Warsaw, December 18, 2018
The primate of the Polish Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, has again expressed concern about the crisis situation in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church resulting from the unlawful actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Met. Sawa wrote of his concerns in a letter to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, reports the site of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In his message, Met. Sawa recalls the decision of the Polish Orthodox Church of May 9 that was sent to the primates of all the Local Orthodox Churches. Among other things, it contained a warning that the current Church sentiments in Ukraine, if not properly calmed down, will have a devastating impact on the life of the entire Orthodox Church, bringing sorrow and temptation to it.
Having considered a letter received from Met. Onuphry on the issue after Ukrainian President Poroshenko made an official appeal for autocephaly and Constantinople decided to grant it, the Polish Synod stated in May, “We express the clear position of the Polish Orthodox Church, namely that the ecclesiastical life of the canonical Orthodox Church should be based on the principles of dogma and the holy canons of the Orthodox Church. Violation of this principle leads to chaos in the life of the Church.”
“Now we see that it came to pass. We are worried about this. The life of the Church and the faith of man is not a joke,” the Polish primate noted in his recent letter.
The Synod’s statement from May also states: “There are certain schismatic groups in Ukraine which must first repent and return to the canonical Church. Only then can we discuss the issue of providing autocephaly.”
The Patriarchate of Constantinople later received these schismatic leaders and their entire groups into communion precisely without any repentance on October 11, to which the Polish Holy Synod responded by saying: “Persons deprived of episcopal ordinations and priests cannot be leaders in introducing peace in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Their actions cause even more confusion and scandal.”
In early October, Met. Sawa had personally called upon Patriarch Bartholomew to convene a pan-Orthodox council to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, as have many several Synods, primates, and hierarchs, but the Patriarch ignored his call, as he has all those addressed to him.
Furthermore, the Polish Church forbade its clergy from having any contact with the schismatics from the “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” who united into one schismatic group on Saturday.
The Serbian Orthodox Church also rejected communion with these groups.
At the same time, Met. Sawa expressed in his recent letter words of brotherly love and respect to His Beatitude Met. Onuphry “and to all the faithful who stand on the ground of the purity of faith, defined by the dogmatic-canonical teaching of the holy Orthodox Church,” and assured them of his prayers.
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