Kalavryta, Greece, October 1, 2018
His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrose of Kalavryta of the Greek Orthodox Church has released an appeal, published on Romfea, criticizing the actions of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in Ukraine, warning against the danger of further schisms in Orthodoxy.
While the Ecumenical Patriarch, according to Met. Ambrose, is supposed to symbolize unity in the Orthodox world and settle disputes and conflicts between Local Orthodox Churches and Church leaders, he seems to have set himself the task of dividing the Orthodox world, the Greek hierarch believes.
Met. Ambrose is not the first Greek hierarch to speak out against the uncanonical push for autocephaly in Ukraine. His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira also recently appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch to cease his communication with Ukrainian schismatics and avoid new schisms, and His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus recently spoke out criticizing the Ukrainian government’s shameless use of the Church in geopolitical games.
As he writes, Met. Ambrose believes that this trajectory began with the establishment of too-warm relations between Constantinople and the Vatican, followed by 2016’s so-called “Holy and Great Council” on Crete, whose resolutions, including the recognition of various Christian denominations as Churches, were antithetical to Orthodoxy.
His Eminence has not been afraid to loudly criticize the Crete Council. In May of last year, he warned Pat. Bartholomew that it is a path to schism, and again in July of this year, he accused the hierarchs gathered at Crete of “having made traitorous decisions in regard to our holy Orthodoxy.”
The Greek bishop goes on to reproach Pat. Bartholomew for having ceased to be a guarantor of Church unity and trying to increase his own influence in the Orthodox world by any means possible. He also specifically criticizes Constantinople’s interference in Ukraine, exclaiming, “They’re claiming the schismatic Ukrainian church should receive recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarchate!”
“We have only few such problems,” Met. Ambrose added sarcastically, “and now our patriarch is on the verge of an ecclesiastical clash between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the great Russian Church!”
“There’s a new Church schism at our door! If we add to this the internal disputes that arose after the Council in Kolymvari [on Crete—O.C.], then the state of Church affairs in our times becomes extremely tragic,” the Greek metropolitan lamented.
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