Piraeus, Greece, November 1, 2019
After a year of strained relations between various Local Churches and persecution against the canonical Ukrainian Church, and repeated calls to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to convene a pan-Orthodox council, two hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church are stepping up and calling all the other primates to convene a pan-Orthodox council to deal with the Ukrainian crisis caused by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus and Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira have spoken out against Constantinople’s lawlessness in Ukraine many times, and they were the ones who revealed that there was no vote concerning recognizing the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” at the Bishops’ Council of the Greek Church on October 12.
In the end, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens did officially recognize the schismatics by sending an irenic letter to Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the OCU.
Now, as Met. Seraphim of Piraeus reported to the Greek outlet vimaorthodoxias.gr, the two Seraphims have written a joint letter in which they call on all the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches to convene a pan-Orthodox council to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.
All Local Churches will receive the letter in the coming days. According to Vima Orthodoxias, the hierarchs call for the convocation of a pan-Orthodox council even without the participation of Patriarch Bartholomew, if need be.
Met. Seraphim of Piraeus noted that the unprecedented legalization of the schismatics in Ukraine is a crime.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to say that the unity of the Church is achieved by way of the ‘restoration’ and introduction into it of unrepentant apostates, anathematized and unordained, secret conspirators and schismatic persons,” emphasized Met. Seraphim, noting that only a pan-Orthodox council possesses the authority to grant autocephaly.
The hierarch of Piraeus also notes that no Patriarchate other than Constantinople recognizes the schismatics and emphasizes that the Bishops’ Council of the Greek Church made a mistake of an historical scale in recognizing Constantinople’s right to grant autocephaly in Ukraine and in granting Abp. Ieronymos the authority to resolve the issue for the Greek Church.
The “clergy” of the OCU possess no valid ordinations, and therefore they cannot be the basis of an autocephalous Church and the granting of a tomos to them by Constantinople was a major mistake and problem.
Met. Seraphim of Kythira also spoke a few days ago, again, about the need to convene a pan-Orthodox council. In comments to RIA-Novosti, he spoke of the plight of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and the canonical Ukrainian Church, which Constantinople has simply ignored for the past year.
“I have been writing on this topic for months, and I believe that from the canonical side, from the ecclesiological side, the canons of our Church have not been observed. And it particularly upsets me, because the canonical Church of Ukraine of Metropolitan Onuphry and the episcopate of the country are being ignored,” Met. Seraphim said.
“Our prayers are for a pan-Orthodox council, an Ecumenical Council, to be convened, to solve such a serious problem,” he emphasized.