Ecclesiastic spirit, not politics, must prevail in Phanar, – UOC spokesman

Deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich

Unilateral decisions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople may cause a new schism, said Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the UOC DECR.

Ecclesiastic spirit but not politics should prevail in the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This was stated by Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC, on the air of the programme "The Right to Faith".

According to him, all Local Churches are concerned about the latest decisions of Phanar concerning Ukraine.

"This will do no good to anyone," the spokesman of the UOC noted. "The schism in Ukraine will not be legalized. And even if Patriarch Bartholomew goes to the end and some new structure is created in Ukraine, it will lead to a breakdown in the relationship, to the termination of Eucharistic communion between the Churches. So, it will breed a new schism. All sides will lose."

According to Father Nikolai, if the Church of Constantinople had wanted to do everything right, they should have agreed on the decision to appoint the exarchs with the UOC. Instead, everything was done unilaterally.

"We respect the Patriarchate of Constantinople as the Church from which we received Baptism," said the deputy head of the UOC DECR. "But if the Mother Church, as it calls itself, does so, it doesn't act out in a motherly way."

Protopriest Nikolai stressed that all participants in the process should be guided by the need to preserve the unity of the Church.

"We would very much like everything to be coordinated and this not to lead to a new schism," Father Nikolai stressed. "And that ecclesiastic spirit but not political would prevail with everyone, mainly in the Patriarchate of Constantinople. That is the ecclesiastic expediency, the unity of the Church, and not political motives, which can underlie the decisions taken."

Earlier, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has appointed Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon (the U.S) and Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton (Canada) as its exarchs in Kiev "within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine". The UOC stated that the appointment of the exarchs in Kiev by Phanar occurred without the knowledge of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry.


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