BOC urged to suspend the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine

© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Castinplace in fotoannunci shares of parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Archival photoBOC urged to suspend the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Castinplace the image Bank

The Belarusian Orthodox Church (BOC) urged Constantinople to suspend the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine, as they could lead to a split of Orthodoxy in the world, said Friday the Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavsky Paul.

«Our statement was drafted in such a way to encourage more time Patriarch Bartholomew and the Synod of the Constantinople Church to rethink the decisions made and to do everything possible to disavow or to a previous decision or to withdraw it, to stop this process, which today takes on a very distinct form Church schism in the world Orthodoxy,» — said the head of the BOC, at a press conference in Minsk.

In his words, to «to sober up «hot heads» made the decision to suspend our services with the episcopate of the Church of Constantinople, to cease commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I during the divine services, to suspend our participation in all activities, chairing or co-chairs, the representative of the Church of Constantinople».

«But that’s not a gap, it is a call, try again and again to appeal to his Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew with a request to suspend the act, otherwise it may be split of Orthodoxy on our planet, it is very sad,» said the Metropolitan.

He noted that in Minsk with the feelings of regret relate to the situation that is happening now in Ukraine: «the separation, disagreements, and on this basis is maturing and enmity, and hatred between people.» «Any division in society sometimes be cured, sometimes pauses when this happens on the basis of economic, political, but when it comes to issues of Church life… people for believing in God and eternal life are willing to put your soul and give his life to go on fire… the Division based on religion is always a very serious and sad consequences», — said the head of the BOC.

«That did not happen, his Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and the Holy Synod of our Church refers to Patriarch Bartholomew and to all the heads of other churches to provide assistance samostojna to pause this division,» he said, suggesting that the Ukrainian issue will be one of the most important upcoming in Minsk on 15 October meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical religious structures and of establishing a local Autocephalous Church in Ukraine, though, and promised not to interfere in the Affairs of the Church. Earlier, the Patriarchate of Constantinople «in preparation for the granting of autocephaly» was appointed its Exarch in Kyiv. In addition, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has stated that it intends to provide Ukraine Autocephalous. In the UOC called such actions by invading the canonical territory of other local churches and called on Patriarch Bartholomew to stop meddling and «exarchs» of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to leave Kiev.

The Russian Orthodox Church, in turn, went to the actual «break diplomatic relations» with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Synod of the Russian Church announced a cease commemoration of Patriarch Bartholomew during the Patriarch’s divine services. In addition, a decision was made to exit from the structures, which is chaired by the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church with Constantinople was in this crisis only once in all its more than thousand-year history.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Synod of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad, the Holy Synod of the UOC has suspended the service with the bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the Russian Orthodox Church noted that none of the local churches does not support the project of Ukrainian autocephaly.

BOC urged to suspend the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine© RIA Novosti / Vitaly Policypro Autocephalous