in Jerusalem has had a strong relationship with the Arab and Islamic world ever since the Arab Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab conquered Jerusalem in 636, when he received the keys of the Holy City from Patriarch Sephronius of Jerusalem because the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius had already left the city for Constantinople," Patriarch Theophilos said.
Yet, later on, a new statement issued by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
of Balamand saying that the patriarchate
has thus far received no tangible evidence of the release of the two metropolitans.
Meanwhile, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate
in Damascus strongly condemned the abduction of the two Bishops by an armed terrorist group in Aleppo countryside, calling on all sides to preserve their lives and release them.
Some experts wondered if the statement goes too far in suggesting a kind of equivalence between patriarchates
in the East and bishops' conferences in the West.
There is no state religion; however, the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church tend to dominate in the east and west of the country respectively.
Panteleymon's monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Representatives of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church cited difficulties in providing religious services to soldiers and objected to the need to obtain approval for prison ministry activities from prison chaplains of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Representatives of the UOC-Kiev Patriarchate, the UAOC, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church alleged local governments preference for the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate in the east.
Leaders of the UOC-Kiev Patriarchate and the UAOC began negotiations on unification in the hope that, when unified, they would be recognized as the country's Orthodox Church by Orthodoxy's "First Among Equals," Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
By far the most valuable section is part 3: a thorough study of the way Vatican II treated the role of the patriarchates.
Part 4, as already noted, outlines some of the postconciliar writings on patriarchates by various ecclesiologists.
Whether or not that title is retained in official Vatican circles, it will be important for Orthodox and Catholic rapprochement that the role of patriarchates in the past and present be thoroughly understood and respected.
The statistics of the Moscow patriarchate
affirm that 90 per cent of their faithful are in Ukraine and that 83 per cent of their clergy are from the western Ukraine.