ROCOR Synod outraged at Phanar’s appointment of its exarchs to Kiev

Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York

Archbishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia urge to redouble prayers for peace in Ukraine.

The decision of Constantinople to appoint its exarchs to Kiev is a violation of the Holy Canons. This is said in the statement of the hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad, published on September 9 on the website of the ROCOR.

"We, members of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which carries out its ministry in the lands of North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries of the West, ministering to numerous emigres from the countries of Historical Russia and their descendants, express our profound indignation at the blatant violation of the Holy Canons by the Orthodox Church of Constantinople," the official document says. “The decision of its hierarchy to send its "exarchs" to the canonical territory of the UOC without the agreement and permission of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine is a gross and unprecedented incursion of one Church into a distant canonical territory, which has its own Local Church that is responsible alone for the Orthodox flock of that country."

The above Statement of the Synod says that this step taken by the Phanar threatens the unity of Holy Orthodoxy.

"In light of these developments, we call upon the clergy and flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and other Orthodox Churches to redouble their holy and ardent prayers for peace in Ukraine, and to unfailingly oppose the evil presently befalling our persecuted brothers and sisters, the children of the UOC,” says the statement. “May the Great and Supreme Head of the Church and Good Shepherd Jesus Christ grant strength to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and the Episcopacy of the UOC, which all those who have departed should repentantly and in appropriate manner approach for canonical reception into the Orthodox Church."

Earlier, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon (the U.S) and Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton (Canada) as its exarchs in Kiev "within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine". The ROC expressed resolute protest and deep outrage over the decision of the Constantinople Patriarchate, adding that the response to Phanar’s actions will promptly ensue.

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