Hierarch of Alexandrian Church tricked into “serving” with Ukrainian schismatic

Langadas, Greece, September 16, 2019

In the Langadas Metropolis of the Church of Greece, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostom of the Patriarchate of Alexandria was practically deceived into serving with a “hierarch” of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists with reference to the Greek outlet Romfea.

It was reported that on September 12, Metropolitan Chrysostom of Mozambique was serving the Liturgy in the diocese of Metropolitan Ioannis (Tassias), when all of a sudden, a schismatic bishop of the OCU, Vladimir Shlapak appeared and “served” together with hierarchs of the Church of Greece, as well as the Alexandrian hierarch.

The OCU can then use this tactic to claim the Alexandrian Church recognizes them, when in fact, the Metropolitan of Mozambique was apparently not informed this would happen. The Patriarchate of Alexandria has not yet made an official decision regarding the OCU, which means it does not share Eucharistic communion with the schismatic body. This event could almost be described as ecclesiastical entrapment.

Matters are complicated by the fact that this was apparently permitted by Metropolitan Ioannis (Tassias), a bishop of the New Lands of the Church of Greece despite the fact that the Church of Greece has still not come to a decision on whether or not to recognize the OCU, and is therefore not in communion with them.

As to how it’s possible that Metropolitan Ioannis could undertake this move, against his Synod, it is noted that as a bishop of the New Lands, he is technically under a strange and unprecedented canonical status of duel subordination, where he is a hierarch of the Church of Greece, yet also canonically tied and dependent upon the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Metropoltian Ioannis was also involved in another related scandal, which OrthoChristian reported, when he served together with the leader of the schismatic OCU, “Metropolitan” Epiphany in Kiev. As noted, the OCU immediately took advantage of the situation, claiming that the Church of Greece de-facto recognizes them, when in fact the Church of Greece does not recognize them, but that specific hierarch served in a private capacity with them, whose actions were not initiated by the Church of Greece itself.

All of this is highly indicative of the true position of the OCU, when they must use tricks and technicalities to “serve” with bishops of other Churches, and seek “de-faction recognition” instead of possessing the lawful recognition of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which serves with bishops from the rest of the Orthodox world freely.

Matfey Shaheen

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