Worst Schism in Centuries Takes Place: Russian Church Breaks Ties With Constantinople

As a result of Constantinople's illegal actions in Ukraine,  today a far-reaching schism took place within the Orthodox Church, the scope of which has not been seen perhaps since the 1054 AD


Today marks a lamentable day, the day of a far-reaching schism within the Orthodox Church, the scope of which has been unparalleled perhaps since the 1054 separation of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. 

After the meeting of the Holy Synod, the highest governing body of the Russian Church, the Russian church issued an official statement in response to the uncanonical meddling of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. (For explanation, read Valeria Nollan's article First a Political Coup, and Now a Religious Takeover in Ukraine)

Today, the Russian church declared it impossible to continue Eucharistic communion with the Church of Constantinople after the latter's provocations, specifically it's unlawful granting of autocephaly to illegitimate religious factions within Ukraine. Not only have these factions been always critiqued by all the Orthodox Churches, Constantinople simply lacks the right to grant independence to churches that reside on territories that have historically been under the direction of the Russian church. In Orthodox canonical law, no national church has the rights to interfere in the canonical territory of another church. This has been violated grossly by the recent actions of Constantinople. (For more on the different churches in Ukraine, read Understanding the Deepening Rift Between the Two Ukrainian Churches). 

In practical terms, this decision means that clergy from the Russian church will no longer serve with the clergy from the Constantinople Church and the Russian faithful will no longer participate in the sacraments performed in Constantinople's churches. This separation will continue until the Patriarchate renounces its anticanonical decisions, which in fact go against Constantinople's own earlier historical decisions and commitments.                                                        

The Russian Church urged the other Orthodox churches to evaluate the anticanonical actions of the Constantinople Patriarchate and jointly search for ways out of the gravest crisis that is tearing apart the body of the Holy Orthodox Church. 

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