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The Russian Orthodox Church has recognized Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople as a schismatic based on the Orthodox Church canons, according to Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Russian church’s external relations.

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"The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has joined the schism himself by recognizing schismatic individuals. That is how the church canons work. Therefore, the Patriarch of Constantinople is a schismatic for us," the Russian news agency TASS quoted Metropolitan Hilarion as saying on October 20.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on October 11, following a meeting of the Holy 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 UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate Filaret and head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Makariy were reinstated in their canonical status.

The Kremlin vowed to protect the interests of Orthodox believers in Ukraine "politically and diplomatically," claiming Moscow did not intend to interfere in the "interchurch dialogue."

On October 15, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church made a decision to sever eucharistic communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.