Athens, October 16, 2019
The Greek Orthodox Church issued a statement yesterday reaffirming the statement that was issued after Saturday’s session of the Bishops’ Council.
The statement was issued in response to the statements of His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira, who wrote that it is unfortunate that the Council’s press committee did not accurately convey what had transpired at the hierarchical meeting.
The Church’s new statement states that the three-member press committee “has expressed the truth of the matter and any other attempt to interpret it does not reflect the reality.”
The statement notes that that which was stated in the press release on Saturday and which is recorded in the official minutes of the session is based on the recommendations of Archbishop Ieronymos and the results of the discussions that took place, in which 33 of the hierarchs present spoke, and “took its final form and is the decision of the hierarchy.”
Unfortunately the new statement does not clearly indicate whether the Greek Church recognized the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) or not.
Abp. Ieronymos is expected to concelebrate with Patriarch Bartholomew in Thessaloniki on Saturday, October 19, though there is reportedly a group of bishops who have entreated Abp. Ieronymos not to go, as Pat. Bartholomew will surely commemorate “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the OCU.
As both the Holy Synod and Bishops’ Council of the Greek Church voted to entrust Abp. Ieronymos with resolving the matter of recognizing the OCU on behalf of the Greek Church, commemorating Epiphany Dumenko would presumably mean the Greek Church has accepted and entered into communion with the OCU.
“We did not make a decision. If now, after this discussion, the Archbishop plans to commemorate [Epiphany] or to move ahead, he takes full responsibility upon himself,” Met. Seraphim of Kythira told RIA-Novosti yesterday.