Church of Albania: In Ukraine appears a threat to split Orthodox unity

His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania

Constantinople’s actions to create autocephaly in Ukraine is a dangerous enterprise, believes the Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church. 

His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania sent a reply message to Pat. Krill on October 10 in which he expressed concern that the implementation of the Ukrainian autocephaly project by the Patriarchate of Constantinople “will become a walk through a minefield,” reports the site of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“It resembles a dangerous enterprise with unexpected side effects. Opposing factions will maintain their individuality and cohesion as has happened many times in various Local Churches. As a result, instead of the unity of Orthodoxy in Ukraine, there appears the danger of a split in the unity of world Orthodoxy,” the Albanian Primate writes.

In his recent letter, Abp. Anastasios expressed his view that opposing factions will remain opposed and a schism will break out in the Orthodox world and that he had personally shared this view with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople during a meeting on the island of Crete.

His Beatitude also noted that he offers “fervent prayers for the unity of our holy Church, headed by our Lord Jesus Christ, which He hath purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28).”

Abp. Anastasios also assured Pat. Kirill that he would “do everything possible to prevent a schism in world Orthodoxy.”

“Such a development of events would be a painful blow to trust in Orthodoxy, which should be avoided by all means. No matter how impossible it may seem, we believe that we should all ‘do everything’ to return to the Synaxis of the primates and the planning of a new Great Council. We are aware that some will find these proposals unrealistic and ultimately unfeasible,” His Beatitude said, “Nevertheless, I am convinced that no one can be a realist if he doesn’t believe in miracles and that the things which are impossible with men are possible with God" (Lk. 18:27).

We recall that the Bishops’ Council of the Polish Orthodox Church called all Local Orthodox Churches for an assembly to find a solution to the Ukrainian church question “in the spirit of evangelical love, humility, mutual understanding and respect, observing church-dogmatic canons”. The Serbian Church, which did not recognize the Phanar’s decisions on the reinstation of the heads of the UOC-KP and the UAOC, had made a similar appeal earlier.

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