Phanar Exarch: Local Churches will recognize OCU in a month
Archbishop Daniel of Pamphylia believes that the Greek and Romanian Churches will recognize the OCU in a month and a half and “from there the process will move along”.
Some of the Local Orthodox Churches will need time to officially recognize and accept the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” but no major problems are foreseen, Archbishop Daniel of Pamphylia, one of the two Constantinople Exarchs to Kiev, said in an interview with the BBC.
“The Russian Orthodox Church refuses to recognize it,” the Constantinople hierarch noted, “and this is understandable.”
“The Serbian, Polish, and Antiochian Churches are the three structures that will take time to work out the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” he said.
Abp. Daniel expressed more optimism about working with the Polish Church though: “Its rhetoric will change, and it will realize its historical place in the bosom of the Church of Christ and Constantinople.” However, the archbishop did not specify in an interview how exactly the rhetoric of the Polish Church should change and as a result of what it “will realize its place”.
Asked how long the entire process of recognition would take, Abp. Daniel expressed his belief that it is a matter of months, not years, and that the Greek and Romanian Churches will be the first to recognize “Metropolitan” Epiphany and his “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, noting that Epiphany has already sent letters to the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches announcing his election as primate.
Abp. Daniel also said that Constantinople will not place any kind of sanctions on Churches that do not recognize the new Ukrainian structure but will work with them to explain why they should recognize it.
“I don't foresee big problems here. I think we will find mutual understanding with the Serbian and Antiochian Churches, we need only a little time. In these regions, certain political conditions have been created, so it will take time to work with them,” Abp. Daniel concluded.
Earlier, Abp. Daniel of Pamphylia declared the completion of his mission as Exarch of Constantinople in Ukraine, since “historical justice was restored” – the Ukrainian Church gained its independence, and now the hierarchs, clergymen, and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church can calmly and without pressure go to the OCU.
On the feast of Theophany, the “bishops” of the OCU are reported to be going to visit Jerusalem, for which the Jerusalem Church is subject to pressures, including from Constantinople, to accept the schismatics and concelebrate with them.