THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

Cleric: “No Going Back” on Ukraine Split from Russia Church

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Source: The National Herald

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow leaves following his meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

CONSTANTINOPLE (AP) — A senior official in the Orthodox Church says “there’s no going back” in granting Ukrainian clerics full ecclesiastic independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.

However, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, who is part of a committee dealing with the Ukrainian question, told The Associated Press that the final step of the procedure has yet to be reached.

His comments came as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I welcomed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Istanbul on Friday.

Ukraine’s president has launched a campaign to persuade Bartholomew, seen by many as the first among equals of Orthodox leaders, to accept Ukraine’s request.

Ukrainian politicians see a declaration, known as a “Tomos of Autocephaly,” as a key step in consolidating their country’s national identity.

Russian religious leaders see it as an attack on Orthodox unity.

Members of the clergy wait for the meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, left, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently evaluating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow leaves following his meting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently debating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, centre, is introduced to officials by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, right, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, prior to their meeting at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently debating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, centre right, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, sits with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, centre left, prior to their meeting at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently debating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow leaves following his meting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently debating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Members of the clergy wait for the meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, left, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently evaluating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Members of the clergy wait for the meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, left, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently evaluating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, centre, arrives for his meting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The Istanbul-based patriarch is currently debating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, right, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, sits with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, left, prior to their meeting at the Patriarchate in Istanbul, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Bartholomew I is currently debating whether to accept a Ukrainian bid to tear that country’s church from its association with Russia, a potential split fuelled by the armed conflict between Ukrainian military forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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