UOC DECR publishes a statement on recognition of OCU by Greek Church
The decision on the possibility of further Eucharistic communion and con-celebration with the clergy of the Greek Church will be made by the Holy Synod of UOC.
On October 29, 2019, it became known that the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Hellas, sent letter of recognition No. 4751 (dated October 21, 19) to the head of the OCU Epiphany, whereby the Church of Greece declares its actual recognition of the OCU. In this regard, the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church published an official statement, the text of which is quoted by the UOJ in full.
“We regret this decision, which contradicts the sacred canons and traditions of the Church, and which is also a grave error that harms Orthodoxy in Ukraine as well as Pan-Orthodox unity. This decision is a knife in the back of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which for all years has suffered as a result of the church schism and continues to suffer at the hands of schismatics today in its attempts to uphold the canonical order in the Church.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has repeatedly communicated its position to the Primate and Hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church and informed about the real situation in the ecclesiastic environment of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the Greek Orthodox Church has instead associated itself with the erroneous actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
It is to be regretted that in the interests of this Greek solidarity, manifestations of ethnophyletism has made its appearance today, having outweighed the interests of the Orthodox plentitude. It is to be regretted that geopolitical and political factors have taken precedence in the Orthodox Church of Greece, which finally succumbed to external pressure.
At the same time, we express our heartfelt gratitude to those stalwart hierarchs, priests, monks and lay people of the Greek Orthodox Church who raised their voices and urged Archbishop Ieronymos and the hierarchy of the Greek Church to refrain from hasty decisions; who boldly and courageously testified to the truth and defended the canonical order in the Church.
Throughout the history of the Orthodox Church, especially in the epoch of Ecumenical Councils, but not limited to, there were many instances when supporters of heresies and schisms gained temporary victories over the Church. However, sooner or later the time came and the truth of Christ prevailed. We have no doubt this will be the case this time, even if it takes long.
It is unfortunate that by its actions to recognize the schism, to enter into liturgical communion with the individuals who do not have canonical ordination, the Church of Greece raises concerns about the future of our further Eucharistic communion with it.
The final decision on the possibility of further Eucharistic communion and con-celebration with the clergy of the Greek Church will be made by the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
Recall that on October 12, 2019, at the extraordinary Bishops' Council of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece came up with a proposal to recognize the OCU. The hierarchy of the Greek Church entrusted the Archbishop with the right to commemorate at worship the head of the newly created schismatic structure in diptychs.
Today, the OCU reported that on October 28, Epiphany Dumenko had received a letter of recognition from the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Hellas. In the letter, the Archbishop pointed out that the decision of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople regarding the creation of the OCU made the Greek Church rejoice and wished Epiphany “to completely eliminate the commotion in the Church of Ukraine, which disturbed Her and thus destroyed Her unity”.