The Russian Orthodox Church said on Monday it has decided to break off all ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople after it recognized the Autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine last week. The split is the biggest in Christianity and Orthodoxy in more than thousand years, since Catholics and Orthodox Christians separated in 1054.
After a meeting of the Russian Holy Synod in Minsk, Belarus, the head of the Russian orthodox Church’s External Relations Department, Metropolitan Hilarion, told journalists that relations between the two churches are de facto cut off.
“A decision about the full break of relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate has been taken at a Synod meeting,” Hilarion announced.
The move comes days after the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate decided to eventually grant ‘autocephaly’ to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, thus making the clerical organization, which earlier enjoyed broad autonomy within the Moscow Patriarchate, fully independent.
The split is considered as the biggest in Crhsitianity and Orthodoxy in thousand years.
“The move taken by Moscow arguably marks the greatest split in the history of the Orthodox Church since the Great Schism of 1054, which separated Catholics and Orthodox Christians,” notes rt.com.
“A Schism involves a break of communion between the biggest existing Orthodox Church – the Moscow Patriarchate – and the Constantinople Patriarch, who is widely regarded as a spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, even though his status is nothing like that of the Pope in the Catholic Church,” comments rt.
Schism in Orthodox Church between Moscow and Constantinople has just become official.This is much more than a break of diplomatic relations,and will last very long.What is really important now is what will happen on the ground in Ukraine,&what form developments there will take.
— Dmitri Trenin (@DmitriTrenin) October 15, 2018
There has been no reaction by the Ecumenical Patriarchate so far.