According to the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church press service, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople states Moscow has no grounds for organizing own celebrations of the anniversary of the events that took place in Kyiv in the late 10th century. Also, Constantinople does not recognize the accession in the second half of the 17th century of the Kyiv Metropolis to the Moscow Patriarchate.
Earlier, the Ecumenical Patriarch received an official invitation from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill to take part in the ceremonial events dedicated to the “1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus” in the Russian Federation. The Ecumenical Patriarch replied that actual ceremonial events dedicated to the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyiv Rus will be held in Kyiv, where representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch will attend on July 28. Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have been duly invited and the relevant delegation has been appointed. The participation of representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the events organized in Russia was impossible and inexpedient.
A rather sharp response of the Ecumenical Patriarch is due to his clear position regarding the absence of grounds for Moscow to organize celebrations of historical events that took place in Kyiv at the end of the 10th century, and due to the decline to recognize the “accession” of the Kyiv Metropolis to the Moscow Patriarchate in the second half of the 17th century.
This position is justified by the very fact that at the time of Kyivan Rus’ conversion to Christianity, Moscow was not founded yet. The establishment of independent Moscow Orthodox Church happened much later in the 15th century after Moscow had broke from Kyiv’s control in a period Mongol’s ruling.
Text: Oleksandr Kravchenko