Russian Orthodox church rejects decision on Ukraine envoys
September 8 at 10:45 AM
MOSCOW â" The Russian Orthodox Church is denouncing a decision by Orthodox Christianityâs leading body to send two envoys to Ukraine as a step toward declaring ecclesiastical independence for the church there.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the worldâs largest Orthodox church by far also threatened to take unspecified âretaliatory actions.â
The Russian church claims authority over the church in Ukraine. But many Ukrainian parishes reject the Moscow Patriarchate and have formed a separate church that is pushing for recognition as a self-governing, or autocephalous, institution.
The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate said Friday it is sending two bishops to Ukraine âwithin the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.â The patriarchateâs leader is considered the âfirst among equalsâ of Eastern Orthodox clerics.
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