Greek hierarchs calling on all primates to convene pan-Orthodox council, even without Patriarch Bartholomew

Piraeus, Greece, November 1, 2019

Met. Seraphim of Kythira (left), Met. Seraphim of Piraeus (right). Photos: Met. Seraphim of Kythira (left), Met. Seraphim of Piraeus (right). Photos:

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, 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.

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Fabio11/5/2019 7:56 pm
Nicholas Young11/4/2019 6:23 pm
From time to time a hierarch may have to be corrected, and in this case "Constantinople" needs to be reminded that it does not have the authority to do as it so pleases, in my opinion. The bishops who are now calling for a Pan-Orthodox Council do so out of care for the Church. If I phrase a request the right way, I can always present an idea to my bishop. Besides, the Ukrainian situation is a crisis!
Gary Cox11/3/2019 2:27 pm
These Bishops/ Metropolitans are standing up for what is right,good,proper and nessasary in a very bad and awkward situation. I commend them heartily. Gary
Joseph Lipper11/2/2019 5:47 pm
Why doesn't every Orthodox bishop write a letter demanding a pan-Orthodox council and then send to all the Primates of the Local Churches? Because that would be a violation and rejection of the Primacy within their own Church. For example, Patriarch Kyrill would never bless the other bishops within the Moscow Patriarchate to do what these two bishops just did.
Gary Cox11/2/2019 2:55 pm
Ieronymos added fuel to the fire by his reckless act. This may be the catalyst that causes the Patriarchs and Bishops to speed up their council meeting that they all know is nessasary. I think they have been giving this time to see how it would settle and now that they see the direction it is going in they HAVE to make a decision. It is hard for them to see a split happening in the Church, but Bartholomew is not giving up. If they don't stand firm in unison then the Church will have a split akin to 1054.This is not a position they enjoy being in. The patriarchate of Istanbul is after them. Pray for our Patriarchs and Bishops!!!!!!! Gary
Mikhail11/2/2019 6:01 am
Thank God for these good Bishops. Let the council convene!
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