Russian Orthodox Church
The Church of Greece said Wednesday it supported Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios' right to grant independence to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2018.
The Holy Synod, which met on Tuesday and Wednesday, said it also recognized Vartholomaios' "privilege" to "further address the issue of recognition."
By George Gilson
The Ecumenical Patriarchate's decision to cede Autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, effectively granting it self-rule and independence from the Moscow Patriarchate, has rocked the entire Eastern Orthodox Church threatening it with schism. Moscow has already broken communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate (its bishops, priests, and finally lay people).
Cyprus' Orthodox Church says it supports the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's right to independence that was granted by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople last month, aiming to heal its divisions.
The Holy Synod also said Wednesday, however, that Patriarch Bartholomew should take into account the "sensitivities" of Russians whose roots in the faith are found in Ukraine.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on Sunday presented a decree of independence to the head of the nascent Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
In Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew I presented the Tomos, a scroll containing the decree, in a symbolic ceremony sanctifying the Ukrainian church's independence from the Russian Orthodox Church. He signed the decree a day earlier.
Amid mounting tensions with the Russian Orthodox Church, the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate is preparing to formally grant independence to the Church of Ukraine from Moscow in an Epiphany Day ceremony.
More specifically, Patriarch Vartholomaios will on Sunday give the tomos - the formal decree of autocephaly - to Metropolitan Epiphanius in Istanbul.