Archbishop of Albania: ROC Exarchate in Africa – a response to OCU project
Archbishop Anastasios believes that the situation in Universal Orthodoxy can be rectified only by returning to the synodal mode of the Church and to its canons.
On January 8, the Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania, said that the creation of the Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa was a response to the recognition of the OCU.
The official website of the Albanian Church published an appeal by Archbishop Anastasios, in which he recalled his position on the creation of the OCU.
According to Archbishop Anastasios, from the very beginning of the church crisis in Ukraine, he pointed out verbally and in writing that "church schisms and schismatics cannot be healed by time", but "on the contrary, time only deepens and perpetuates them."
Commenting on the creation of the Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa, the Primate of the Albanian Church noted that this decision "confirms the initial fears" of a deepening schism in Orthodoxy.
According to Archbishop Anastasios, the emergence of the Exarchate is directly related to the recognition of the OCU, since "alongside the schism among millions of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, a new schism is emerging on the sensitive African continent, where Orthodox missionary activities abroad have been developing in recent decades."
“Various Christian denominations have existed in African states for a long time, as well as Islam, which is actively expanding,” the Primate of the Albanian Church recalled and noted that after the creation of the Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa “ordinary Africans will be offered to convert to Orthodoxy by the two Orthodox patriarchates, which have no sacramental communion with each other."
“The scandal and the weakening of Orthodox testimony as a result of this schismatic activity are obvious. This is a painful scenario,” he stressed.
He recalled that the only way out of this situation can only be a return to the synodal principle in Orthodoxy and reconciliation based on the canons of the Church.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, according to the head of the Albanian Church, to argue that there is no split in Orthodoxy due to the OCU, but only disagreements, is like denying the existence of the coronavirus.