According to the report, Michael visited several monasteries and met several Athonites who support the creation and autocephaly of the Ukrainian schismatic church and believe it is only a matter of time before the other autocephalous Local Churches begin to recognize it.
While the statement has been condemned in the broader opinion of the Sacred Community, we have decided to make comments on the statement for the good of our readers, as the attitudes in the statement are unfortunately prevalent in certain Church circles today.
“For the sake of the infirmities of our flesh, God grants us the Sacrament of Repentance, in which we entreat God’s forgiveness for our transgressions, sins, and mistakes. And God forgives us, renews us, and we become pure and blameless,” Met. Onuphry said, reflecting upon the great grace that is present in the Church through its Sacraments.
“Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic-nationalist “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), said he is proud to be called a Banderite, meaning a follower of the controversial Stepan Bandera, who he considers a “genius, creating the Ukrainian nation and spirit.”
While Poroshenko has gained the backing of the Patriarch of Constantinople, the rest of the Orthodox world has taken a wait-and-see attitude since, in the tradition of Orthodox Christianity, the consequences of these actions will not become fully manifest until far into the future.
The disciplinary measure in this case is a warning to all the faithful of the Russian Church and the entire Orthodox world that the Phanar has violated the canons of Orthodoxy, that it has openly declared the heresy of Eastern papism.
Following the very public scandal caused by the previous visit to Mt. Athos of a group of its “clergy,” the schismatic Ukrainian Church is keeping a tight lid on the details of the second visit of its representatives, which is currently underway but seems to have turned out to be largely a failure.
Our hearts bleed for our brethren and sisters afflicted by these events, and we call all Orthodox peoples to fervent prayer on behalf of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, his fellow Hierarchs, and all suffering faithful in Ukraine and in every land.
The statutes of the schismatic so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) written by the Holy Synod of Constantinople are harmful to the life of the OCU and even anti-canonical, “Metropolitan” Ioasaph of Belgorod and Oboyan writes in an open statement published on the site of the “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP), which continues to function despite the KP having joined the OCU on December 15.
“The autocephaly of the Church in Ukraine should be based on the dogmatic and canonical norms of the entire Church, and not groups of schismatics. Those who have departed from the Church and were deprived of their clerical ordinations cannot constitute a healthy Church organism. These non-canonical actions violate Eucharistic and inter-Orthodox unity,” the statement reads.
The hierarchs resolved to appoint His Eminence Archbishop Theophan of Kyzyl and Tuva as the ruling hierarch of the newly-established Korean Diocese of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia. He is the first bishop of the Orthodox Church worldwide of Korean ancestry.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos, widely considered one of the Orthodox Church’s foremost theologians today, has published his opinion on how the Church of Greece should respond to the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.
The Holy Synod of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church gathered at the Kiev Caves Lavra yesterday under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, discussing a number of issues of Ukrainian Church life and governance.
We state that the idea of overcoming the church schism in Ukraine by the granting of a Tomos of autocephaly to the non-canonical church groups (“UOC-KP” and “UAOC”) has turned out to be a grave error.