Athens, June 5, 2019
The Church of Greece has not made any official statements or decisions concerning the ongoing Ukrainian Church crisis. In January, the Holy Synod resolved to pass the issue on to the broader Council of Bishops, consisting of all hierarchs of the Greek Church, and in March, it created two commissions, one on dogmatic and canonical issues, the other on inter-Orthodoxy and inter-Christian relations, to study the issue more in-depth and pass on their recommendations to the entire episcopate of the Church.
And, according to a report published on the Greek outlet vimaorthodoxias.gr today, the commissions have resolved to propose that the Greek Church officially recognize the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) as a canonical and autocephalous Church.
According to the report, the two committees met together on May 23, and the resulting proposal is now in the hands of His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Didymoteixon and Orestias, the head of the committee on canonical issues, who will deliver it to the Holy Synod.
The arguments raised in the letters of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania to Patriarch Bartholomew were not discussed. Pro-Phanariots claim that the 1850 tomos of autocephaly to the Church of Greece and the current constitution of Greece require the Church of Greece to accept the decisions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople without question. However, neither documents stipulate such conditions, vimaorthodoxias states.
One committee member reportedly threatened that Constantinople would seize the “New Lands” if the Church of Greece does not recognize the OCU, prompting another member to exclaim: “Do you not understand that we are slaves to the Phanar Church?” The New Lands consist of a number of metropolises of the Patriarchate of Constantinople that are de facto administered as part of the Church of Greece.
The committee members quashed all arguments brought forth and agreed to send a positive proposal to the Church hierarchy. His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos reportedly agreed with the stance of Pat. Bartholomew at their recent meeting in Athens.
Just before meeting with Pat. Bartholomew, Abp. Ieronymos met with His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, who stressed that any unilateral actions from any of the Churches would be a mistake and would only worsen the divide in the Church today.
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