lit. ROC–Constantinople split
- Russian: Раскол Православной церкви; Ukrainian: Розкол Православної церкви, lit. split of the Orthodox Church
- Rus' is a region inhabited by East Slavs who were once ruled by princes from the Rurik dynasty. This term refers to the Middle Ages, in contrast to the more modern "Russia".
- Autocephaly for the Orthodox Church in America was granted by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1970 and is not yet fully recognized by all the other Orthodox Churches (including the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople).
- "Moscow weighs up the consequences of Orthodox Church schism". The Independent. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
- "Statement by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the encroachment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the canonical territory of the Russian Church | The Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-26. see also: MacFarquhar, Neil (15 October 2018). "Russia Takes Further Step Toward Major Schism in Orthodox Church". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
- Zhukovsky, Arkadii. "Stauropegion". Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
- "Patriarchal Letter to the Kings of Russia", THE ECUMENICAL THRONE AND THE CHURCH OF UKRAINE –The Documents Speak (September 2018), pp. 35–39 (English translation based on the text published in: Собрание государственных грамот и договоров, хранящихся в государственной коллегии иностранных дел [Collection of state documents and treaties kept in the Collegium of Foreign Affairs], Part Four, Moscow, 1826, 514–517).
- "Statement by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the encroachment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the canonical territory of the Russian Church | The Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-26. "the report of the Patriarchate of Constantinople published on October 11, 2018, about the following decisions of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: confirming the intention ‘to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church; opening a ‘stauropegion’ of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Kiev; ‘restoring in the rank of bishop or priest’ the leaders of the Ukrainian schism and their followers and ‘returning their faithful to church communion’; ‘recalling the 1686 patent of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the transfer of the Metropolis of Kiev to the Moscow Patriarchate as its part."
- "Announcement (11/10/2018). – Announcements – The Ecumenical Patriarchate". patriarchate.org. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
- "Statement by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the encroachment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the canonical territory of the Russian Church | The Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
To admit into communion schismatics and a person anathematized in other Local Church [Filared, head of the UOC-KP] with all the ‘bishops’ and ‘clergy’ consecrated by him, the encroachment on somebody else's canonical regions, the attempt to abandon its own historical decisions and commitments – all this leads the Patriarchate of Constantinople beyond the canonical space and, to our great grief, makes it impossible for us to continue the Eucharistic community with its hierarch, clergy and laity. From now on until the Patriarchate of Constantinople's rejection of its anti-canonical decisions, it is impossible for all the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church to concelebrate with the clergy of the Church of Constantinople and for the laity to participate in sacraments administered in its churches.See also: "The Ecumenical Patriarchate recognises the independence of the Orthodox metropolis of Kiev". OSW. 2018-10-12. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
The recognition of the canonical legitimacy of the two church structures (the KP UOC and the UAOC), which had hitherto been regarded as schismatic, may be assumed to be just a temporary step, aimed at facilitating the reunification of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church into a single organisation.See also :"Metropolitan Hilarion: Filaret Denisenko was and remains a schismatic | The Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-10-29. See also : "Russian Orthodox Church Breaks Ties With Constantinople Patriarchate". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
- "Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the uncanonical intervention of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church | The Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
- Max Seddon; Roman Olearchyk (14 October 2018). "Putin suffers Crimea blowback with Orthodox Church schism". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
But both sides acknowledge the canonical dispute is a proxy for a wider battle over Kiev's independence from Moscow. ... Speaking in front of Kiev's oldest church on Sunday, Mr Poroshenko cast "autocephaly", or autonomy for the Ukrainian church, as part of Kiev's broader push for integration with the west through EU and Nato membership while withdrawing from agreements with Russia
- Volodomyr Shuvayev (19 October 2018). "How Geopolitics Are Driving the Biggest Eastern Orthodox Schism in a Millennium". Stratfor. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
- ERR, Jason Van Boom, PhD candidate, University of Tartu | (2018-10-21). "Moscow-Constantinople split highlighting Estonia's role in Orthodox church". ERR. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
- Shubin 2004, p. 39-41.
- Shubin 2004, p. 87-88.
- Shubin 2004, p. 94.
- Rowell, S. C. (1994). Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe, 1295–1345. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-45011-9.
- Hosking 1991, p. 4-5.
- Shubin 2004, p. 124-129.
- Shubin 2004, p. 130-132.
- Shubin 2005, p. 17,35.
- Jenny Berglund; Thomas Lundén; Peter Strandbrink (19 May 2015). Crossings and Crosses: Borders, Educations, and Religions in Northern Europe. De Gruyter. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-61451-655-2.
- In Russian translation Патриарх Московский и всея России и северных стран
- Shubin 2005, p. 26.
- Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). A History of Ukraine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 255–256. ISBN 978-0-8020-0830-5. Kubijovyc, Volodymyr (1988). Encyclopedia of Ukraine: Volume II: G-K. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9781442651180.
- 1924 Tomos of Ecumenical Patriarchate – Holy Greek Pan Orthodox Autocephalous Archdiocese Canada and America with Holy Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Archdiocese in Exile (Blessings of Kiev).
- "THE ECUMENICAL THRONE AND THE CHURCH OF UKRAINE – THE DOCUMENTS SPEAK – Theological and Other Studies – The Ecumenical Patriarchate". patriarchate.org/. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
- "Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church 8 November 2000 : Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
Patriarch Bartholomew issued an ‘Act’ on 20 February 1996 on the renewal of the 1923 Tomos of Patriarch Meletius IV and on the establishment of the ‘Autonomous Orthodox Estonian Metropolia’ on the territory of Estonia. Temporal administration was entrusted to Archbishop John of Karelia and All Finland. A schismatic group headed by the suspended clergymen was accepted into canonical communion. Thus the schism in Estonia became a reality.
On 23 February 1996, in response to the one-sided and illegal actions of Patriarch Bartholomew the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved to recognize them ‘as schismatic and compelling our Church to suspend canonical and Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople… and to omit the name of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the diptych of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches’.
- "Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church 8 November 2000 : Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
The text of the memorandum was agreed upon and included into the decisions taken by the Synods of the Orthodox Churches of Constantinople and Moscow on 16 May 1996. The document restored the interrupted communion between the two Patriarchates.
- "CNEWA – The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church". cnewa.org. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
On May 16 both Holy Synods formally adopted the recommendations made at the Zurich meeting. The agreement provided for parallel jurisdictions in Estonia, and allowed individual parishes and clergy to join either the Estonian autonomous church under Constantinople or the diocese that would remain dependent on Moscow. For its part, Constantinople agreed to a four-month suspension of its February 20th decision to re-establish the Estonian autonomous church. Moscow agreed to lift the penalties that had been imposed on clergy who had joined the autonomous church. Both Patriarchates agreed to work together with the Estonian government, so that all Estonian Orthodox might enjoy the same rights, including rights to property. As a result of this agreement, full communion was restored between Moscow and Constantinople, and the name of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was again included in the diptychs in Moscow.
- "Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church 8 November 2000 : Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
- "communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the autonomy of the Church of Estonia". orthodoxa.org. 24 February 1996. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- Steinfels, Peter (28 February 1996). "Russian Church Breaks Off From Orthodoxy's Historic Center". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
- "MINUTES of the Holy Synod's held on 14 September 2018 | The Russian Orthodox Church (MINUTE No. 69)". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
- "JOURNALS of a Meeting of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate on September 14, 2018". synod.com. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
- "Russian Orthodox Church cuts ties with Constantinople over Ukraine". BBC News. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
- "Metropolitan Hilarion: The decision to suspend the liturgical mention of the Patriarch of Constantinople does not imply breaking off the Eucharistic communion | The Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
- "Patriarch Bartholomew says he won't back away from his intention to grant autocephaly to Ukrainian Church". risu.org.ua. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
- Panagiotisandriopoulos (2018-09-23). "Φως Φαναρίου : ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ: "Η ΟΥΚΡΑΝΙΑ ΘΑ ΛΑΒΕΙ ΤΟ ΑΥΤΟΚΕΦΑΛΟ ΔΙΟΤΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΔΙΚΑΙΩΜΑ ΤΗΣ"". Φως Φαναρίου. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
- "Metropolitan Hilarion: Isolation need not to be feared | The Russian Orthodox Church". mospat.ru. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
- Патриарх Кирилл обратился к предстоятелям поместных церквей из-за ситуации вокруг УПЦ. РИА Новости (in Russian). 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
- "Patriarch Kirill initiates Pan-Orthodox discussion of Ukrainian autocephaly". risu.org.ua. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
- "Synod of Greek Church opposes Pan-Orthodox discussion of Ukraine's autocephaly". risu.org.ua. 6 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
- "Greek Church set to rebuff Russian call for talks on Ukraine in Orthodox rift". Reuters. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
- "Situation with Orthodox Church in Ukraine on agenda of Holy Synod meeting in Minsk". Belarus News. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
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- "Announcement (11/10/2018). – Announcements – The Ecumenical Patriarchate". www.patriarchate.org. Ecumenical Patriarchate. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed:
1) To renew the decision already made that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine. [...]
4) To revoke the legal binding of the Synodal Letter of the year 1686 [...]
- "Ukraine receives Tomos officially and forever". risu.org.ua. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- "Ecumenical Patriarch hands tomos of autocephaly over to leader of Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Video, photos)". unian.info. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- Peter, Laurence (17 October 2018). "Orthodox Church split: Five reasons why it matters". BBC. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
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- "Why this is not a schism?". † Бигорски манастир. 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
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- "Russian Church reminds Constantinople's Russian parishes in Western Europe about the propose of transition to Moscow Patriarchate". interfax-religion.com. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
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- Солдатов, Александр (9 January 2019). "Рождество Томоса. Ждать ли первой религиозной войны на постсоветском пространстве?" [Christmas of Tomos. Should we wait for the first religious war in the former Soviet Union ?]. Новая газета (in Russian). Retrieved 13 January 2019.
- Online, Εκκλησία (2019-01-10). "Τη στιγμή που ο Μόσχας δεν μνημονεύει Ορθοδόξους, τον μνημονεύει ο Επιφάνιος". ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑ ONLINE (in Greek). Retrieved 2019-01-13.
- Panagiotisandriopoulos (2019-01-10). "Φως Φαναρίου : Ο ΜΟΣΧΑΣ ΚΥΡΙΛΛΟΣ ΔΕΝ ΜΝΗΜΟΝΕΥΕΙ ΠΙΑ ΤΟΥΣ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΥΣ ΠΡΟΚΑΘΗΜΕΝΟΥΣ / Ο ΚΙΕΒΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΙΟΣ ΜΝΗΜΟΝΕΥΕΙ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΝ ΜΟΣΧΑΣ ΚΥΡΙΛΛΟ". Φως Φαναρίου. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
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Vladimir Putin held an operational meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council. They discussed issues of the domestic Russian socio-economic agenda and international issues.
- "Putin Discusses Orthodox Church Crisis in Ukraine with Russian Security Council". Sputnik News. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues, including the situation around the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
- Daniel McLaughlin (11 October 2018). "Ukraine set for church independence despite Russia's warnings". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
- Tomos ante portas: a short guide to Ukrainian church independence. Euromaidan Press. 14 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
the Synod ... of the Ecumenical Patriarchate ... gave further confirmation that Ukraine is on the path to receiving church independence from Moscow. ... Although President Poroshenko triumphantly announced that in result of the meeting Ukraine had received the long-awaited Tomos, or decree of Church independence – a claim circulated in Ukraine with great enthusiasm, this is not true. ... Constantinople's decision will benefit other jurisdictions in Ukraine – the UOC KP and UAOC, which will have to effectively dismantle their own administrative structures and set up a new Church, which will receive the Tomos of autocephaly. ... Right now it's unclear which part of the UOC MP will join the new Church. 10 out of 90 UOC MP bishops signed the appeal for autocephaly to the Ecumenical Patriarch – only 11%. But separate priests could join even if their bishops don't, says Zuiev.
- "Statement by the President of Ukraine regarding the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – Official website of the President of Ukraine". Official website of the President of Ukraine. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
- "Poroshenko explains timing of Russia's attack on Ukrainian ships near Kerch Strait". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
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- "US urges respect for independent Ukraine church". France 24. 2018-10-20. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
- Ioffe, Grigory (24 October 2018). "Autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodox Church Spotlights Belarus's Growing Geopolitical Importance – Jamestown". Jamestown. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Встреча с членами Священного синода Русской православной церкви и Синода Белорусской православной церкви | Новости | Официальный интернет-портал Президента Республики Беларусь". president.gov.by (in Russian). 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Montenegro to seek autocephaly for country's Orthodox Church". unian.info. 24 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-25.
- Cazabonne, Emma (2018-12-26). "The reconstruction of Montenegro's autocephalous Church must be continued on solid foundations". Orthodoxie.com. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
- rtcg.me (21 December 2018). "Identitet se brani angažovanjem, a ne zabranom ulaska u CG". RTCG – Radio Televizija Crne Gore – Nacionalni javni servis (in me). Retrieved 2018-12-23.
- "Tomos". Orthodox Church of America – UAOC – Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
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- "The Ecumenical Throne and the Church of Ukraine". goarch.org. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
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- Yfantidis, Evangelos. "IL TRONO ECUMENICO E LA CHIESA Di UCRAINA – PARLANO I TESTI". ortodossia.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-12-03.
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The Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate translated into Ukrainian the study The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church
- "KONSTANTINOS VETOCHNIKOV
(Bibliothèque Byzantine du Collège de France)
Curriculum vitae [Résumé]" (PDF).
- Vetochnikov, Konstantinos (August 2016). "La "concession" de la métropole de Kiev au patriarche de Moscou en 1686 : Analyse canonique". Les Frontières et les Limites du Patriarcat de Constantinople (in French): 744–784 – via Academia.edu.
- "THE ECUMENICAL THRONE AND THE CHURCH OF UKRAINE – THE DOCUMENTS SPEAK – Theological and Other Studies – The Ecumenical Patriarchate". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
Finally, we convey our fervent gratitude to the erudite scholar, Mr. Konstantinos Vetochnikov, who placed his invaluable knowledge on the issue of this publication at the disposal of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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- "Ответ на аргументы представителей РПЦ о "полной передаче" Москве юрисдикции над Киевской митрополией в 1686 г – Константин Ветошников". esxatos.com. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
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"We are talking about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, which occupied a third of the current territory of Ukraine. And then how can they claim entire Ukraine? And if we are talking only about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, then they, obviously, suggest dividing our country into some kind of "old" and "new" territories. This is a clear appeal to separatism," said the bishop.
- "Hierarch: Phanar – separatists who are trying to divide church Ukraine". spzh.news. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
"We are talking about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, which occupied a third of the current territory of Ukraine. And then how can they claim entire Ukraine? And if we are talking only about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, then they, obviously, suggest dividing our country into some kind of "old" and "new" territories. This is a clear appeal to separatism," said the bishop.
- "Arch. Clement: There is no direct subordination between UOC and Phanar". spzh.news. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
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- Shubin, Daniel (2004). A History of Russian Christianity. Volume I: From the Earliest Years through Tsar Ivan IV. New York: Algora Publishing. ISBN 978-0-87586-289-7.
- Shubin, Daniel (2005). A History of Russian Christianity. Volume II: The Patriarchal Era through Peter the Great, 1586 to 1725. New York: Algora Publishing. ISBN 978-0-87586-348-1.
- Hosking, Geoffrey, ed. (1991). Church, Nation and State in Russia and Ukraine. Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN 978-1-349-21566-9.
- Antiochenus, Petrus. "The Trump Administration, Ukrainian Autocephaly, and Secular Governments". orthodoxsynaxis.org. Retrieved 2018-12-18. (a summary of the role of the secular governments in this schism)
- Denysenko, Nicholas, The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation, Northern Illinois University Press, 2018