Greek Metropolitan: What is happening in Ukraine is regrettable, threatens to cause further schism

Corfu, Greece, December 25, 2018

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What is happening in Ukraine is regrettable and threatens to trigger greater divisions in the Orthodox world, believes His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu, Paxoi, and the Diapontian Islands.

Met. Nektarios discussed the ongoing crisis situation in Ukraine created by Constantinople’s intervention there with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, on Tuesday, December 18, at the Corfu diocesan administration, reports the site of the Metropolis of Corfu.

As the site reports, Met. Hilarion characterized Constantinople’s holding of the “unification council” on December 15 and the creation of the new nationalist church as a scandal for the entire Orthodox world, noting that the only Church in Ukraine recognized by the Orthodox world is that headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. Furthermore, Met. Onuphry is recognized as spiritual head by the majority of Ukrainians.

For his part, Met. Nektarios expressed his regret and concern about everything that has recently occurred in Ukraine.

In his view, such a major decision as granting autocephaly to a newly-created church should be made only after studying the apostolic succession and canonicity of the new church and the groups that make it up, so that “these decisions do not contradict the truth and, first of all, do not divide or bring scandals and embarrassment to the people of God.”

Met. Nektarios also referred to the profound appreciation and respect that the late Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodolous had for the Patriarchate of Moscow.

Several other Greek hierarchs have also spoken out against Constantinople and the state of Ukraine’s interference in the life of the Ukrainian Church, including the Metropolitans Seraphim of Piraeus, Seraphim of Kythira, and Ambrose of Kalavryta.

The Greek Church is generally concerned about what is happening in Ukraine but the Holy Synod has as yet not discussed the matter.

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