NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – 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.
It says the Patriarch should arrange for the Russian faithful have some degree of “jurisdiction” in Ukraine, which could be done through the appointment of an envoy or the establishment of a monastery there.
The Ukrainian church’s decision to split from the Moscow Patriarchate after ties of more than three centuries has angered Russia. The Russian church has severed ties with Patriarch Bartholomew, which the Cyprus church has strongly criticized.