Patriarchate sets Kiev autocephaly in motion

Patriarchate sets Kiev autocephaly in motion

The Ecumenical Patriarchate has begun preparations to grant independence to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine from Russia, it said Friday.

In a statement, the patriarchate named two representatives who will be dispatched to discuss the process of autocephaly of Kiev from Moscow.

The issue has been a source of friction between Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill since April.

The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate is the first-ranking church in Eastern Orthodoxy and the sole authority that can grant a church autocephaly.

However, Moscow has warned that the issue could lead to a schism. The two patriarchs met earlier in September in a bid to bridge the gap but to no avail.

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