Romanian Church asks Phanar to spell out the legitimacy of OCU ordinations

22 February 2019 14:50
The session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church The session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church

The Synod of the Romanian Church declared the need for a bilateral dialogue between Moscow and Ecumenical Patriarchates and Synaxis of the Primates of Orthodox Churches.

At the meeting of the Holy Synod, which took place on February 21, 2019, the Romanian Orthodox Church outlined a number of conditions necessary to determine its official position regarding the ecclesiastic situation in Ukraine. This is reported by the Greek portal Romfea.

“For almost 30 years, the problem of the split in Ukraine has not been solved, and there has not even been a call for pan-Orthodox mediation, as was the case with a split in Bulgaria,” the Synod said. “The Ecumenical Patriarchate, recognizing this impasse in resolving the situation, granted the Tomos on autocephaly to hierarchs, clergymen and believers who were in schism vis-à-vis the Russian Orthodox Church and all Orthodoxy, but this Tomos was accepted only by those from the Ukrainian Orthodox who were not in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate.

The Synod of the Romanian Church stated that as a result, “the problem of church unity in Ukraine is not resolved, including because there exists a large Russian ethnic population, which maintains a direct connection with the Moscow Patriarchate.”

Regarding its position in relation to the ecclesiastic situation in Ukraine, the Romanian Church explained that it reiterates the previously expressed point of view, which was voiced at meetings of the Holy Synod on May 24 and October 25, 2018.

The statement also emphasizes that the Romanian Patriarchate proposes to resolve the existing dispute through a dialogue between the Ecumenical and Moscow Patriarchs, which would result in a workable solution through maintaining the unity of the faith, respect for the administrative and pastoral freedom of the clergy and believers in this country, and restoring Eucharistic communion.

“If a bilateral dialogue is not crowned with success, it is necessary to convene a meeting of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches to solve the existing problem,” the Romanian Church said.

In addition, the Synod said that when making a specific decision on the Ukrainian church issue, first of all, it would take into account the fact that there are 127 Romanian parishes, mainly in Northern Bukovina, which are under the authority of the UOC. In this regard, the Romanian hierarchs noted the need to seek written guarantees from the church and political authorities of the Ukrainian state that the ethnic and linguistic identity of the Romanians be respected, and that Romanian believers have an opportunity to unite into the Romanian Orthodox vicariate and develop spiritual ties with the Romanian Patriarchate.

The Romanian Patriarchate also announced it would ask the Ecumenical Patriarchate to clarify the problem of non-canonical hierarchs and priests who belonged to the Kiev Patriarchate.

It is noted that the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church will make a statement of its official position on the situation of Orthodoxy in Ukraine only after all the above-mentioned consultations have been made.

As the UOJ reported, earlier the Holy Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church stated that it would not recognize the OCU in its current status. The reason for this is the invalidity of priestly and episcopal ordinations in the OCU and the lack of church unity in Ukraine.

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