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Report: Russians leave ecumenical talks in rift with Constantinople

October 11, 2007

From Catholic World News:

Russian Orthodox delegates have walked out of a joint session of Catholic and Orthodox theologians, highlighting the sharp disagreements among the world’s Orthodox leaders.

A delegation from Moscow left the meeting, being held in Ravenna, Italy, after learning that a delegate from the Estonian Apostolic Church would be included in the ecumenical talks. The Estonian Apostolic Church has gained canonical recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, but the Russian Orthodox Church, which still claims authority over the Orthodox community in Estonia, disputes that status.

The dispute calls attention to enduring conflicts over authority in the Orthodox world, with the Moscow patriarchate resisting the power of Constantinople. Although the Russian Orthodox Church is by far the largest of the Orthodox churches, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has traditionally been recognized as the “first among equals” of the world’s Orthodox leaders….

Full report here.

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