Athens, October 5, 2018
The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church declined to include the question of the provision of a tomos of autocephaly by Constantinople to Ukraine in the official agenda for its recent October 2-4 session, a source in the Greek Church told RIA-Novosti.
Although there was no official discussion, many of the Greek bishops are still very concerned about what is happening in Ukraine.
“The question about autocephaly worries the Greek Church. It’s not officially on the agenda; it’s being discussed informally, that is, in the breaks in the meetings. Several hierarchs tried to put it on the agenda. It was proposed by the Metropolitan of Kythira and the Metropolitan of Nafpatkos, but the Archbishop did not consider it appropriate to put it on the agenda,” the source said.
The source then reiterated that the Greek Church is very concerned about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. “The issue is discussed, but not at the meeting,” he said.
Several Greek bishops have spoken out against His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s interference in Ukraine and the Ukrainian states manipulation of the Church for geopolitical gains, including the aforementioned Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira, who, speaking of Pat. Bartholomew saying, “Now, for his own personal reasons, he is giving autocephaly to the schismatics of Ukraine and revising the sacred order and canonical Orthodox Archdiocese of Ukraine, which is recognized not only by the Russian Orthodox Church, but also by all other local Orthodox churches.”
“Schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and holy canons and the Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. Why then this persistence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an autocephalous Church? To provoke schisms and divisions in the one universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?” Met. Seraphim added.
His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrose of Kalavryta has said that while the Ecumenical Patriarch is supposed to symbolize unity in the Orthodox world and settle disputes and conflicts between Local Orthodox Churches and Church leaders, he seems to have set himself the task of dividing the Orthodox world.
“There’s a new Church schism at our door! If we add to this the internal disputes that arose after the Council in Kolymvari [on Crete—O.C.], then the state of Church affairs in our times becomes extremely tragic,” the Greek metropolitan lamented.
And addressing the Ukrainian government, His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus exclaimed, “You are playing a terrible geopolitical and geostrategic game between NATO and the Russian Federation, so understand that these things cannot be used as tools in the Church.”
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