Primate of Albanian Church: Creation of OCU brought neither peace nor unity
Due to the Phanar's initiatives in Ukraine, Orthodox unity has cracked, and “something effective must be done urgently,” stressed Archbishop Anastasios (Janullatos).
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Albania, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, believes that the Phanar's initiative in Ukraine did not give the believers the declared peace and unity. The Archbishop also sees the threat of an ethno-racial split in Orthodoxy and believes that "the spiritual vaccine in this case is ‘reconciliation’ in the biblical sense". He spoke about this in an interview with the Greek portal Romfea.gr, answering a question about the split in world Orthodoxy over the "Ukrainian issue".
“ One of the great sorrows of recent times is that orthodox unity has cracked and a vague wait is prolonged,” said the Primate of the Albanian Church. “The initiatives in Ukraine, after two years already, obviously did not yield the desired therapeutic effect. Neither peace nor unity was achieved for the millions of Ukrainian Orthodox. Instead, controversy and division spread to other local Orthodox Churches."
He stressed that in this situation, "something effective must be done urgently" since time only aggravates the trauma.
“The enormous danger to Orthodoxy is obvious: an ethno-racial division (among Greeks, Slavs and those who want harmonious relations with all), which nullifies the multicultural character of Orthodoxy and its universality. This is the greatest danger not only for Orthodoxy but for the entire Christianity, ”said Archbishop Anastasios.
Referring to the experience of combating coronavirus, he noted the importance of timely treatment and suggested that in this case "the spiritual vaccine is ‘reconciliation’ (συμφιλίωση) in the biblical sense".
“I confess that I continue to suffer when I can not agree with dear and respected brothers, but I can not ignore obvious facts and basic orthodox principle,” stressed the Primate of the Albanian Church.
The bishop expressed his conviction that "the initiative for the treatment of the new reality undoubtedly belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but all the Autocephalous Churches must, to the extent of their responsibility, contribute to the division, to the overcoming of the schism".
“My belief that the exchange will pacify millions of faithful people remains unshakable,” added Archbishop Anastasios. “At the same time, Orthodoxy will affirm its spiritual capacity to heal wounds, guided by the Word of God and the energy of the Holy Spirit, emphasizing the truth that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which has Christ as its Head, the incarnate Son of God, ‘for whom and through whom everything exists’ (Heb. 2:10)”.
On January 29, 2020, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania met with the delegation of the UOC. At the meeting, the Primate of the Albanian Church spoke about his attitude to the religious situation in Ukraine and stressed that "schisms are overcome by Ecumenical Councils, and not by letters or something else".