Constantinople Moves To Grant Autocephaly To Ukrainian Church, Outraging Moscow – OpEd


The Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it has appointed as its exacts an archbishop from the US and a bishop from Canada “both of whom are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate … [as part of] preparations for granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine (

This is the clearest public statement yet that Patriarch Bartholemew in his role as the senior and universal patriarch has decided to grant autocephaly and has rejected Moscow’s insistence that Ukraine is part of the Russian church’s “canonical territory” and thus must be subject to Moscow’s diktat.

Not surprisingly, the Moscow Patriarchate was outraged. Vladimir Legoyda, who heads the Synod’s department fore relations with society and the media said that Constantinople’s action “without the agreement of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Blessed Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine is an unprecedented crude intervention into the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate” (

Such actions, Legoyda said, “cannot remain without an answer,” although he did not specify just what that “answer” might look like.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “Constantinople Moves To Grant Autocephaly To Ukrainian Church, Outraging Moscow – OpEd

  • September 10, 2018 at 8:29 am

    The time may have come for the U.S. to take and return Turkish Istanbul back to Greece and reestablish the true historic city of Constantinople (known to the Greeks simply as ‘Polis’). The brutal behavior of Erdogan demands this historic pushback as well as the return of North Crete that was also taken more recently by an illegal Turkish invasion. It’s not too late too turn back the clock and do what’s right.


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