Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church declares it will not recognise OCU

18 February 2019 20:21
Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church

According to the decisions of the Synod, which took place on February 18, the Church of Cyprus does not intend to recognise the OCU in its current status.

The reason for this is the invalidity of the priestly and episcopal ordinations in the OCU and the lack of church unity in Ukraine. The translation of the final document on the session results is published by the spokesperson of the UOC Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich on his Facebook page.

According to him, the OCU, in fact, is not even mentioned in the text of the decision, but the arguments presented leave no doubt what is meant.

Paragraph 1 states that every nation has the right to its own church autocephaly.

In paragraphs 2 and 3, Churches that did not participate in the Crete Council, where the issue of autocephaly could be agreed upon, are criticized. If this happened, then, perhaps, this situation would not have arisen today.

Paragraphs 4 and 5 state that it is impossible to break Eucharistic communion due to the resolution of interchurch disputes. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time. There are cases of break-up between the Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem, and recent cases – between the Ecumenical and Jerusalem Patriarchates, as well as the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Athens.”

Paragraph 6 states that “the two-thousand-year experience of the Church of Cyprus, as well as of the entire Orthodox Church, gives us reason to doubt the possibility of retroactive recognition of the chirotonies that were made by banned, excommunicated or anathematised bishops. The ban, excommunication, and anathema of some individuals who initiated the Ukrainian crisis were recognized by all Orthodox Christians”.

Father Nikolai explains that the position of the Cyprus Church on the Ukrainian issue is as follows:

The intention of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to grant autocephaly to Ukraine was dictated by the desire for reconciliation and unity, but this was not achieved. The Church of Cyprus calls on the Patriarchate of Constantinople to convene a Pan-Orthodox Council or Assembly of Primates. But even in this case, it is necessary to resolve the issue of the invalidity of ordinations committed in the schism in order to "calm the minds of believers".  Also, unity between the Orthodox in Ukraine must be achieved.

The Church of Cyprus itself declares its readiness to be a mediator in this crisis issue: “The Church of Cyprus is at the disposal of all concerned with the goal of reconciling the Church,” “which the Lord obtained with His own Blood”.

As the UOJ reported, no hierarchs of the Local Churches, except Constantinople, came to the enthronement of “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, which took place on February 3 at the Sophia Cathedral of Kiev. It was attended by the Roman Catholics, the head of the UGCC and the Protestants.

We recall that the “bishop” of the OCU Pavel Yuristy, with the delegation of the OCU, with the blessing of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, on their visit to the monasteries of Holy Mount Athos, were received in several Athos monasteries – Xenophon, Pantocrator, Esphigmenou and Vatopedi, but were refused entry to the territory of the St. Panteleimon Monastery, the Monasteries of Zograf and Dokhiar. At the Simonopetra monastery, they were only allowed to venerate the shrines and were immediately escorted out without allowing into the monastery yard.

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