Agreement signed by Bartholomew, Poroshenko does not mean creation of church – Legoida

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MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. The agreement signed by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko on Saturday does not mean that an independent church has been created in Ukraine, Chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Synodal Department for Relations with Society and Mass Media Vladimir Legoida has said.

“An agreement between the Ukrainian state and the Patriarchate of Constantinople does not mean the creation of the Ukrainian church,” he wrote in his Telegram channel.

“All these ‘concordats’ (agreements between a pope as head of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state on matters of mutual concern – TASS) between the Ukrainian authorities and the Phanar do not change anything for millions of believers in Ukraine,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the Patriarch of Constantinople and Poroshenko signed an agreement on cooperation to create an independent Ukrainian church. According to the Ukrainian president, all conditions have been created for preparations for the Ecumenical Council so that the Tomos [of Autocephaly] could be granted in accordance with the church canons.

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople decided at its meeting held on October 9-11 to proceed with granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. It revoked the 1686 decision on transferring the Kiev Metropolitanate under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate and announced plans to bring it back under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It also reinstated the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine, Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate and Makariy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, to their hierarchical and priestly ranks.

On October 15, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church said in response to that move that full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was no longer possible.

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