Church of Cyprus asks Patriarch Theodore not to commemorate head of OCU
According to the Greek resource, the hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus asked the Patriarch of Alexandria not to commemorate “Metropolitan” Epiphany at a joint service.
Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, who arrived in Cyprus on November 9, 2019, on the occasion of the celebrations in honor of St. John the Merciful, was asked not to remember the head of the OCU, Metropolitan Epiphany, during the liturgy, reports the UOC Information and Education Department with reference to the Greek resource “Romfea”.
“Romfea” writes that the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus were “surprised” at the decision of Patriarch Theodore II, who announced on November 8 the recognition of the “self-proclaimed Church of Ukraine” and asked him not to commemorate “Metropolitan” Epiphany at the service.
This year marks the 1,400th anniversary of the assumption of St. John the Merciful, the patron saint of Limassol. The celebrations take place on November 11 and 12: an all-night vigil and the patriarchal Divine Liturgy will be performed.
The request to refrain from commemorating the head of the OCU was especially expressed by Metropolitan Athanasius of Limassol, in whose metropolis celebrations are held.
The information is confirmed on his Facebook page by Orthodox blogger Alexander Voznesensky: “It is known from reliable sources that the visit of Theodore of Alexandria to Cyprus and the concelebration with Metropolitan Athanasius of Limassol were agreed in advance, but now, after Theodore’s act regarding the schismatics, part of the hierarchs refused to participate in the service with him in Limassol, and Metropolitan Athanasius, not wanting the schismatics to be commemorated in his temple, turned to Theodore with a request to refrain from such a mention of the schismatics s during the service."
He explained that “Vladyka Athanasius previously spoke in the unequivocal support of Vladyka Onuphry” and added that “in this regard, Vladyka is a vivid example of the hierarchs among the Greeks for whom the truths of God are more important than monetary, political or even ethnic issues.”
As reported earlier, the Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC, Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, commenting on the recognition of the OCU by the Patriarchate of Alexandria, called it “weakness and betrayal” and emphasized that the Patriarch of Alexandria could not resist external pressure from the Phanar, the Greek and US authorities.