Greek Holy Synod reportedly to deal with Ukrainian issue at current session, likely to recognize OCU

Athens, August 26, 2019     

The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church opened its latest session today, running through Wednesday. According to several Greek outlets, the Synod will discuss and come to a decision on the Ukrainian issue.

For the discussion, the Synod has invited speakers to present on their opinion on the recognition of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), Romfea reported today.

Romfea also notes that, as OrthoChristian reported on August 16, it is expected that the hierarchs will resolve to recognize the Constantinople-created OCU. The Greek Church would thus become the first Local Church besides Constantinople to recognize the OCU since its creation in October.

Several hierarchs of the Greek Church have already taken it upon themselves to serve with representatives of the OCU, and one hierarch even released an archimandrite to become a “bishop” for the OCU. Furthermore, as OrthoChristian reported, the writings of the highly-influential Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos have had a major impact, inclining the other Greek hierarchs towards submitting to Constantinople’s will and recognizing the OCU.

Furthermore, it is also known that the Greek Church has been under intense political, economic, and diplomatic pressure to recognize the OCU.

It is unclear if the Synod will make a final decision that is binding on the Greek Church, as it had previously resolved not to address the issue, instead referring it to the broader Bishops’ Council, which includes every hierarch of the entire Greek Church.

In March, the Synod appointed two commissions to study the Ukrainian issue, both of which will recommend recognizing the OCU, according to the Greek media.

Initially, it was expected that the Bishops’ Council would address the matter at its October session, though it was later reported that it was, in fact, not on the agenda. Now it is being reported that the Synod will take up the issue again.

According to the published report, the Ukrainian question was not discussed today.

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