Met. Athanasios of Limassol: Ukrainian autocephaly is matter for Russian Church to decide; Philaret schismatics should return to canonical Church

Limassol, Cyprus, January 12, 2018

Photo: uoj.org.ua Photo: uoj.org.ua
    

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.

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1/12/2018

See also
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A press briefing was held on July 23 before the Divine Liturgy at the Kiev Caves Lavra with several representatives of various Local Orthodox Churches, who had arrived to honor the memory of St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves, the founder of monasticism in Rus’, in which the bishops spoke out in support of the persecuted canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP).
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The attempts of the current Ukrainian authorities to create a single Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church do not find support from the overall population which believes that the “rhetoric of hatred” towards the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate can become “a factor of destabilization in the social-political situation.”
Comments
Anthony1/13/2018 5:23 am
What a wonderful man Mitr. Lemesou, Athanasie is. If you haven't read it, I would strongly suggest reading The Mountain of Silence by Kyriakos Markides. The book centres on a conversation with ''Fr Maximos'' who is actually (spoiler alert!) none other than Mitr. Lemesou, Athanasie. For the blessed ones who speak and understand the Hellenic language, his homilies are available on Youtube and will really help you in your life. So many times, I have had a question about one thing or another, and I listen to his homilies. Next thing BOOM!. I have my answer. For those who do not know, Mitr. Lemesou is the spiritual son of Ayios Gerondas Paisios! You see, holiness begets holiness.
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