UOC Chancellor: Unity of Orthodoxy depends on position of Church of Cyprus
According to Metropolitan Anthony, the Church of Cyprus can either exacerbate or stop the break of Pan-Orthodox unity.
On November 21, 2020, the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, said that the unity of Orthodoxy depends on the position of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. Metropolitan Anthony wrote about this on his Facebook page.
Vladyka recalled the words of St. Augustine, who said that “we believe in the Holy Catholic Church. However, heretics and schismatics also refer to their communities as churches. But heretics, falsely thinking of God, distort the very faith, and the schismatics by lawless divisions depart from brotherly love, although they believe in the same thing as we do. Therefore, neither heretics belong to the universal Church, which loves God, nor schismatics belong to it."
According to Metropolitan Anthony, the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus, scheduled for November 23, 2020, “will take place against the backdrop of extremely negative and sad events. First of all, we are talking about the sole decision made by Archbishop Chrysostom of Cyprus to commemorate the head of the OCU in the diptychs of the Orthodox Primates.
Vladyka stressed that “this unauthorized step, which was taken without the consent of the members of the Holy Synod, not only de facto split the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. It also led to the impossibility of prayer and Eucharistic communion between our Church and the Archbishop of Cyprus."
That is why, according to the hierarch of the UOC, “the significance of the results of the mentioned meeting, as well as the general results of the settlement of the problem caused by the actions of the First Hierarch of the Church of Cyprus, is increasing greatly. Indeed, now, within the framework of the relevant discussion, two fundamental issues are being resolved."
“The first concerns the prospects for increasing the schism in world Orthodoxy. The Church of Cyprus can either aggravate or not aggravate the gap in pan-Orthodox unity. This is not only a responsible but also a truly fateful choice. Because you will have to answer to God for its results,” the bishop believes.
He is confident that “in fact, faithfulness to the Lord and a willingness to follow a course that legalizes schismatics and destroys the foundations of the Orthodox faith are in the balance now.”
In addition, Metropolitan Anthony believes that "the second question rests on the theme of conciliarism", since "the corresponding decision to commemorate the OCU was taken arbitrarily, by the method of voluntarism."
“And if it is not cancelled, then there will be a precedent for establishing the supremacy of the power of one hierarch over the conciliar mechanism of church government. De facto, we are talking about the possibility of establishing the format of "papism" in a particular Orthodox Church. I am sure there is no need to explain what unseemly consequences such a development of events may lead to in the future,” emphasized Metropolitan Anthony.
Proceeding from this, Vladyka says, “we can safely say that now a very serious burden of responsibility has been placed on the shoulders of the bishops of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. Both the fate of conciliarity in their Church and its unity depend on their position. May the Lord grant them wisdom, strength and courage to make the right choice!"