An extraordinary session of the Russian Holy Synod opens in Moscow
An extraordinary session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which will assess the decisions of the Church of Greece on the OCU, began in Moscow.
On October 17, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia chaired the extraordinary session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church held at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in Danilov Monastery in Moscow, reports the official site of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church opened the session and addressed the members of the Holy Synod, saying:
‘Your Beatitude! Your Eminences and Graces! Dear members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church!
“Today we are opening the extraordinary session of the Synod to consider the issues that have appeared on the Orthodox agenda due to the developments concerning Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church because of the known to you actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and potential actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and other Churches involving recognition of the schismatic group in Ukraine.
“You understand that this matter relates to the very essence of the inter-Church relations, and its negative development can disrupt pan-Orthodox unity. Therefore, with full responsibility for the preservation of Orthodox unity and with full responsibility before our believers, our clerics, and bishops, we must arrive at a judgment on this matter. May the Lord help us!”
As reported by the UOJ, on October 12, an official communiqué of the Extraordinary Bishops' Council of the GOC was published. The Council recognized the “canon law” of the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant autocephaly, as well as the privilege of the Primate of the Church of Greece to further deal with the issue of recognizing the Church of Ukraine.
The seven metropolises of the Greek Orthodox Church requested a delay in deciding on the proposal of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece “to recognize by our Church the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of the independent Ukrainian Republic”, which considered the proclamation of church autocephaly of Ukraine “extremely useful for the Orthodox Church and valuable in strengthening relations between the two autocephalous Orthodox Sister Churches of Great Russia and Ukraine”.