Ecumenical Patriarchate recognizes autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodox Church

12 October 2018
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The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate on Thursday announced that it was recognizing the autocephaly (ecclesiastical autonomy) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a decision that is expected to further exacerbate relations between the former and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The latter claims ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Ukraine’s Eastern Orthodox faithful.

The Russian Church’s Holy Synod last month ordered its affiliated clerics to stop a reference to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the “primus inter pares” of the world’s Orthodox Patriarchs, in liturgies.

The previous reaction followed Bartholomew’s provisional recognition of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, viewed by the Moscow-based Church as schismatic.

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