Greek hierarch: We pray for the Ukrainian issue to be discussed at Synaxis
To resolve the situation when the canonical UOC is ignored, while the schismatic OCU is recognized, a Pan-Orthodox Council is needed, assures Met. Seraphim of Kythira.
The hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and Antikythera, hopes for convening a Pan-Orthodox Council, which should find a solution to the Ukrainian issue and prevent a further split in Orthodoxy. The Greek hierarch said this in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency, which asked the Metropolitan to comment on the peace letter sent by Archbishop Ieronymos to Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
“I have been writing on this topic for months and I think that from the canonical, ecclesiological perspective, the canons of our Church have been violated,” said Metropolitan Seraphim. “This fact makes me especially upset, because the canonical Church of Ukraine led by Metropolitan Onuphry and the episcopate of the country are disregarded. We have such a development of events despite the fact that all the Orthodox Churches would stay cautious and refrain from any decision.”
He emphasized that "now we are faced with a fait accompli and our prayers are for the Pan-Orthodox Council, the Ecumenical Council to be convened in order to solve such a serious problem."
“I pray that we have peace and blessings of God and the Holy Spirit, and that they reign in the Church of Ukraine, that the canonical order defined by the laws of my Church prevail <...> We pray that the issue be discussed as soon as possible at the synaxis of primates, and it would be better if the Pan-Orthodox Council were held. This event raises alarm with the entire Orthodox world,” the hierarch added expressing the hope that the Primates of the Local Churches would consider this issue responsibly, based on the traditions of the Orthodox Church and the holy canons.
He is convinced that in the current situation the Pan-Orthodox Council is required according to the canons: “Now we are confronted with the phenomenon when the canonical Church is ignored, supplanted and there is a new schismatic formation instead, thus we need a solution because this state of affairs is not accepted by all Orthodox Churches. Therefore, there is a strong need for a Pan-Orthodox Council.”
At the same time, His Eminence Seraphim said that after sending an official letter of recognition to Epiphany Dumenko, the latter's name will enter in the diptych of the Greek Orthodox Church; however, “the problem is that we should not make haste when we witness the developments inflicting harm on the people of God.”
In his opinion, Archbishop Ieronymos should not have made a decision on the OCU alone, although earlier the decision of the Council of Bishops was not required to recognize autocephaly.
“But here is a completely different case, a special one. The canonical Church is supplanted and replaced by the recognized schismatics who were deposed, not ordained or self-ordained. This is completely different. And for this reason, the Primate could not make a decision on his own. According to the canonical procedure, it was a prerogative of the Council of Bishops to decide on it with an open or secret ballot,” Metropolitan Seraphim summed up.
As reported by UOJ, the former representative of the Greek Church in the European Union, Protopresbyter Nikolaos Savvopoulos accused Archbishop Ieronymos of betrayal and aggravation of the split due to his decision on the OCU.
Recall, on the eve the OCU reported that on October 28, Epiphany Dumenko had received a peace missive from the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, which testifies to the actual recognition of the OCU. In this connection, the UOC DECR issued an official statement in which it informed that the Holy Synod of the UOC will make the decision on the possibility of further Eucharistic communion and con-celebration with the clergy of the Greek Church.