Breaking news today: the Russian Orthodox Church has broken ties with Orthodoxy’s leader Bartholomew and says Mount Athos is now closed to Russian Orthodox Christians from RussiaBartholomew October 7th 2011 on the pier in Ouranopolis – foto Wim Voogd
Ukraine secured approval on Thursday to establish an independent church in what Kiev says is a vital step against Russian meddling in its affairs, but the Russian clergy fiercely opposes the biggest split in Christianity for a thousand years.
At a three-day synod presided over by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul, seat of the global spiritual leader of roughly 300 million Orthodox Christians, endorsed Ukraine’s request of Patriarch Filaret for an “autocephalous” (independent) church.
The Russian Orthodox Church says Mount Athos is also now closed to Russian Orthodox Christians from Russia. Patriarch Kirill’s press secretary, priest Alexander Volkov, has pointed out that Mount Athos is in the Moscow Patriarchate’s jurisdiction “with all the same consequences.”
Does this also mean that Russian and Ukrainian monks (or pilgrims) can no longer attend services together? It will be exciting to see how this works out on Mount Athos, I hope without any struggle.
Wim Voogd, 16/10