"Today, when the Patriarch of Constantinople claims to the universal power, which is alien to an orthodox eparch, we are defending the truth and the Orthodoxy. And we will be preserving our orthodox canons, our faith," Patriarch Kirill said as quoted by the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"Let's hope that, through the mercy of God, the Universal Orthodox Church will go through the current temptations. But our main goal is not to flinch and not to lose the purity of the Orthodoxy," Patriarch Kirill said.
He added that it was the ordinary people who currently defended the unity of the canonical church.
"I know how courageously they defend this unity, how they protect their temples… how they are fighting almost on the frontlines not just for the unity of our church, but for the purity of the Orthodoxy. It is wonderful that the entire episcopate of the Ukrainian church, united around His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy [of Kiev and All Ukraine], stands firm on its positions," Patriarch Kirill stated.
The Russian Orthodox Church, in turn, went on with the actual "breaking of diplomatic relations" with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church suspended the service with the hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. At the same time, the Moscow Patriarchate noted that none of the local churches supported the project of Ukrainian autocephaly.