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On December 30, 2018, at its session the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church discussed the grave consequences of the anti-canonical and criminal invasion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the canonical territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Minutes No. 98).

The Holy Synod has resolved to attest to its agreement with the assessment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s invasion in the canonical territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, made in the introductory remarks of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the meeting of the Supreme Church Council on December 26, 2018, and in his letters to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches.

A special emphasis was given to the uncanonical nature of the ‘Uniting Council’ which took place in Kiev on December 15 and which was attended by members of the schismatic groups led by the Patriarch of Constantinople’s representative, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, and Ukrainian President P. A. Poroshenko.

An agreement was expressed with the canonical assessment of this event made by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Synod in its Decision of December 17, 2018.

The Synod attested to its profound concern for the adoption of the discriminatory Ukrainian Law “On Amendments to the Ukrainian Law ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations’ as it gives secular politicians grounds for seeking to deprive the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of her canonical and lawful name and assessed this legislative action as a grave violation of the principle of the state’s non-interference in the internal affairs of religious communities as sealed in the Ukrainian Constitution. It was noted that this law comes into contradiction with the fundamental international documents on defence of human rights and freedoms.

The Synod decided to appeal to the Primates and Holy Synods of fraternal Local Orthodox Churches to support Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the episcopate, clergy, monastics and faithful children of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in connection with the present trials and not to recognize as an autocephalous Local Orthodox Church the community established at the so-called ‘Uniting Council’ in Kiev on December 15, 2018.

DECR Communication Service