Athens, January 29, 2019
The Church of Greece is among those that have yet to make any statement on the Ukrainian issue, giving no hint of leaning towards one side or another as a whole.
The Church has received and examined letters from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch Bartholomew, and the schismatic “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko on the matter, but the bishops have yet to take a stance, despite the strong statements of individual hierarchs.
A delegation from the Patriarchate of Constantinople is expected in Athens this week to discuss the issue. The primate His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and the hierarchy of the Church of Greece expect to be called upon to make a decision in February about whether or not to recognize the nationalist-schismatic church created by Constantinople in Kiev on December 15, reports the Greek site vimaorthodoxias.gr.
In this regard, hierarchs and other Church representatives who know the Ukrainian issue firsthand say that there is great pressure on the Church, as there has been great interest in the issue of Ukrainian autocephaly shown from within the political, economic, and diplomatic fields.
Few metropolitans of the Greek Church have expressed a public position on the issue. Among those who have made statements are Metropolitans Seraphim of Piraeus (and here) Nektarios of Corfu, Paxoi, and the Diapontian Islands, Seraphim of Kythira, and Ambrose of Kalavryta. The Metropolis of Piraeus has also called upon the Synod not to recognize the Ukrainian schismatics.
However, according to vimaorthodoxias, Abp. Ieronymos and other high-ranking hierarchs are under serious pressure to recognize the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the Ukrainian nationalist church, recently said he is expecting recognition from the Greek Church and sees “good and productive relations” with it in the future.
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