Patriarch Bartholomew calls on Russia to accept Ukrainians' right to autocephaly
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has said the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) should accept the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church.
"It is difficult [for the ROC] to understand that, the same way the Ecumenical Patriarchate has made so many peoples in the Balkans free, thereby weakening itself, but having recognized their right to internal self-government, church independence, autocephaly, thus Moscow should recognize that the Ukrainian people who it took in the non-orthodox way for several centuries under its jurisdiction, or more precisely – management, that these nearly 50 million people have the right to church independence, to autocephaly," Bartholomew said, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported with reference to the Greek newspaper Proto Thema.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on October 11, following a meeting of the Synod, a decision was announced, stating that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceeds to granting autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.
In addition, the legal binding of the Synod's letter of 1686 was abolished, thus taking the Kyiv Metropolis from under Moscow's canonical jurisdiction. Also, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret and head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) Makariy were reinstated in their canonical status.
On October 12, the UOC-KP urged the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to prepare for a special unification council.