Bishop Irinej of Backa: Phanar’s unilateral decision on Ukraine is a sin
The representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church doubts that Phanar will decide on granting autocephaly to Ukraine, bypassing the canonical rules.
Bishop Irinej of Backa said that the Patriarch of Constantinople cannot unilaterally decide on Ukraine, reports the site of the SOC.
"The Patriarch of Constantinople is the first in honor, which means the first among equals, and not the primus sine paribus, as the head over all," explained Bishop Irinej. "So, God forbid if the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew intends to come to some unilateral and arbitrary judicial decision on the Skopje case and the Ukrainian schism, because this would be an expression of a great error, a great spiritual sin and, from the point of view of the canons and law of the Orthodox Church, canonically completely invalid decision".
The bishop stressed that he speaks about this "absolutely hypothetically", because he deeply believes that this will not happen.
"If this were due to political or other pressure, it would provoke a decisive disagreement and opposition not only in the Slavic Orthodox world, but in the whole Orthodoxy," said Bishop Irinej. "Knowing the centuries-old tradition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the charismatic personality of Patriarch Bartholomew, I remain an optimist."
Earlier, Bishop Irinej of Backa expressed regret that representatives of the Ukrainian church separatists were received by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In turn, Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej stated that "anyone who helps the Ukrainian schismatics is the enemy not only of the Russian Church and the Russian world, but also of all Orthodox Slavic peoples and the entire Orthodox world."