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Moscow Patriarchate Says No Support For Ukrainian Church Autonomy

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Orthodox Church is ready to prevent the split of world's Orthodoxy, while none of the local churches supports the project of Ukrainian autocephaly, the secretary for inter-orthodox relations of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Igor Yakimchuk, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich suggested convening an assembly of Orthodox church patriarchs to discuss various issues emerging in the wake of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople’s decision to prepare for granting autocephaly to Ukraine.

"The Russian church is ready to support initiatives, including inter-Orthodox ones, aimed at preventing the threat of a split of Orthodoxy, which every day becomes more and more evident due to the adventurous anti-canonical steps of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine," Yakimchuk said.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra - Sputnik International
Ukrainian Orthodox Church Refutes Reports Alleging Autonomous Status Claims
Last Friday, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople said that he had appointed his bishop representatives in Kiev within the framework of preparations for granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

This decision has been sharply condemned by the Moscow Patriarchate, which called it an invasion of the canonical territory of another local church. Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion said that the Moscow Patriarchate would break off the full communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople if they granted autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church.

READ MORE: Russian Orthodox Church: Kiev Church Self-Rule Impossible Without Moscow Consent

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