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    Ukrainian Churches File Suits to Contest MP's Decision to Support Autocephaly

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    KIEV (Sputnik) - Two churches belonging to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) have filed lawsuits to the Ukrainian Supreme Court, asking to recognize the illegitimacy of the parliament's decision to support the president's request to Constantinople to grant independence to the church in Ukraine, the website of the Supreme Court revealed.

    According to the documents available on the electronic register of the Supreme Court, the lawsuits were filed by St. George's Monastery in the urban-type settlement of Horodnytsya of the Zhytomyr eparchy and a religious community from the Church of Prelate Nikolai Berdyanskiy of Berdyansk eparchy.

    The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) called Constantinople’s decision a schism, with the ROC's Holy Synod announcing on Monday that it broke Eucharistic communion with Constantinople.

    READ MORE: Lebanese Orthodox Party Backs Russian Orthodox Church in Constantinople Row

    The ROC's Holy Synod also called Constantinople's decision to withdraw the act of 1686, which granted the Moscow Patriarchate the right to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev, canonically insignificant and noted that the decision was politically motivated.

    Head of the ROC's department for external church relations Metropolitan Hilarion said that Constantinople had lost the right to call itself a coordinating center for all Orthodox Christians. Metropolitan Hilarion also noted that the Russian Orthodox Church hoped that the decision to grant autocephaly the Ukrainian church would be reversed.

    In April, the Ukrainian parliament supported Poroshenko's decision to send a request to the Patriarchate of Constantinople regarding the creation of an autocephalous church in the country. Earlier in October, the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate announced that it would proceed to granting independence to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

    Related:

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    Lebanese Orthodox Party Backs Russian Orthodox Church in Constantinople Row
    Russian Orthodox Church Suspends Communion With Constantinople Patriarchate
    Russian Church Vows Tough Response to Constantinople Over Split Ukraine Church
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    Orthodox Christmas, church, Ukraine, Russia
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