Cypriot bishop states beginning of overthrow of synodal regime of Church
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry is the only canonical Primate in Ukraine, emphasized Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos.
The hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos, presented to the Holy Synod his theological views on the situation that had developed after the sole decision of Archbishop Chrysostomos on the OCU and pointed to "the beginning of the overthrow of the synodal regime of our Church with unforeseen consequences". The comments of the Cypriot bishop were published by the Greek resource “Romfea”.
Explaining why he rejects any proposals aimed at legalizing the OCU, first of all, Metropolitan Isaiah declared his " absolute respect and my unwavering commitment to the synodal state of the Orthodox Church, as defined by Orthodox ecclesiology, the Holy Canons and the Charter of the Cypriot Church".
"The Holy Synod alone has the exclusive right to ‘regulate the relations of the Church of Cyprus with other Orthodox Churches "(Article 7 § 2 of the Charter), and the Prelate is called upon to express the synodal decision (Article 7 § 2 a, c)," the hierarch stressed.
He stated that he insists on the unanimous decision of 18 February 2019 of the First Synod of the Church of Cyprus, "which, unfortunately, was violated by the Archbishop".
“In particular, I reiterate my strong concerns and doubts that have been expressed in the above synodal decision due to the absence of an Apostolic Succession in the Leadership of the so-called Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Consequently, I cannot accept the validity of the ordination and the sacraments performed by this Leadership.
I reiterate the firm position of the Church of Cyprus that the only regular Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is His Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev Onoufrios. Therefore, following the normal requirement "not two bishops in the city" (8th of the First Ecumenical Synod) I refuse to recognize another "prelate", at the moment, in fact, when he does not have a regular and valid ordination,” emphasized Metropolitan Isaiah.
The Cypriot bishop explained that his refusal to recognize the OCU and its “primate” Epiphany is based on the teaching, faith and ecclesiastical and canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church.
“This is not a disagreement on simple administrative or minor issues, but on this core of Orthodox ecclesiology and our Church's teaching on the Holy Sacraments and the Apostolic Succession, issues concerning our salvation. These issues cannot be discussed or negotiated in any hasty and synodal process, nor can they be approved by an opportunistic, marginal, in fact, majority," the Cypriot Synodal stressed.
Thus, the Metropolitan of Tamassos emphasized, the decision of Archbishop Chrysostomos to commemorate Epiphany as primate is “arbitrary, irregular and blatantly contrary to our ecclesiastical tradition, Orthodox ecclesiology and the unanimous decision of the Holy Synod of 18.2.19 and indicates the beginning of the overthrow of the synodal regime of our Church with unforeseen consequences".
He stated that while preserving the unity of the Cypriot Church in this difficult period, he would not interrupt the commemoration of Archbishop Chrysostomos but would leave concelebration with him to the discretion of his hierarchical conscience.
“As Bishop of the Apostolic Church of Cyprus, I submit the above with much agony and pain and with an increased sense of responsibility towards my hierarchical conscience, the flock entrusted to us by the mercy of God and the pan-Orthodox society and unity away from ethno-racial or other secular or economic , smallness and expediency, looking exclusively at the preservation of the "once faith surrendered to the saints" (Jude 3) and the pacification of the Church "if the Lord cared through the same Blood" (Acts 20:28)," summed up Metropolitan Isaiah.