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    The bell tower of St. Porphyrios Greek Orthodox church, left, and the minaret of the adjacent Kateb Welaya mosque, right, are seen in Gaza City, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014

    Ukrainian Orthodox Church Refuses to Partake in Unifying Council

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    KIEV (Sputnik) - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) is not going to take part in the unification council, initiated by the non-canonical church in Ukraine after the Constantinople Patriarchate began the process to grant autocephaly to Ukraine, chairman of the UOC's Synodal Information Department Archbishop Clement told Sputnik on Friday.

    “We are not going to take part,” Clement said when asked whether the UOC would take part in the Unification Council.

    The non-canonical church earlier called on the churches in Ukraine to begin preparations for a unifying council, which is to decide on church unity and select the head of a united local church.

    READ MORE: Russian Orthodox Church Forced to End Eucharistic Ties With Constantinople

    The Constantinople Patriarchate also decided to lift the anathema of two leaders of schismatic churches in Ukraine and return the metropolia under Constantinople's jurisdiction, canceling its 1686 decision.

    In response, the Russian Orthodox Church said that the Constantinople Patriarchate’s move was "deeply anticanonical" and "catastrophic" and announced it forced to end eucharistic ties between the churches.

    Related:

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    Antiochian Orthodox Church Calls Meeting on Ukrainian Religious Independence
    Russian Patriarch Writes to Orthodox Churches' Heads on 'Ukrainian Autocephaly'
    Ukrainian Church Keeps Direct Contact With Constantinople Patriarchate
    Tags:
    autocephaly, Orthodox Christmas, church, Constantinople Patriarchate, Ukraine, Russia
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