Ukrainian Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozyhe addresses Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus

Zaporozhye, Ukraine, December 18, 2019

Photo: spzh.news Photo: spzh.news     

In a recent interview, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus expressed some harsh criticism of the person and actions of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in the context of the present Ukrainian crisis.

In his view, the Russian primate is an egotistical man who longs to be the First Among Equals in the Orthodox Church, but who is leading the Church towards a schism by not commemorating Patriarchs Bartholomew and Theodoros and Archbishop Ieronymos in the Divine services because they have entered into Eucharistic communion with the Ukrainian schismatics.

The Cypriot primate also took three of his own metropolitans to task for organizing a monastic conference with the Russian Church and for voicing their own opinions about the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The three hierarchs, Metropolitan Athanasius of Limassol, Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos, and Metropolitan Nikephoros of Kykkos, responded to Abp. Chrysostomos in a joint statement.

Having learned of Abp. Chrysostomos’ statements, Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church also addressed the Cypriot primate in a statement published on his Telegram channel.

The statement is written in Met. Luke’s characteristic style of speaking straight and to the point. While the views he expresses are often stricter than the official stances of the Ukrainian or Russian Churches, as a ruling hierarch of the Orthodox Church, Met. Luke enjoys the freedom of having and expressing his own views.

His statement reads in full:

Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, as we learned from the news, criticized the actions of Patriarch Kirill, as well as those hierarchs who support the UOC [canonical Church—Ed.]. His arguments are simple. The Patriarchs who have recognized the OCU [schismatic church—Ed.] are not heretics and Eucharistic communion should not have been broken with them. Therefore, the break in Eucharistic unity with them is the sin of schism, committed by the ROC.

We will answer these accusations in order. First, the Patriarchs and their Synod who recognized the OCU are heretics who have gone against the dogmas of the Church, in particular against the ninth article of the Nicene Creed. They have allowed for the possibility of the existence of “clergy” who may not even have the Apostolic Succession of ordination. The necessity of this succession has never been in doubt in the Orthodox Church until the Patriarch of Constantinople introduced this heresy in his new heretical theology. Additionally, we accuse Patriarch Bartholomew of several other, no less serious, transgressions, namely of the heresies of ethnophyletism and papism.

The Archbishop of Cyprus accuses Patriarch Kirill of wanting to be first, not noticing that it is not the Patriarch of Moscow, but of Constantinople who claims the role of the pan-Orthodox pope.

Second, was it necessary to break Eucharistic communion with the heretics?

It was necessary!

Imagine that you are sitting at table with a group of people and you are pouring wine from one jug in the middle of the table. One of those present openly, not hiding, takes some poison and pours it into the jug. The feast continues and everyone is invited to drink this poisoned wine. What should a prudent man do to stay alive? He must unambiguously refuse to partake of the poisoned wine.

The cessation of Eucharistic communion with heretics is not a whim of the ROC, but a measure of self-preservation. We know that according to the canons of the Church, any hierarch who serves with a heretic and communes together with him, becomes himself a heretic and excludes himself from the communion of the Church.

Therefore, we, at least the Ukrainian Church in prayerful unity with the Russian Church, must clearly point out the heretical starting points in the actions of the Bishop of Istanbul. The heresy introduced by him into the Church extends to all those who agree with it. There are no other options.

The Archbishop of Cyprus’ idea about the possible neutrality of his Church is as senseless as the idea that you can remain indefinitely under water without breathing and yet stay alive. To save your life, you have to come up, or drown and die. To sit for days or months under water without breathing won’t work.

The arguments that the Archbishop of Cyprus puts forth in his interview speak of two possible reasons for such a position. He either, owing to ignorance, does not in fact understand what is happening in the Orthodox world and does not realize the seriousness of the mistakes made by Constantinople, or he is disingenuous, trying to please both God and the devil. We think the second hypothesis is more likely.

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12/18/2019

See also
Archbishop of Cyprus condemns Russian Church’s reaction to Churches that recognize OCU Archbishop of Cyprus condemns Russian Church’s reaction to Churches that recognize OCU Archbishop of Cyprus condemns Russian Church’s reaction to Churches that recognize OCU Archbishop of Cyprus condemns Russian Church’s reaction to Churches that recognize OCU
The Russian Holy Synod’s decision for His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to cease commemorating Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens for their support of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” is leading towards a schism, and Pat. Kirill will never be the first primate in the Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus said in a recent interview with Politis.
Met Athanasios of Limassol’s Full Interview About Ukraine Met Athanasios of Limassol’s Full Interview About Ukraine
Met. Athanasios of Limassol
Met Athanasios of Limassol’s Full Interview About Ukraine Met Athanasios of Limassol’s Full Interview About Ukraine
Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol
It’s a difficult question, and the answer causes a bit of pain, but we must tell things as they are, so there aren’t things left hanging, and there aren’t things that cause our brothers’ consciences to be scandalized.
It is Unacceptable to Have Eucharistic Communion with Unordained Schismatics It is Unacceptable to Have Eucharistic Communion with Unordained Schismatics
Metropolitan Nikephoros of Kykkos and Tellyria
It is Unacceptable to Have Eucharistic Communion with Unordained Schismatics It is Unacceptable to Have Eucharistic Communion with Unordained Schismatics
Commentary on the Ukrainian Issue for the Cypriot Holy Synod
Metropolitan Nikephoros of Kykkos and Tellyria
I can draw only one conclusion. Sadly enough, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s granting of autocephalous status to the schismatic community of Philaret and Epiphany not only did not heal the existing schism in Ukraine, but on the contrary, aggravated it.
Comments
Ambrose12/19/2019 11:16 am
Merci au Métropolite Luc, enfin quelqu'un qui a le courage de parler clair et juste!
Jesse Dominick12/18/2019 9:25 pm
Jacob, neither the Russian nor Ukrainian Holy Synods have referred to Constantinople or the Churches that back it as heretics, but Metropolitan Luke does. He is speaking more strictly. It's not a judgment call, it's just an obvious comparison. We're not undermining Met. Luke, but rather we present his statements quite often. The point is that the UOC allows its bishops to have and express opinions, while Abp. Chrysostomos is angry at his metropolitans for expressing their opinions.
Jacob12/18/2019 7:58 pm
“The statement is written in Met. Luke’s characteristic style of speaking straight and to the point. While the views he expresses are often stricter than the official stances of the Ukrainian or Russian Churches, as a ruling hierarch of the Orthodox Church, Met. Luke enjoys the freedom of having and expressing his own views.” With all due respect to the editors, who are you to say whether the Metropolitan is “stricter” than the “official stances” of the Orthodox Church ? If a Metropolitian of the church speaks, then we can safely call it an “official stance”. That paragraph serves to minimize the role of this Metropolitian in the church and can lead people to assume that he is simply a rebellious Metropolitian that does not reflect the Russian Orthodox Patriarchete! Why would you do that? Why undermine this hierarch who is part of the suffering church in Ukraine and speaks from his heart based upon his real life experience? I’m sometimes very disappointed in this website!
Mikhail12/18/2019 3:05 pm
Thank you Metropolitan Luke! This is spot on! I was mortified when I saw the false accusations of Archbishop Chrysostomos II. He can no longer be considered as some type of neutral mediator. It would not surprise me if his comments were a precursor to his own recognition of the schismatics.
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