Schism between Russian Orthodox Church and Constantinople: What will Georgian Orthodox say?

17.10.2018, Tbilisi.

The Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) will express its position regarding the schism between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the near future, the church’s press service said on October 16, RIA Novosti reported.

The GOC will make a decision on this matter, and it will be communicated at the next meeting of the Holy Synod, the patriarchate said, adding that the exact date of the Synod meeting has not yet been set.

On October 15, the ROC decided to break off relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople because the latter violated has canon law.

Constantinople decided to grant autocephality to church structures that formed as a result of schismatic activity in the ROC. On October 11 it lifted the ROC’s anathema from Filaret and Makary, the heads of the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Kiev (UOC KP) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).

Filaret, former metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, went into schism in 1992 when he refused to obey the decision of the Primates’ Council of the UOC; instead of removing his Patriarch’s vestment and retiring, he announced the creation of the UOC KP. The UAOC led by Makary split from the ROC in 1920.

According to Archpriest Aleksandr Ilyashenko, Director of the Pravoslavie i mir (Orthodoxy and the World) portal, this situation is catastrophic for all sides involved. He believes that it will result in a profound confrontation.

On September 27, the head of the UOC, Metropolitan Antony, expressed a similar judgment to the current events.

Editorial comment

The Patriarchate of Constantinople has crossed the line by its heavy-handed, unacceptable intervention into the affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow. The Orthodox world cannot avoid giving a judgment to this event, and such judgments will be communicated by the local churches.

What is absolutely clear is that the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s actions lead to schism and weakening of Orthodox positions around the world, and that these actions are not in the best interests of Constantinople. They are inspired by pressure from Istanbul, which, in turn, is under pressure from the United States.

The United States is the real interested side seeking to break up the Orthodox world, which would also deepen the dissent within the Russian world and escalate the situation in Ukraine.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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