UOC cleric: Phanar has put Local Churches in an awkward position

Deputy Head of the UOC DECR Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich

The actions of Constantinople Patriarchate affect all Orthodox Churches, since they also recognized the anathema against Filaret, assures Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich.

The decisions with regard to Ukraine, which were adopted in Constantinople, put the Local Churches in an embarrassing situation, said Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC, in an interview to Pershy Kozatsky (First Cossack) channel.

“They also recognized the anathema against Filaret. Now Filaret turns out to be no longer anathematized. That is, the schism is still here, but the anathema was lifted,” Father Nikolai noted.

The priest recalled how in 2017 Filaret Denisenko addressed a letter to the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. Then, in the Russian Church, they were ready to remove the anathema and asked the head of the UOC KP to take at least some steps towards overcoming the schism, which he himself bore.

Father Nikolai emphasized that this anathema was imposed not for political reasons, as they want to convince us now. It became the legitimate response to the then Metropolitan’s schismatic actions: “If there is a schism — there is anathema, if there is no schism — there is no anathema.”

The DECR deputy head added that the decision to stop the Eucharistic communion with Phanar “is not isolation of the Russian Orthodox Church, but a response that is based on sacred canons and on the need to protect the Church, as well as general canonical order in Orthodoxy”.

The hierarch of the Hellenic Church, Metropolitan Seraphim, declared that the Phanar had no right to reconsider the case of Filaret Denisenko.

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