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Epiphanius’ appeal to Bartholomew: Dethrone Kirill from Patriarch of Moscow

The primate of the Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius, appealed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to begin a pan-Orthodox review and condemnation of the activities of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow “and the ethno-racial doctrine of the Russian world he preaches.

“Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and his like-minded hierarchs, who over decades have promoted the ethnophyletist and racist doctrine of the Russian World and now are blessing the assault on Ukraine,” Metropolitan Epifaniy comments.

And he continues in his letter by saying: “Many people had certain hopes for the revival of church life with the election of Metropolitan Kirill to the patriarchal office (2009). However, to date, when twelve and a half years have passed since Kirill took over the throne of Moscow, it is quite obvious that the announced reforms have never been implemented, and the actual achievements of the 16th Patriarch of Moscow were only the concentration of power in the hands of one person against the complete degradation of real church conciliarity and full dependence of the Church on the Russian state.”

He calls on the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches to examine as soon as possible the activities of Patriarch Kirill regarding his reaction to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and many Orthodox Churches, and if this activity is recognized as having signs of schism, to be held accountable to the canonical law.

Metropolitan Epiphanius asks that Bartholomew and the Primates provide a canonical evaluation for several decisions of the Russian Church in recent years, which “in our opinion” do not comply with the principles of Orthodox Ecclesiology and threaten the unity of Orthodoxy.

As such he states:

  • The decision to (unilaterally) sever Eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Church of Cyprus, and the Church of Greece.
  • The decision to create church entities of the Moscow Patriarchate on the canonical territory of the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria.
  • He addressed the Ecumenical Patriarch asking for the condemnation of the doctrine of the Russian World and its recognition as heretical, for the actions of Patriarch Kirill in Africa to be recognized as schismatic, and for Patriarch Kirill to be deprived of the right to hold the Patriarchal throne of Moscow.