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Schism of the Ukrainian Church: Moscow loses “a decisive piece” of its patriarchy – RFI

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Published on: 05/28/2022 – 16:01 The Moscow branch of the Orthodox Church officially broke with the Russian spiritual authorities on Friday. At the end of a council, its leaders declared “the full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”. It is a historic initiative. The council expressed a “total rejection of Patriarch Kirill’s position on the war”. Not only did the Patriarch of Moscow fail to condemn Russian military aggression in Ukraine, but he also failed to find words for the suffering Ukrainian people, a church spokesman said. “It was inevitable”, comments the historian and theologian Jean-François Colosimo. From the beginning of the invasion, the patriarch Kirill had defended the military operation. An operation delivered against the “forces of evil”, in his words. The patriarch, who has also had soldiers and missiles blessed, is close to power and to Vladimir Putin, whose positions he takes over. Even if the Russian Orthodox Church has no official link with the Russian Federation, which is a secular state. of Patriarch Kirill in 2019 and pledged allegiance to Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul. But so far the Muscovite Church of Ukraine had remained faithful to the authority of the Patriarch of Moscow. of the Moscow Orthodox Church. Ukraine has some of the most important monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church. “In this patriarchate which covers the former Soviet territory, Ukraine was a decisive piece because if the patriarchate of Moscow weighs about 50% of the Orthodox world in terms of resources, well the Church of Ukraine, it, counts for about 40% in the Moscow Patriarchate,” explains Jean-François Colosimo. Many consequences will flow from this decision. Now, the two Ukrainian Orthodox churches and then the autocephalous, independent church of Ukraine will find themselves almost face to face, even if there were bridges between the two churches. The Independent Autocephalous Church welcomes this decision very positively, but there is still a question of material goods that arises. And it is surely on this point that tensions will increase. The question is whether these ex-Muscovites will now join the Independent National Church founded in 2019. Jean-François Colosimo, historian and theologian © RFI

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