Primate of Church of Cyprus: We do not agree with either Phanar or Moscow
Neither Constantinople nor the Church of Greece is heretics, but we do not agree with them, said Archbishop Chrysostomos.
The Cypriot Orthodox Church takes a neutral position on the “Ukrainian church issue”, the Greek news agency “Romfea” cites the words of the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of New Justiniana and All Cyprus.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II explained this position by the fact that the Church of Cyprus does not agree with the position of either of the Local Churches in the conflict between the Phanar and the Russian Orthodox Church. In his opinion, the breakdown of Eucharistic communion with Constantinople and the Greek Church is an unjust measure since there are no grounds to consider both heretics.
“We consider the attitude of the Patriarch of Moscow unacceptable. We do not cut off the memory of another Presbyterian because we disagree with his position. Only if he becomes a heretic, we break up with him. And what I know is that neither the Ecumenical nor the Athenians are heretics. This, of course, does not mean that I agree with them,” said Archbishop Chrysostomos.
We recall that on October 17, 2019, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church issued an official statement regarding the Church of Greece. In it, members of the Synod warned that if the Primate of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, begins to commemorate the head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will be forced to stop commemorating Archbishop Ieronymos himself. At the same time, members of the Synod decided to maintain prayer communion with those Greek bishops who spoke out against the recognition of the OCU but to cease it with those who recognized the new church structure recently created in Ukraine.
The Primate of the Church of Cyprus recalled that he was trying to organize negotiations between the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and the Russian Orthodox Church, but these attempts were unsuccessful.
“Neither the Ecumenical wants to meet with Moscow, nor does Moscow want to meet with the Ecumenical. That is why, as a Church of Cyprus, we also take a neutral stand because we do not agree with the stand of either of them,” he concluded.
In July 2017, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus noted that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine was creating a schismatic church in Ukraine, in October 2018 he again opposed the intervention of Ukrainian politicians in the life of the Church.
Archbishop Chrysostomos has twice denied statements by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine that he allegedly recognized the OCU.
On October 10, 2019, the Primate of the Church of Cypriot announced that he was not changing his stance on the “Ukrainian church issue”. “We started the conversation with the Archbishop with a talk about the unity of the Church, and he reaffirmed his position on the unity of the Orthodox faith in the context of what is happening in Ukraine. <...> The Cypriot Church has a clear position. Its Primate said that he does not change his position, although pressure is exerting on them,” said Sergei Stepashin, Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society (IOPS).