Patriarch Kirill to cease liturgical commemoration of Patriarch of Alexandria – Moscow Patriarchate spokesman
The recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) by Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa makes it impossible for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to commemorate his name during services, the Moscow Patriarchate said.
"The Russian Orthodox Church is deeply saddened by the reports on Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria's decision to recognize Epiphanios Dumenko as the leader of the 'Orthodox Church of Ukraine' and commemorate his name in the Church of Alexandria's diptychs. This means that the name of the Patriarch of Alexandria can no longer be commemorated during patriarchal services in the Russian Orthodox Church," Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolai Balashov told Interfax on Friday.
The Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate will consider the incoming reports for making further decisions, he said.
It emerged earlier on Friday that Patriarch Theodore II de facto recognized the OCU by mentioning the name of his leader, Epiphanius I, as the primate of a local Orthodox church during a liturgy service.
Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece recognized the OCU in late October, despite opposition on the part of his own episcopacy.
The patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa is considered the second in rank following the Patriarch of Constantinople among the primates of local Orthodox churches around the world. While he was young, he studied at the Odesa University and then served as the father superior of the Church of Alexandria mission in Odesa from 1985 to 1990. Until lately, Patriarch Theodore II has been known as one of the most prominent defenders of canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine.