Belgrade, May 20, 2019
The Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church officially declared its non-recognition of the schismatic “structure headed by citizens Denisenko and Dumenko” in a statement published on the official Church website on Saturday.
Moreover, the hierarchs of the Serbian Church, headed by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, called the Ukrainian schism the greatest problem facing the Orthodox Church today.
“The biggest problem of the Orthodox Church today is the Church schism in Ukraine and the unsuccessful attempts of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to solve the problem ‘on the knee,’ unilaterally, without dialogue with the canonical Church in Ukraine and with the Russian Orthodox Church, and in general without pan-Orthodox consultations,” the statement reads.
This is in line with an earlier statement from His Grace Bishop Irinej of Bačka who said that the anti-canonical invasion of Ukrainian Church territory is the greatest mistake in the history of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The bishops again affirmed that they are in communion only with the Church under His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine: “Our Church … is in liturgical and canonical communion only and exclusively with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, and with all other canonical Orthodox Churches.”
According to a statement posted on the Facebook page of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Church, the bishops resolved “officially and unanimously” to continue to recognize only the Church under Met. Onuphry.
At its November 6-7 session, the Council of Bishops rejected Constantinople’s decision to anti-canonically receive the schismatic clergy and people of the “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.” The May 18 statement is the first from the Council of Bishops since Constantinople joined the two schismatic structures into the new “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and granted it autocephaly.
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