Patriarch Irinej: Phanar’s decree is contrary to church doctrine and system

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia

The decisions of the Synod of Constantinople of October 11 leads both to deepening the schism in Ukraine and possibility of having new schisms in Local Churches.

The Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Iriney, told this in an interview with the Serbian edition Novosti (News), reports Orthodoxy.ru.

According to him, the crisis that has arisen in the Orthodox world is very deep and might turn into the tragedy of a long-lasting split. However, no changes in the global ecclesiastic order are irreparable – the Church does not know irreversible processes and final changes, everything can be healed and overcome by the love and mercy of God.

The Patriarch noted that on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church, he did everything possible to avoid the worst-case scenario.

“First of all, our Council appealed to His Holiness the Patriarch of Constantinople with an appeal not to be hasty, but to follow the path of dialogue and pan-Orthodox consensus, then our Holy Synod sent him a second appeal in the same spirit, and then I personally set out our position at the meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch in Thessaloniki, the hierarch said. “Of course, I previously had a talk with His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow, and we also informed all the Local Autocephalous Churches on the position of our Church.”

The Primate recalled that the position of the Serbian Church is the need to fully and immutably observe the centuries-old church order and sacred canons, which, in the opinion of most bishops and theologians, is infringed by the Mother-Church in Constantinople.

“We stand for the unity of the Church, for responsibility, loyalty to the canonical order, and, moreover, against everything that divides and leads to the risk of schism,” the Serbian Patriarch emphasized. “The recent communique of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople dated October 11 we perceive as a step not only to cause deepening the schism in the canonical territory of the autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but also to directly and immediately open up the possibility of having new schisms in other Local Churches.”

According to Patriarch Irinej, the communique of the Synod of Constantinople, in its spirit and content, is contrary to the doctrine and organization of the Orthodox Church.

“The Phanar’s recent statement, which, ostensibly, in the spirit of peace and the love of Christ, calls to avoid any acts of violence, retaliation, as well as appropriation of any churches and monasteries, seems to me like turning a blind eye to the easily foreseen implications of his own actions, not to mention possible Pilat’s washing his hands,” summarized the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

As the UOJ reported, the Patriarch of Serbia Iriney and the Patriarch of Antioch and all East John X in their joint statement called on Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew to restore a “fraternal dialogue” with the Russian Orthodox Church to resolve the conflict caused by the Ukrainian ecclesiastic issue.

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