Metropolitan Luke: The goal of Church enemies is the collapse of Orthodoxy
Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol said that issues concerning the autocephaly and the status of the Ukrainian Church should be decided only at the Council.
Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol said in an interview with the BBC that the unity of the Church is determined by its Statute and all questions concerning the status of the UOC can only be resolved at the Council of Bishops, not in private.
"Certainly, not unilaterally. We are not feudal princes sitting at our chairs," the hierarch reminded. - <...> If you don't know how to act, act according to the law. We have church canons; we have the Statute: only the Council of Bishops has the right to judge a bishop. And now all are smart, all are clerics. What are you doing, good people? Great Lent. Instead of repenting of your sins, you want to collect more likes and posts on social networks to write all sorts of nastiness, profanity and so on. And they think that they save Orthodoxy, save the Church.”
Vladyka noted that the bishops' endless demands for an immediate convocation of the Council only fuel the fire.
"That's how they imagine me from Zaporizhzhia to get to the Council? The video format is not the answer to the question. We won't be able to communicate. It's like washing your hands with gloves on. <...> We can publicly express ourselves, we can write letters, but still the final decision of the question is the responsibility of the Council only," said the hierarch of the UOC.
According to Metropolitan Luke, autocephaly for the UOC, which many believers in Ukraine are now talking about, is not the solution to all problems.
"We need to find the golden mean. Even this autocephaly – will it solve the issue or not? Mr Archondonis (the secular name of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew – Ed.), who has fallen away from the Orthodox Church, calling himself Patriarch Bartholomew, who has served with schismatics – how will he give us autocephaly? He will say, "I have already given you Tomos, go there. I ask you, don't judge the Church by secular standards. It is not as if you went to the tax office, you were given a businessman's certificate, and you became one. The grace of the Holy Spirit works in the Church, and anything that is contrary to this grace and violates the transmission of grace is unblessed. Whatever has fallen away from the Church must return to the Church. Who will recognize this autocephaly? What will it give us?" Vladyka noted.
"But then we will be like a torn sleeve. No one will recognize us. The Orthodox Church is the only one in Christ. What has fallen away from the Church is not the Church. Now the goal of the enemies of Orthodoxy is to break up Orthodoxy into little peas. This is terrible. Therefore, only the Council can resolve this issue more globally and give a canonical assessment of what is happening," the hierarch of the UOC said.