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“The Metropolis of Kyiv was never ceded to the jurisdiction of the Russian Church”

Bishop of the Marneuli and Khujabi Diocese, George, of the Patriarchate of Georgia, referred to his sermon at the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine and stressed the need for the local Orthodox Churches to proceed with its recognition.

In particular, on March 30, Bishop George published a statement on the recognition of the Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine, along with the historical and canonical arguments, in which he stressed: “I declare with full responsibility that the opinion I express does not exceed the teachings of the Orthodox Church, but constitutes its strict protection and tradition.”

According to the website “Ecclesiastical News of Georgia”, Bishop George states that:

“As is known from the ecclesiastical history, the Metropolis of Kyiv was founded in 988 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and entered its jurisdiction. Later, in 1654, when Russia occupied Ukraine from a political point of view, the Russian Church tried to seize the Metropolis of Kyiv from the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by invading it.

Of course, this was followed by a negative reaction from the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other Patriarchates of the East. Then, the Russian Patriarch Joachim ordained irregularly the Metropolitan of Kyiv, an event which was not accepted by the local bishops, who deposed him.

In 1685-1686, the Russian government intervened in the matter and sent its ambassador to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Adrianople.

And again, the Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius did not cede the Metropolis to the Russian Church, but issued a permit for the Metropolitan of Kyiv to be ordained by the Patriarch of Moscow, who would be elected by the local council and approved by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The condition for the validity of the ordination of the Metropolitan of Kyiv by the Patriarch of Moscow was to set the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch by the Metropolitan of Kyiv as his diocese.

Nevertheless, the Russian Church invaded the jurisdiction of the foreign Church with the usual methods and annexed it, as it did in 1811 in the case of the Apostolic Church of Georgia.

Later, when Ukraine gained political independence, the issue of its ecclesiastical independence from the Russian Church, which began in 1917 and lasted until 2018, was immediately placed on the agenda. ”

Regarding the restoration of Ukrainian bishops to the canonical order, he writes:

“In 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate reviewed the issue of the restoration of the deposed Ukrainian bishops to the canonical Church and restored them in accordance with the privilege granted by the Sacred Canons IX and VII of the Fourth Ecumenical Synod.”