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Russian Orthodox Church breaks ties with Constantinople over Ukraine

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Photo: Reuters

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church gathered in Belarusian capital Minsk on 15 October and decided to sever ties with Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the head of Moscow Patriarchate's external relations told reporters in Minsk. He stressed that the Holy Synod had been left with no choice but to cut ties with the Patriarchate in Istanbul, seat of the global spiritual leader of approximately 300 million Orthodox Christians. From today on, no joint sermons between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople will be held.

The Russian Orthodox Church views the Constaninople's endorsement of Ukraine’s request for an “autocephalous”, or independent, church as 'illegal' and will disregard it.

“We are hoping common sense will prevail and that the Constantinople Patriarchate will change its relations to existing church reality,” he said.

Belarusian Orthodox Church, a de facto branch of the Moscow Patriarchate, has joined the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Photo: Reuters