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Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle  USA As previously reported, Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and All Moldova wrote a surpisingly strong letter to Patriarch Kirill on September 5, 2023. (https://cubreacovblog.wordpress.com/2023/10/20/mitropolitul-vladimir-cantarean-ne-aflam-intr-o-situatie-de-faliment-institutional-mitropolia-basarabei-a-demonstrat-ca-este-o-forta-care-nu-mai-poate-fi-oprita/ )  The letter contained many grievances including the failure of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate to elect Archimandrite Filaret (Kuzmin) as a bishop as requested by the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Moldova (OCM).  Some people speculated that such a strong letter might be the first step in the OCM leaving the Moscow Patriarchate.  The Moscow Patriarchate acted quickly.  At its Synod meeting on October 11, 2023, Archimandrite Filaret…

Source: Orthodox Public Affairs Committee The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) decries the punishment of clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church under Patriarch Kirill for opposing the war against Ukraine. Although there are tens of thousands of Russian Clergy, around three hundred have actively opposed the war and its support by Kirill. They have defied the Russian Church leader by substituting the word “peace” for “victory” in Putin-centric prayers mandated by the Russian Church Hierarchy. Some, like Father Ioann Koval have been defrocked and sought refuge under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Not only does Kirill and his cronies continue to compromise the integrity of the…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA On December 29, 2022, the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate decided in Journal Entry 121 to set a “bishops’ conference” for July 19, 2023.   https://mospat.ru/ru/news/89905/  It is important to note that this is not the “bishops’ council” that been repeatedly postponed because “the international situation continues to hinder the arrival in Moscow of many members of the Bishops’ Council.”  A Bishops’ Council is a decision-making body while a Bishops’ Conference is not.  Rather this Bishops’ Conference is to be “a fraternal discussion of current issues of church life” with an agenda to be prepared by…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA Metropolitan Ioannikije of Montenegro and Primorye and Bishop Jovan of Pakrac and Slavonia, both hierarchs of the Serbian Patriarchate, are now in Russia.  The primary purpose of their visit is to open the international festival “Serbian consolation to the Russian heart,” organized by the Orthodox St. Tikhon Humanitarian University and held on October 18-28 in Moscow.  The first evening of the festival is dedicated to the memory of Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro (1938-2020), predecessor of Metropolitan Ioannikije.  It was therefore very logical that Metropolitan Ioannikije was invited to attend.  The program also includes a film…

Source: Religion News Service While the Orthodox Church of Ukraine’s letter is addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch, the letter speaks to concerns for the entire global Orthodox Christian community. By Marika Proctor (RNS) — Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine, has issued a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “first among equals” of Orthodox Christian leaders, asking Bartholomew to call Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, a teacher of heresy for his theological backing of the Ukraine war and deprive Kirill of his right to lead the Russian church. The letter was approved at a meeting of…

Source: Get Religion by Terry Mattingly This was a very important weekend in the history of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine and Russia — for those (including journalists) who believe that religious traditions and symbols matter as much as statements by government officials and headlines in Western media. At the center of the drama, of course, was the city of Kiev, as it is known in to Russians and many Ukrainians, and Kyiv, as it is known to many Ukrainians, as well as officials in the United States and the European Union. Here’s the quotation I keep thinking about, drawn…

Source: Christianity Today Possible manufacture of holy oil a signal of declaration of independence from Moscow patriarchate, while still opposing rival breakaway church. by JAYSON CASPER After 93 days of war, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) has definitively broken with Russia—maybe. In a council decision taken May 27, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC)–affiliated body declared its “full self-sufficiency and independence,” condemning the three-month conflict as “a violation of God’s commandment: Thou shalt not kill!” Such a condemnation was not new. The day the invasion began, UOC-MP Metropolitan Onufriy called it a “repetition of the sin of Cain.” But in dry ecclesial language,…

Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Originally published on February 22, 2022 WRITTEN BY Donatienne Ruy, Director, Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy Heather A. Conley Former Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic; and Former Director, Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program Marlene Laruelle Director and Research Professor, George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Tengiz Pkhaladze Associate Professor and Head of the BA Program in Political Science, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs Elizabeth H. Prodromou Faculty Member and Faculty Director of the Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School at Tufts University Majda Ruge Senior Policy…

Source: Orthodox Times The use of Church symbols in the Russian struggle to conquer Ukraine continues. This time, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Russian National Guard leader Viktor Zolotov pinned their hopes on a “quick” victory over the Ukrainians in an image of the Virgin Mary, which the Patriarch presented to Zolotov during the service. “We believe this image will protect the Russian army and bring our victory faster,” the top military official told Patriarch Kirill at the Church of the Savior in Moscow. As he noted, “things are not going as fast as we would like”. The commander justified…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA]  On Sunday, March 13, the first Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of Orthodoxy, Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, Dean of the Representation Church of Saint Catherine the Great Martyr in Moscow, was invited, as it is customary, to the concelebration at Christ the Savior Cathedral presided by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon took the opportunity of this invitation to have Father Daniel personally deliver a letter to officials within the Moscow Patriarchate for His Holiness imploring him to do what he can to end the war in Ukraine and the suffering and…

Source: Interfax Moscow, February 28, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in his Sunday sermon after Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior said that he prayed for peace in the Russian land that includes “Ukraine, Byelorussia and Russia.” “May the Lord preserve the Russian land. When I say “Russian”, I use the ancient expression from “A Tale of Bygone Years” – “Wherefrom has the Russian land come”, the land which now includes Russia and Ukraine and Belarus and other tribes and peoples,” he said addressing the parishioners. He also called on all believers of…

Source: Orthodox Times Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphaniy, declares in a message his support to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and Patriarch Theodore. Metropolitan Epiphaniy in his letter to Patriarch Theodore said that “with deep sadness and pain in our being, we learned about the lawless, wicked, and impious decisions that the Church of Russia adopted to incur upon the canonical boundaries of the Patriarchate of Alexandria”. According to Metropolitan of Kyiv, those actions of Patriarch Kirill have no canonical or even Christian motive, but are based solely on revenge for Your Beatitude and the Patriarchate headed by you…

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