Russian Orthodox Church angrily reacts to Ecumenical Patriarchate’s decision to recognize Ukrainian rival

17 September 2018
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Powerful Russian Patriarch Kirill this week announced that the Russian Orthodox Church will stop including Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the “primus inter pares” of the world’s Orthodox Patriarchs, in the prayers said during its liturgies, a dramatic escalation of a row between two of the most venerable churches in eastern Europe and Near East.

The decision was taken by the Russian Church’s Holy Synod in reaction to Bartholomew’s recognition of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, viewed by the Moscow-based Church as schismatic.

Nevertheless, a spokesman for the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Rev. Alexander Volkov, clarified that clergy affiliated with the Russian Church are not prohibited from conducting joint services with clergy affiliated with the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, its official name.

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