UOC bishop tells Greek diplomat about persecution of the Church in Ukraine
For many years the Odessa Diocese of the UOC has been maintaining and developing friendly relations with the Consulate General of the Greek Republic in Odessa.
On June 24, 2021, Metropolitan Agafangel (Savvin) of Odessa and Izmail received the Consul General of the Republic of Greece in Odessa Dimitrios H. Dokhtsis at his official residence in the Holy Dormition Monastery. During the meeting with the diplomat, the hierarch of the UOC spoke about the anti-canonical actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, which provoked the persecution of the Church, the Odessa diocese reports on its FB page.
Vladyka Agafangel drew the attention of the Greek diplomat to the fact that the schismatic groups, using the patronage and clear support of the Ukrainian authorities and the anti-canonical actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, dealt a blow to the UOC and the unity of Orthodoxy. “Without a preliminary conciliar discussion, alone, in the spirit of papism, in violation of the spirit and letter of Orthodox unity, the so-called ‘holy church of Ukraine' (OCU) was artificially created from the schismatic pseudo-Orthodox, political and nationalist groups. This caused disunity into the life of the Orthodox Sister Churches. The so-called Tomos was presented by Patriarch Bartholomew to the leaders of the schism who did not repent of their deeds, with the support of both the Ukrainian authorities and notably extreme nationalist groups, as well as a political leader who did not represent Orthodox Ukrainians,” the diocese reports the words of Metropolitan Agafangel.
The UOC hierarch drew the attention of the Consul General of Greece in Odessa to the fact that after the granting of the Tomos, attacks on the canonical Church in Ukraine from radicals and people far from the Church intensified. Commenting on church events in Ukraine, Dimitrios H. Dochtsis stressed that he is the representative of the Greek Republic in Odessa; therefore, problems between Orthodox Churches should be resolved on the basis of church canons.
Vladyka Agafangel asked the diplomat to convey to the Greek authorities the appeal of the majority of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians to help heal the schism that is tearing Orthodox unity in Ukraine and worldwide.
Also, the hierarch of the UOC noted that the Odessa Diocese has been maintaining and developing friendly relations with the Consulate General of the Greek Republic in Odessa for many years. Many Greek diplomats, being Orthodox Christians, contributed a lot to the strengthening of interstate and inter-Orthodox relations. First of all, this concerns the deepening of all-round fraternal ties between the peoples of Ukraine and Greece.
At parting, Vladyka Agafangel blessed the Greek diplomat to work for the benefit of the peoples of Greece and Ukraine, to strengthen Holy Orthodoxy, referring to the call of the Apostle: "I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them" (Rom. 16:17).
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