Pat Theodore: Russian Church has no right to condemn those recognizing OCU
The head of the Church of Alexandria believes that the position of the Russian Church regarding the OCU "obviously lacks seriousness and all the more canonical content."
On February 14, 2022, in his letter to Patriarch Kirill, Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria said that the Russian Orthodox Church does not have the authority to judge those who recognized the OCU, reports romalewfronimati.blogspot.com.
According to the Patriarch of Alexandria, who supported the UOC for a long time, the decisions made in the ROC regarding the OCU as a schismatic organization "clearly lack seriousness and all the more canonical content."
“The Most Holy Russian Church, as can be seen from its constituent and statutory texts, does not have the jurisdiction of the highest judicial body in the Orthodox Church and therefore cannot in any way judge and condemn the Ecumenical Patriarch and other Patriarchs” (for the recognition of the OCU – Ed.), wrote the head of the Alexandrian Church.
He recalled that according to the Synodal Charter of 1590, the Patriarch of Russia "has the Apostolic See of the city of Constantine as its head and beginning like other Patriarchs."
In this regard, Patriarch Theodore, “in accordance with the unshakable and fixed Tradition and Canons of the Church,” recoursed to the head of Phanar “for strong support and resolution of this canonical anomaly.”
“The affairs of all the Churches are referred to the Throne of Constantinople and decisions are made by it, ‘as if they had privileges according to the canons of old Rome. In addition, if the other Patriarchs also agree, if the matter is significant, the decision taken remains unchanged’, as indicated in the Synodal Tomos of the four Patriarchs dated1663 of the Holy Russian Church,” wrote the head of the Alexandrian Church.
He also demanded that Metropolitan Leonid of Klin be removed from his post as Patriarchal Exarch for Africa of the Russian Orthodox Church. Otherwise, Patriarch Theodore threatened Bishop Leonid with deprivation of his Episcopal dignity.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that following the recognition of the OCU by the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Greek edition Katanixi reminded Patriarch Theodore what he once said: “He who forgets the Canons forgets God. Anyone who has forgotten the Canons forgets that this Church is ruled by Christ.”
Journalists write that during his tour of Ukraine from September 27 to October 1, 2018, “the patriarch visited Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa, and in many churches and monasteries in Odessa. In every church he went to, he told the believers that they should stay in the Ukrainian Orthodox Canonical Church.”
On September 27, 2018 in Odessa, Patriarch Theodore declared: “The Path of Truth is the Path of the Canonical Church. There is a canonical Church in Ukraine. Stay true to Her."
September 28: “The Church of Ukraine must remain in its canonical status. We, the patriarchs of the East, do not need to give Her anything, because She already has it as the Orthodox Church of Christ.”
October 1: “But most of all, in these difficult days of Ukraine, I am glad to be with you (with Metropolitan Agafangel – Ed.). From tomorrow, my work begins to inform and tell all the Primates what I saw in Ukraine. I bless you all – stay together with the canonical Church of Ukraine.”
However, later Patriarch Theodore changed his position and recognized the OCU, because "he wanted to express support for our Ecumenical Patriarchate and the right of the people of Ukraine to have their own autocephalous church."
He also stated that the decision to recognize the OCU came after fervent prayers.
On October 7, 2021, the Russian Church named Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria a schismatic.