Independence decree presented to Ukrainian Orthodox bishop
ISTANBUL (AP) — The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on Sunday presented a decree of independence to the head of the nascent Orthodox Church of Ukraine, formally severing it from the Russian Orthodox Church.
In Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew I presented the Tomos, a scroll containing the decree, in a symbolic ceremony sanctifying the Ukrainian church's independence. He signed the decree a day earlier.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church breaks away from Russian influence
ISTANBUL (AP) — An independent Ukrainian Orthodox church was created at a signing ceremony in Turkey on Saturday, formalizing a split with the Russian church it had been tied to since 1686.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, signed the "Tomos" in Istanbul in front of clerics and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, forming the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Ecumenical Patriarch in Romania for dedication of cathedral
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has arrived in Bucharest for the dedication of a cathedral to mark 100 years since modern-day Romania was created in the aftermath of World War I.
The Istanbul-based patriarch Bartholomew I, considered the "first among equals" in the Orthodox world, praised the Romanian Orthodox Church on Friday for its "conciliatory and peaceful" nature.
Ukraine’s president meets Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul
ISTANBUL (AP) — Ukraine's president has met the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, as some Ukrainian clerics prepare to break ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.
President Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew I spoke in Istanbul on Saturday, weeks after the patriarchate's Oct. 11 decision to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Russia in turn broke off ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate.
Romanian church urges unity for Orthodox churches
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's Orthodox Church has called for unity among Orthodox churches after a meeting to discuss a rupture between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Russian Orthodox Church breaks ties with Orthodoxy’s leader
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church decided Monday to sever ties with the leader of the worldwide Orthodox community after his decision to grant Ukrainian clerics independence from the Moscow Patriarchate.
Metropolitan Hilarion said the Russian church's Holy Synod resolved to "''break the Eucharistic communion" with the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Orthodox Church to move forward with Ukrainian independence
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president on Thursday hailed the announcement by Orthodoxy's Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that it will move forward with granting Ukrainian clerics independence from the Russian Orthodox Church, while the Russian church denounced the decision.
Russian Orthodox Church issues warning to Orthodoxy’s leader
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church warned Friday that it would sever ties with the leader of the worldwide Orthodox community if he grants autonomy to Ukraine's Orthodox Church.
Russian church rebuffs Orthodoxy’s leader after Ukraine move
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday announced a rebuff to the leader of the worldwide Orthodox community, saying it would not participate in events headed by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate due to a dispute over control of the church in Ukraine.
The church also announced at a meeting of top priests that it would not even remember Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in its prayers.
Cleric: ‘No going back’ on Ukraine split from Russia Church
ISTANBUL (AP) — A senior official in the Orthodox Church says "there's no going backwards" in granting Ukrainian clerics full ecclesiastic independence from the Russian Orthodox Church to which they have been tied to for hundreds of years.
However, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, who is part of a committee dealing with the Ukrainian question, told The Associated Press that the final step of the procedure has yet to be reached.
Ungodly espionage: Russian hackers targeted Orthodox clergy
LONDON (AP) — The Russian hackers indicted by the U.S. special prosecutor last month have spent years trying to steal the private correspondence of some of the world's most senior Orthodox Christian figures, The Associated Press has found, illustrating the high stakes as Kiev and Moscow wrestle over the religious future of Ukraine.
Moscow, Kiev in tug-of-war over religious future of Ukraine
LONDON (AP) — As Kiev and Moscow clash on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, a new front has opened up in the religious sphere.
Earlier this year Ukrainian's president launched a campaign to persuade Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, seen by many as the first among equals of Eastern Orthodox leaders, to grant Ukrainian clerics full ecclesiastical independence from the Russian Orthodox Church to which they have been tied for hundreds of years.
Unholy hackers: Orthodox clergy targeted by Russian spies
LONDON (AP) — Even men and women of the cloth aren't safe from 21st-century cyberspies.
The Associated Press has found that the same hackers charged with intervening in the 2016 U.S. presidential election also spent years trying to eavesdrop on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, often described as the first among equals of the world's Eastern Orthodox Christian leaders.
Pope, Orthodox leader blame ‘moral decay’ for ecology crisis
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis and the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians issued a joint appeal Friday for political leaders to "support the consensus of the world" that climate change and other environmental ills have created an ecological crisis that is harming the world's poorest the most.
Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I called for urgent action to "heal our wounded creation," warning that generations to come will suffer unless concrete and collective action is taken.
Pope asks world leaders to listen to ‘cry of the Earth’
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is urging world leaders to "listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor" and take measures to protect the environment.
Francis made the appeal Wednesday in announcing that he and the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew I, would be releasing a joint statement on care for God's creation on Friday.
Millions of Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Millions of Orthodox Christians around the world have celebrated Easter in overnight services and with "holy fire" from Jerusalem, commemorating the day followers believe that Jesus was resurrected nearly 2,000 years ago.
Pope, refugees and religious leaders pray for peace
ASSISI, Italy (AP) — Pope Francis met with war refugees and religious figures on Tuesday in Assisi, the Italian hometown of the tolerance-preaching St. Francis, for a day of prayers for peace, openness toward refugees and calls for religions to marginalize fundamentalism.
He lamented in a prayer service in St. Francis Basilica that refugees from conflicts often receive "the bitter vinegar of rejection."
MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian president has called on an Orthodox Christian leader to recognize the independence of his country's splinter church.
Orthodox Christians in Ukraine are divided between one church that is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and a splinter church under a Ukrainian leader that neither Moscow nor other Orthodox churches recognize.
President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday said he had petitioned Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew...