Serbian Patriarch: Constantinople easily neglected canons under anti-Church influences

Belgrade, January 17, 2022

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In a recent interview with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affair’s International Affairs publication, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Orthodox Church spoke about the Serbian Church’s attitude on the Ukrainian crisis.

In particular he noted how easily the Patriarchate of Constantinople was able to neglect the canons, under outside, anti-Church influence.

He stated:

Our position on the ecclesiastical issue in Ukraine is well known; I’m sure it’s well known to our readers who are interested in these topics also. I will only say that despite the amazing ease with which the Patriarchate of Constantinople ignored the holy canons, ecclesiology, the age-old order of the Orthodox Church, the Sacred Tradition, we essentially—as I’m sure of the sister Russian Orthodox Church—don’t renounce our love for the Mother Church and hope and pray that the day will come, and as soon as possible, when non-Orthodox, anti-Church influence and non-Church projects will be cast off, which, as far as I can see, haven’t brought anything good to anyone in Ukraine, and when we all return to brotherly love and the pan-Orthodox solution of all problems, in the spirit of the conciliarity of the Church.

The Patriarch also said that the Serbian Church will not change its position, but will continue to give support to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and the canonical Church.

“In this event, the enemies of Orthodoxy—and I would say the enemies of Christianity—saw an opportunity to split the autocephalous or autonomous Churches. Therefore, we are well aware of what is happening in Ukraine,” he added.

“The widest freedom, complete autonomy in governance, which the Russian Orthodox Church has granted to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is an example of the manifestation of the highest economia and Church consciousness,” the Serbian primate said, concluding his remarks on the Ukrainian issue.

Following the creation of the Russian Exarchate in Africa, a number of other hierarchs have also called for an end to unilateral actions and a return to the conciliar process of working out Church issues.

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