Chancellor: The point isn't being for Slavs or Greeks but for Christ or not
Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) commented on the situation after the sole decision of the head of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, on the OCU.
The church life is not about opposing nationalities and national traditions, and most of the Cypriot bishops, who stand on the basis of the canonical structure of the Church, are not inclined to give up these positions, said the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, in a comment for First Cossack channel.
The Metropolitan noted that the era into which we have entered is unfavorable for Christianity in general "and especially for Orthodoxy, which adheres to the apostolic tradition and gives a correct, thank God, assessment of many negative phenomena being imposed currently in societies across all continents."
“Of course, the architects of the new world order are not satisfied with this, and they will do everything in every possible way to weaken the conciliar unity of the Orthodox world and to create some special projects taking into account the nuances of each Local Church,” the UOC Chancellor said. "They will be implemented, but what we really have at the moment shows that in general, nothing has worked as expected, even in relation to the OCU."
He emphasized that when it comes to the recognition of the OCU by certain Local Churches, we must clearly understand that this is not about recognition by some Local Church, but about recognition only by a specific head of a particular Church.
“After all, none of the Churches – Alexandria, Greece, and now Cyprus – made decisions in a conciliar way,” reminded Metropolitan Anthony. “The decision was not made at the Synod, and even more so at the Council of Bishops. It was made single-handedly by specific people, the heads of these Churches, although most bishops of these Churches publicly declare their disagreement with this decision. There are those who are silent, including those in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who give us a clear signal that they do not agree, but due to certain circumstances they cannot, unfortunately, make it openly."
According to the UOC Chancellor, a lot of hierarchs are worried but looking for a way out of the current situation. The process is seen as painful, "but it is necessary to clearly call everything by its proper name: what is truth – what is falsehood, where is true faith – where is heresy, where there is a canonical structure and where there is an attempt to radically reorganize the Church."
The Metropolitan noted with regret that the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus had changed his convictions, which he had previously clearly and repeatedly expressed in his public rhetoric and in official letters.
The Metropolitan noted with regret that the Primate of the Cypriot Orthodox Church had changed his convictions, which he had previously clearly and repeatedly expressed in communion and in official letters.
“He (Archbishop Chrysostomos – Ed.) was an unequivocal opponent of the actions that Patriarch Bartholomew performed in 2018, but suddenly something happened and he radically changed his position,” added the UOC Chancellor. “Let’s leave him to Heaven, but the most important thing is that he tried to present his decision as the one of the entire Orthodox Church of Cyprus. And we know that the overwhelming majority (of the hierarchs – Ed.) there firmly stand for the canonical order. They are not inclined to give up these positions, which are neither pro-Russian nor pro-Ukrainian, but appear as the foundation of the life of the Church."
According to him, now there is a kind of stand-off between the Greek and Slavic worlds, Russians and Ukrainians, Greeks and Russians, but this is "false and wrong premises".
“The church life is not about opposing nationalities and national traditions. It is about protecting the foundations of the Church. Regardless of nationality, we have to decide on either we are with Christ or against Christ; either we are in the Church or try to destroy the foundation and the house being our common shelter. We know that the first meeting (of the Synod – Ed.) was held in Cyprus yesterday; it was difficult, but the defenders of Orthodox canonicity prepared a very serious dogmatic substantiation of their position. As a result, tomorrow, as far as we know, this issue will be raised again, and, perhaps, there will already be some official decisions from the Synod of the Cypriot Orthodox Church,” summed up Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary.
As the UOJ reported, the Cypriot Synod will make the final decision on the OCU at the next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.