Orthodox Christians in the United States and Canada are now being directly impacted by the recent decision of the Russian Orthodox Church to cut eucharistic ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, or ROCOR as it’s known, is one of the bodies governing Russian Orthodox Churches in the diaspora.
ROCOR has issued a directive supporting Moscow’s breaking of ties with Constantinople and guiding its parishes abroad, including 300+ parishes in the United States and Canada, to sever ties with the parishes of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
This includes the parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and all American Metropolises, as well as the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto and all Canada.
The statement instructed Russian Orthodox clergy and faithful outside Russia to cease all religious affiliation with the priests, parishes and faithful of Constantinople.
“We thereby inform our clergy and faithful that Eucharistic intercommunion with the Church of Constantinople is presently impossible, for Hierarchy, Clergy and Laity. So long as this situation remains, it is not possible for clergy of our Church to celebrate in any parish of the Church of Constantinople, or for clerics of that Church to celebrate in ours; nor is it possible for laypersons to partake of the Holy Mysteries performed in the temples of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. We further reiterate that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will not participate in theological inter-church meetings, or other dialogues, including the regional Assemblies of Bishops, which are chaired or co-chaired by clerics or hierarchy of the Church of Constantinople.”
The full statement is here.
The spat between Moscow and Constantinople has also been felt elsewhere throughout the world.
Germany’s three Russian Orthodox bishops have ceased work within the Orthodox Bishops Conference in Germany (OBKD), according to a story in DW.
The OBKD, based in Bonn and led by Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Augoustinos, was founded in 2010 and brings together bishops of seven Orthodox churches, comprising some 2 million Orthodox Christians in Germany.
The Greek Orthodox Church in German is under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
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