What occurred today between the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches?


The press is reporting it as a schism, resulting from Constantinople’s granting of authcephalous status to the Ukranian Orthodox church. But, in actual terms as would be recognized by the churches, is it?


Could you post a link to the news about it? I’m curious


Could you post a link to the news about it? I’m curious

This is one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s official websites: https://mospat.ru/en/2018/10/15/news165259/ and it pretty clearly says they are now in schism with basically all the rest of the Orthodox. “The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church [now] consider[s] it impossible to remain in…Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.”


Wow. That’s alarming.


I am not surprised. It confirms that the Russian EO Church is mostly controlled by the Russian government.


The short version is: some of the Orthodox in Ukraine wanted to be independent from the Russian Orthodox Church. (They all got combined back during the USSR days.) The rest of the Greek Orthodox decided to recognize them as an indepedent Church, and Russia says this is essentially a way of introducing schism into their Church. So now the Russians are saying that the rest of the Orthodox have joined themselves to schismatics, and so they say they can’t be in communion with them anymore.


What a mess.


This is very sad


They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it - seems that only children weep


They were not “combined”.

They were “dragged at gunpoint from the Ukrainian Church, which was then suppressed and forced underground.”

Modern Ukrainian Orthodoxy was extracted by force from the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which IS the historical Ukrainian Orthodox Church . . .

A pro-Uranian account at:


In any event, the EP’s perspective is that it is lawfully modifying the grant of authority to the MP bless (not choose) the Kievian Metropolitan on behalf of the EP.

Curiously, he seems two have recognized two of the three Orthodox churches, and directed them to hold a synod (which would have the effect of displacing the Patriarchs of each, although one or the other is a possible replacement).

Now, if they would invite the UCC bishops, a church which then requested communion with both Constantinople and Rome would be a distinct possibility . . . and a little communion like that can spread . . . it would give the EP cover to accept an overture from the Melkites, and make it difficult for Rome to try to prevent that (and remember that the Melkites did maintain simultaneous communion with both for a century or two a couple of centuries ago).

That would likely lead to the Melkites and Antioch Orthodox unwinding their schism (there is a longstanding offer of the Melkite hierarchy to resign in favor of their AO counterparts).

With that context established, it would seem likely that the churches of nations, such as the balkans, that live in fear of Russian military aggression would seek communion with Rome, even if for political rather than spiritual reasons.

And for the parallel churches of OO/OC that take the schism less seriously to merge or enter communion.



Some of that seems unlikely from a human perspective, but that’s just all the more reason to pray for unity in the truth, which can only come from God.



Interesting stuff…

I wonder if this is going to lead the Russian Church to be alienated from all other Churches and eventually be reunited with Rome and fulfill Fatima?

We live in interesting times…


That would seem unlikely, as according to those in the know, when there were some serious efforts to make progress in terms of reuniting the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Church a decade or more ago, it was the Russian Orthodox Church that was the most adamant in its positions.

I’m sure I’m not understanding it correctly, but on what you note, it can lead you on a really curious logic journey. The Russian Orthodox Church is claiming that the Eastern Patriarch, their “First Among Equals”, cannot make the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autocephalous. But the Russian Orthodox Church itself exists because it was made autocephalous centuries ago by the Eastern Patriarch. So if he can’t do it for the Ukranians, wouldn’t that mean that he could not do it for the Russians? And if he can’t do that, would logic mean that the Eastern First Among Equals could not do the same for the Eastern churches in general, as it wasn’t done by the overall First Among Equals, the Bishop of Rome.

Well, it doesn’t speak very well of the Russian Orthodox leadership any way a person looks at it.


Have any of the other EO Churches also officially broken communion with Constantinople? I don’t think Moscow can make a judgment on behalf of all of them, can they?


Have any of the other EO Churches also officially broken communion with Constantinople? I don’t think Moscow can make a judgment on behalf of all of them, can they?

I don’t think it’s purporting to (based on my poor grasp of the situation). It’s only acting for itself, but that’s problematic in and of itself if all the Eastern Orthodox churches are in communion with each other.

It does leave open the interesting question of what occurs with another established autocephalous church. If Moscow is breaking communion with Constantinople, that doesn’t mean, I think, that it breaks it automatically with any other Eastern Orthodox church.

As an aside, this would seem to be problematic, based on my poor understanding of it, for the Orthodox in at least the US. Locally, for example, the Greek Orthodox church is served by an Antiocean Orthodox priest and it has a number of Russian Orthodox parishioners, some of whom serve on the church’s council. Now what?

Indeed, there’s been a move recently in the U.S. where Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches simply brand themselves “Orthodox Christian”. I know of two newer ones, one Greek and one Russian, that have done that. They’re aware that they are attracting conservative Protestants from Protestant denominations that have become “progressive”. Now what? It’d seem quite unfair to expect new parishioners with no dog in this fight to participate in a schism.


IMO, the Russian Orthodox Church is now a schismatic Church. Basically the ROC is now an entity of the Russian Govt, and the prelates of the ROC are basically Kremlin goons. All of the most “devout” Russian Orthodox are also hardcore Russian nationalists. The Russian Church is in serious danger.

The real Eastern Orthodox communion are those Churches in full Communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.


Well, that’s Eastern Orthodoxy for ya…


This has happened various times in EO history–they are inconsistent as to whether professing communion with a schismatic Church is itself schism. An EO Church can sometimes be in schism with one or more other EO Churches, but be in communion with others, even those who are themselves in communion with the ones considered schismatic (A=B=C≠A). From their perspective, I’m not sure how the one Church professed in the Creed can be identified during such times–can a national Church be bother in schism with and not in schism with the universal Church at the same time?


Metropolitan Hilarion is where a lot of this tension is coming from. He’s a hardcore Russian nationalist and religious fundamentalist ideologue. He’s kind of like if Trump was a Metropolitan Bishop…


What an absolute mess.

This latest EO disaster (the last being their "pan-Orthodox council) has solidified and absolutely 100% convinced me the Orthodox are wrong about Peter and numerous other things and the Catholic Church is where truth resides fully.

This is what happens to Churches when they separate themself from Peter… Chaos and fighting, no unity at all.

And yes there is fighting in the Catholic Church, but there is no doctrinal chaos, no chaos as to who is in communion and not, we have Peter to settle disputes, we have Peter to guide and shepherd us and feed us.

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