Communiqué of the Bishops' Council of GOC on "Ukrainian issue" published

The Bishops’ Council of the Greek Orthodox Church. Photo: Romfea

The Council recognized the Phanar’s "right” to grant autocephaly and the privilege of the primate of the Greek Church to deal with the issue of recognizing the OCU.

The Bishops’ Council of the Greek Orthodox Church decided to ratify the decision of the previous Holy Synod and His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece’s proposal, namely: to recognize the “canonical right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant autocephaly, as well as the privilege of the primate of the Church of Greece to further deal with the issue of the recognition of the Church of Ukraine,” while seven metropolitans asked for a postponement in making a decision. 

Characterizing the proclamation of the ecclesiastical autocephaly of Ukraine as extremely useful for the Orthodox Church and valuable for strengthening relations between the two autocephalous sister Churches of Great Russia and Ukraine, Abp. Ieronymos proposed “that our Church recognize the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of the independent republic of Ukraine”.

The UOJ cites the full text of the Bishops’ Council’s communiqué published by the Greek resource “Romfea”:

“Today, on Saturday October 12, 2019, the Bishops’ Council of the Greek Orthodox Church, under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, convened in an extraordinary session in the hall of the Bishops’ Councils.

Before the meeting, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the cathedral of the Monastery of the Bodiless Powers in Petraki. At about 9 in the morning, in the large hall of conciliar sessions, the rite of the beginning of the work of the Bishops’ Council was celebrated. A list of the hierarchs was read and a quorum was recorded.

After that, a press committee was formed, including the Most Reverend Metropolitans: Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios, Dorotheos of Syros, Tinos, Andros, Kea, and Milos, and Chrysostomos of Patras.

According to the agenda, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece gave a report on the topic ‘The Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine’.

In the preface of this report, His Beatitude said that the Holy Synod had especially examined this issue at a sufficient number of its sessions, referring it to the competent Synodal commissions: the commission on dogmatic and canonical issues and the commission on inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian relations, to jointly report back to the Holy Synod in due course.

On August 13, the aforementioned commissions submitted their joint conclusion and recommendation to the Secretariat under the title ‘The Question of the Canonical Jurisdiction of the Holy Metropolis of Kiev’.

The commission, having formulated five key canonical theses, came to the following conclusion: ‘On the basis of all the above, having considered the topic of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine from the canonical point of view, but also legal, we piously report that there are no obstacles to recognizing the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine and the complete harmonization and coordination of the Church of Greece with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.’”

It was followed by a constructive dialogue and expression of the position of many reverend hierarchs, and the Bishops’ Council decided to ratify the decision of the previous Holy Synod and His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece’s proposal, namely: to recognize the “canonical right of the Ecumenical 
Patriarchate to grant autocephaly, as well as the privilege of the primate of the Church of Greece to further deal with the issue of the recognition of the Church of Ukraine”.

As reported earlier, at its extraordinary session, the Bishops’ Council of the Greek Orthodox Church recognized the OCU

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What will happen if the Church of Greece recognizes the OCU?
it will put itself out of Orthodoxy
50%
it will give rise to global recognition of the OCU by Local Churches
14%
nothing will happen, the Greeks will be the first and the last to recognize the OCU
36%
Total votes: 269

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