Hierarch of Alexandria forbids UOC Metropolitan to criticize Pat. Theodore
The Metropolitan of Nigeria wrote a daring letter to Metropolitan of Odessa Agafangel in response to the latter’s appeal to the Primate of the Church of Alexandria.
Alexander (Yanniris), hierarch of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Nigeria, Ipertim and Exarch of the Gulf of Guinea, responded to the appeal of Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Izmail to Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria. The text of the letter of Metropolitan Alexander was published by the Greek edition of Romfea.
In an open message, the hierarch of the Patriarchate of Alexandria claims that Metropolitan Agafangel insulted Patriarch Theodore, and his statements were unjust and made under the influence of lies and slander.
Moreover, according to the Nigerian Metropolitan, "it is you who create the current schism because you do not want to accept the fact that everything that we do in our Church has its beginning, middle and end."
He emphasized that “as an Orthodox Christian and a hierarch” he is sorry about Metropolitan Agafangel because such “inappropriate behavior discredits you”.
Metropolitan Alexander also stated that one of the incentives for writing this appeal was the desire to protect Patriarch Bartholomew, "I will no longer tolerate insults against our Ecumenical Patriarch."
He further stated, “We respect church order. In the Orthodox Church there is the First, which plays a decisive role. You accuse the Ecumenical Patriarch of betrayal, whereas it is you who do not respect the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which granted you Orthodoxy and created your Church.”
He also said that he rejects negative comments of Metropolitan Agafangel towards the head of Phanar and the Patriarch of Alexandria, because "your actions lead to the separation of the Church, so you violate the rules you refer to and want to impose your views."
The hierarch of the Church of Alexandria advises Metropolitan Agafangel to repent and re-read the history of the Church. According to him, "people, who over time rejected heresies and schismatic behavior, were again accepted into the Church."
Also, the Metropolitan of Nigeria was noted by a number of emotional and incorrect attacks towards the UOC hierarch. In particular, that Metropolitan Agafangel should “look at the world differently, not only from a Russian point of view,” but also “keep such comments to himself”.
Moreover, he forbade His Eminence Agafangel to denounce Patriarch Theodore: “Do not dare to blame Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and all Africa for anything, because he is an example of love, sacrifice and good missionary work.”
At the end of his letter, the Metropolitan of Nigeria writes, “I would also like to mention the last paragraph of the letter which you sent to the Ecumenical Patriarch. You said that "the blood of martyrdom cannot wash away the sin of schism." Therefore, I would like to ask you with all due respect, how can we, the pastors of the Orthodox Church, wash away our sin if we do not take the necessary steps to heal the wound caused by the current split? ”
It is especially worth noting that the Metropolitan of Nigeria calls Metropolitan Agafangel "residing in Odessa and Ishmael," because, apparently, he considers the "hierarch" of the OCU, Vasily (Paul) Yuristy to be the "canonical metropolitan" of Odessa.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that Metropolitan Agafangel (Savvin) of Odessa and Izmail called on Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria to review his decision on the recognition of the OCU and to protect canonical Orthodoxy.