By Kostas Onisenko
The Holy Synod that took place yesterday and today in Moscow confirmed the information that the Russian Orthodox Church will attempt the final rupture with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and with world Orthodoxy, in general.
The Holy Synod is taking place in view of the Hierarchical Synod, which is expected to take place in the middle of next November, in which, according to information, the Patriarchate of Moscow will declare Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “outside the legality.”
The minutes of the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church that were published today confirm these intentions.
Of course, a first conclusion that emerges from this text is that the Patriarchate of Moscow showed its true colors regarding the so-called “independence” of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
It is clear from the decision of the Holy Synod that Moscow considers Ukraine as the “canonical territory” of its Church, and in fact, emphasizes that Bartholomew should have asked for Kirill’s permission to visit Ukraine.
So, even after this decision that was taken with the participation and agreement of Metropolitan Onufriy the “independence” of the religious organization in Ukraine, headed by Onufriy cannot be mentioned anymore.
In particular, the contentious point of the text is the following:
“The participants in the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which took place on September 23-24, 2021, decided to acknowledge the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and his entourage in Kyiv, without the invitation of Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’, Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and all Ukraine and the legitimate hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as a serious violation of the canons and in particular of the third canon of the Synod of Sardica and of the 13th canon of the Synod of Antioch.
The Holy Synod condemned the ongoing non-canonical acts of the Patriarch of Constantinople aimed at destroying the unity of Orthodoxy and also noted the cleary political character of Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit, which reveals his dependence on forces outside the Church.
Commemorating with gratitude the achievements of the Holy Church of Constantinople in the enlightenment of the Rus’ with the Light of the Faith of Christ, the members of the Holy Synod stressed that the noble deeds of the unforgettable Holy Patriarchs of Constantinople in the past do not justify (in relation to the sacred canons) the crimes committed by Patriarch Bartholomew, who supported the schism and entered into ecclesiastical communion with people who call themselves Orthodox hierarchs but have been ordained canonically.
The Holy Synod noted that Patriarch Bartholomew, having supported the “schism” in Ukraine, lost the trust of millions of faithful.
“In a situation where the majority of Orthodox believers in the world are not in ecclesiastical communion with him, he no longer has the right to speak on behalf of all world Orthodoxy and to represent himself as its leader,” said the statement.