Zagreb and Ljubljana, January 23, 2020
Those willfully remaining in schism cannot be considered members of the Church, and the painful issues of Church unity surrounding the Ukrainian crisis must be solved in the spirit of the holy canons, His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana of the Serbian Orthodox Church said in a recent interview with Novosti.rs.
The Serbian Church not only does not recognize the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” as an autocephalous Church, but it is not even considered a canonical Church and its schismatics are not recognized as members of the holy Orthodox Church, Met. Porfirije, one of the most authoritative bishops of the Serbian Church, affirmed.
The Serbian Church has stated such a position many times, through the decisions of its Council of Bishops and its Holy Synod, and through the statements of a number of individual bishops.
“The position of the Serbian Orthodox Church is formulated conciliarly and it clearly expresses that unrepentant Ukrainian schismatics are not even recognized as members of the Church,” the Serbian hierarch said.
“We really regret and mourn the destruction of the unity of the holy Orthodox Catholic Church,” he added.
It is necessary now to restore “the former blessed love and unity of the holy Local Churches of God,” Met. Porfirije said.
“There is nothing more necessary and precious than love, peace, and unanimity between us, brothers in Christ,” he added. “I am sure that there will be a way to resolve this painful issue in the spirit of the holy canons.”