Limassol, Cyprus, January 12, 2018
The question of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should be resolved, in the first place, by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, according to Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. The bishop addressed the matter during the shooting of the film “The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: In Faith and Truth.”
Met. Athanasios is renowned throughout the Orthodox world as a fervent defender of the Orthodox Church and faith.
“First and foremost, this question should be resolved by the Patriarch of Moscow, in whose jurisdiction the Ukrainian Church is located, then—the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and then all the Orthodox Churches under the chairmanship of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” Met. Anathasios stated.
“But first of all, the first word is for the Mother Church of the Ukrainian Church, which is the Moscow Patriarchate. To it belongs the first word in this process,” His Eminence added.
The metropolitan also addressed the question, “What relationship does the Ecumenical Church have to the Philaret schism in Ukraine? How can it be overcome?” nothing that St. John Chrysostom teaches that schism is one of the greatest sins, which even martyrdom cannot wipe out.
“We desire that our brothers who are in schism would return to the Church under the leadership of Metropolitan Onuphry—it is the sole canonical Church in Ukraine, having communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, and with all canonical Orthodox Churches… We pray for this,” Met. Athanasios emphasized.