Ukrainian schismatics must repent and return before talk of autocephaly—Polish Orthodox Church

Warsaw, September 14, 2018

Photo: Photo:

The Polish Orthodox Church has again raised its voice in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whose canonical territory is currently being trespassed upon by bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Speaking with wisdom and prudence, the Polish Church has called on Ukrainian schismatics to display the Christian humility of repentance and return to the canonical Church. The Polish bishops also expressed their conviction that any autocephaly granted without pan-Orthodox consent will only deepen the schism in the suffering Ukrainian nation.

These positions were stated in a letter of the Secretary of the Chancellery of the Polish Orthodox Church, Ezhi Doroshkevich, sent to in response to a request for a statement from the Polish Church on the matter of Ukrainian autocephaly. The story has also appeared on the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Through the letter the Polish Church has thus confirmed its position expressed at the Bishops’ Council on May 9.

With reference to excerpts from the minutes of the Bishops’ Council’s session, Doroshkevich writes that “autocephaly is provided by the Mother Church only after agreement with the primates of all the Local Churches,” adding that hasty actions will only deepen the schism in Ukraine. “There is currently a situation in Ukraine that al the Local Orthodox Churches should take care of,” the letter reads.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate has stated that it sees no reason why its unilateral granting of autocephaly to Ukrainian schismatics should lead to a schism in the Orthodox world despite that the Russian Orthodox Church has openly declared that it will break communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the event that the latter grants autocephaly.

“There are several schismatic churches of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine that should repent and return to the canons of the Orthodox Church. Only then will a discussion on the question of granting autocephaly begin,” the Polish Church representative writes.

“We must not be led by the political climate in questions of dogma and the canons,” the Polish Synod also stated at its May 9 session.

Follow us on Facebook!


to our mailing list

* indicates required