Archbishop of Cyprus ignores Patriarch of Jerusalem’s invitation to council to solve Ukrainian crisis

Nicosia, Cyprus, January 2, 2020


After hierarchs and Synods spent more than a year calling upon Patriarch Bartholomew, to no avail, to convene a pan-Orthodox council or Synaxis of Primates to seek a solution to the Ukrainian Church crisis, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem stepped up and invited his brother primates to a Synaxis in Jordan in February.

He first announced his initiative to hold a Synaxis of Primates while visiting Moscow in November, and invitations have since been sent to the primates of the Local Churches.

The Holy Synods of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and of the Russian Orthodox Church have officially supported this initiative. Patriarch John of Antioch received his invitation personally from Metropolitan Christophoros of Amman of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Patriarchate’s official statement acknowledged receipt of the invitation and reiterated the need for a council to resolve the Ukrainian issue, though without responding directly to Jerusalem’s invitation.

On the other hand, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, who is in communion with the Ukrainian schismatics, announced that he will not participate in the effort to restore Church unity because it was not initiated by Pat. Bartholomew, and now Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus has joined him, stating that Pat. Theophilos’ invitation is not serious, because such a Synaxis can only be called by the Patriarch of Constantinople, though neither Greek archbishop cited the canons that grant such a privilege to Constantinople alone.

Though Abp. Chrysostomos himself and the Cypriot Holy Synod have acknowledged the need for a pan-Orthodox council, the Cypriot primate told Romfea that he won’t even respond to the Patriarch of Jerusalem’s invitation.

“I considered it prudent not to reply,” he said. “I don’t consider this a serious step. I haven’t examined it since I received this question from my friend the Patriarch,” the Archbishop commented.

“Only the Ecumenical Patriarch, no one else,” has the right to convene such a council, Abp. Chrysostomos is sure. Recall that Pat. Bartholomew has already explicitly refused to convene a council to consider the Ukrainian issue, telling Pat John of Antioch in a letter that given that four Local Churches did not attend the Crete Council in 2016, there is no reason to seek conciliarity now.

Just a few days before Pat. Theophilos announced his invitation, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania also issued a statement stressing the urgent need for a council to address the Ukrainian issue, though he also stated that it should be convened by Pat. Bartholomew. Thus, it remains to be seen how he will respond to Pat. Theophilos’ invitation.

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Dimitrios1/3/2020 5:48 pm
This is extremely unfortunate that the Archbishop has taken such a position, given that he himself suggested that a council be called. The lack of willingness to appose Bartholomew's Papist stance shows a lack of backbone and courage to defend the Church from this heretical stance. The Church has been conciliar in nature from the beginning. The Church decides, not Bartholomew! He is not Pope of the Orthodox Church. Have the other Bishops of Cyprus been consulted? No, they haven't! Regardless, as Jeannette has pointed out in her comment, men have their plans, but God has his own. The Archbishop will look back on this in shame for his failure to defend the Church. Glory to God for all things, and may His Holy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven! Let us as true Christians devote much time to prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ and thus participate in His Holy will.
Jeannette 1/3/2020 8:31 am
According to Arch. Morphou, the Elder Ephraim was asked by some spiritual children living in Greece, if they should find another Church to attend since the Greek Church is schismatic. He appeared to them and told them to continue going to their own Church, since the schism will be short lived. The Elder said there will be a war, and afterwards they will realize how foolish they were and settle their differences. If there is a war between Turkey and Greece - which is likely considering the current situation, I fear that Patriarch Bartolomew will suffer dearly. He needs our prayers, but not only for God's protection in case of war, but more so for his errors.
CRAIG TRUGLIA1/3/2020 5:33 am
Fr Whiteford hit the nail on the head.* This "only the EP can call a council" is historically idiotic. I can see the Roman Catholics saying you need the Pope (this is still a historically tenuous argument) but how did the Council of Nicea I get off the ground? *To nitpick, Nestorius did consent to the council, because it was an appeal against Rome and Alexandria's deposition against him.
Alexander1/2/2020 9:25 pm
Forget these greek Hierarchs...zhey all have fallen away
Fr. John Whiteford1/2/2020 4:36 pm
Too bad Nestorius didn't know he could have ignored the 3rd Ecumenical Council, since he didn't call it.
Mikhail1/2/2020 3:34 pm
So he was not serious in the first place. He knows very well that his friend Bartholomew will never call a council over the Ukrainian issue. It was all a show...another Hierarch without a backbone.
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