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

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

In particular, on March 30, Bishop George issued a statement on the recognition of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine, together with the historical and canonical arguments, in which he emphasized: “I declare with full responsibility that the opinion that I express does not go beyond the teachings of the Orthodox Church, but constitutes its strict protection and tradition.

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

“As ecclesiastical history knows, the Metropolis of Kyiv was founded in 988 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and came under its jurisdiction. Later, in 1654, when Russia occupied Ukraine politically, the Russian Church attempted to remove the Kyiv Metropolis 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 Eastern Patriarchates. Then the Russian Patriarch Joachim improperly ordained the Metropolitan of kyiv, an event that was not accepted by the local bishops, who deposed him.

In 1685-1686, the Russian government intervened in the affair 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 of validity of the ordination of the Metropolitan of Kyiv by the Patriarch of Moscow was to fix 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 put on the agenda of the day. ”

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

“In 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate considered the issue of restoring deposed Ukrainian bishops to the canonical Church and restored them in accordance with the privilege granted by sacred canons IX and VII of the Fourth Ecumenical Synod.”

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