- Feb 18, 2020
Ukrainian Orthodox leaders on Saturday approved the creation of a unified church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate and elected a leader to head that new church — a move that could exponentially raise tensions with neighboring Russia.
Ukraine’s Orthodox clerics will gather for a meeting next week that is expected to form a new, independent Ukrainian church, the country’s leader said Wednesday, as the authorities ramped up pressure on priests to support the move.
Ukraine’s president has promised the country’s Orthodox Christian faithful they will be free to remain part of the Russian Orthodox Church after the creation of an independent Ukrainian church.
The Russian Orthodox Church decided Monday to sever ties with the leader of the worldwide Orthodox community after his decision to grant Ukrainian clerics independence from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Ukraine’s president on Thursday hailed the announcement by Orthodoxy’s Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that it will move forward with granting Ukrainian clerics independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.
As plans to establish an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church encounter complaints from Russia, Catholic leaders hope ecumenical ties will not be affected.