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Russian Orthodox prelate charges Constantinople moving toward papal model

June 29, 2021

» Continue to this story on Moscow Patriarchate

CWN Editor's Note: The chief external spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has charged that the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is trying to assert an authority similar to that of the Pope within the Catholic Church. Metropolitan Hilarion said that recent ecumenical initiatives of Constantinople have been “an was an attempt to manipulate local Orthodox churches with the aim to recognize the model in which the Patriarch of Constantinople would receive some exclusive powers.” In unusually tough language, the Russian prelate said that the Orthodox world would not agree to accept “a certain infallible Pope who would make unilateral decisions.”

The Moscow patriarchate has been at odds with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, with a serious split developing when Constantinople recognized a Ukrainian Orthodox body independent from Moscow. While the Patriarch of Constantinople is traditionally recognized as the “first among equals” of Orthodox patriarchs, the Moscow patriarchate claims the largest number of believers.

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