Hierarch of Serbia gives reasons to UOC Primate for meeting with E. Zoria

Metropolitan Amphilochios of Montenegro and the Littoral. Photo: spc.rs

On June 24, Metropolitan Amphilochios of Montenegro and the Littoral met with an OCU representative which bewildered hierarchy of the UOC and other Churches.

On July 17, 2019, the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, received a letter from Metropolitan Amphilochios of Montenegro and Primorsky explaining the fact and the reason for his recent meeting with Eustraty Zoria in Cetinje. This is reported by the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC.

In his letter, the hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church indicated that the representatives of the OCU asked him to meet in person in order to pass a letter from Epiphany Dumenko, in which he substantiated the "co-service" of his "clerics" and Metropolitan Emmanuel of France with the "archimandrite" of the unrecognized Montenegrin Church, Boris Bojovich, which took place on May 26, 2019 in St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral of Kiev.

According to His Eminence Amphilochios, this fact of co-serving with the hierarch of Constantinople with the dissenter Bojovic raised fears in the Serbian Church that after this step the “representatives of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, will also take part in the ‘ordination of Archimandrite Boris ”in Cetinje as expected by Montenegrin authorities’." In this regard, Metropolitan Amphilochios sent an appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in which he expressed concern about the situation.

It was the transfer of the letter of Epiphany Dumenko that caused the meeting of Metropolitan Amphilochios with Eustraty Zoria. Fragments of the letter of the head of the OCU were published on the official website of the Montenegrin and the Littoral Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

At the same time, Vladyka Amphilochios stressed that in his personal conversation with Zoria, he once again pointed out to the unchanged position of the Bishops' Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church that “church-related problems that have arisen in Ukraine at the moment can be solved exclusively at the Pan-Orthodox Council, which all Local Churches throughout the year 2018 persistently urged to <...> and only with the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church and the canonical hierarchy in Ukraine led by His Beatitude (Primate of the UOC, Metropolitan Onuphry – Ed.).”

The hierarch also pointed out that he had immediately reported to the Holy Patriarch of Serbia Irinej and the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church about the fact of the mentioned meeting with the representative of the OCU.

Recall that the participation of the Montenegrin dissenter in the "worship" of the OCU became known due to the photo report published by the press service of the newly formed church structure on its official website.

In turn, Phanar explained the concelebration of its hierarch with the schismatics by the fact that it was “accidental” and that Metropolitan Emmanuel of France could not know everyone who participated in the liturgy, which was attended by about 100 clergymen. Thus, according to Nikolaos Papachristos, head of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Office of Public Relations, “with so many bishops and priests it is impossible to know who is who”, therefore, “the Patriarchate of Constantinople is not to blame for such a failure”.

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