For all Kiev's hopes of a "fully independent" Orthodox church in Ukraine, it turns out that Constantinople has its own plans. A statute shows the new church to be in a subordinate position and not led by a patriarch. In recent months, the Kiev government and Ukraine's priests seeking to have an internationally accepted Orthodox church not answering to Moscow, have gained the backing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It challenged the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukrainian territory by revoking its 17th century concession to the Moscow-based Patriarchy, which acknowledged its right to appoint the most senior Orthodox cleric in Kiev. At the moment there are three major organizations in Ukraine calling themselves Orthodox Churches. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an autonomous branch of the Russian Orthodox Church and is recognized by other Orthodox churches of the world. Two others are not, and its leaders were until recently universally recognized as...
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