Patriarch Theodoros acknowledges he has hurt Church unity, according to Alexandrian hierarch

Alexandria, January 20, 2022

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While he says he was trying to help Church unity by recognizing the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria has also admitted that his decision, in fact, brought the opposite effect, according to a statement from another hierarch of the Alexandrian Patriarchate.

A few days after commemorating “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko in the Divine services for the first time in November 2019, the Patriarch told journalists that his decision to recognize the schismatics won’t lead to any new divisions in the Church, but rather to a solution of the Ukrainian crisis.

He also expressed the conviction that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow wouldn’t stop commemorating him in the Divine services.

The Russian Synod confirmed just a month and a half later that Pat. Kirill could no longer commemorate him.

Since then, hundreds of African clergy have petitioned to be received into the Russian Church, and late last month, the Russian Church resolved to create an African Exarchate covering both the ancient and modern territory of the Alexandrian Patriarchate. While the Alexandrian Patriarch predicted no new divisions, as His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania writes, the schism has now spread to Africa.

In response to the Russian Church’s claim to Africa, Bishop Neofitos of Nyeri and Mt. Kenya issued a statement to Kenyan priests on his Facebook page.

“It is true,” he writes, “as described that the Russian Church is invading into a territory, or, they are up on an act of punishment to our Patriarchate because of standing together with other canonical jurisdictions concerning the Ukraine issue.”

Bp. Neofitos continues: “However, it should be known that our Patriarch did not do so because of any ignorance, ill motive or provocation to the Russian Church which he so loves and respects. In his own words he says ‘In my so doing, I thought I was helping to foster peace, unity and reconciliation.’”

“’Unfortunately, it turned out to be the opposite.’” Thus, the Alexandrian primate acknowledges that his decision had unintended consequences.

Interestingly, although the Alexandrian Synod declared that it was surprised by the Russian Church’s move into Africa, Metropolitan Seraphim of Zimbabwe warned back in 2019 that that exact thing would happen if they recognized the schismatics.

And given the increasing schisms, Pat. Theodoros is now hoping to gather the primates of only the Churches of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus to address the problem.

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observer1/23/2022 10:18 pm
What happens when Patriarch Bartholomew dies without having repented? Will this situation continue forever? Would Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria come to his senses after the spell is over?
Ronald Delavega1/23/2022 5:11 am
I am sorry for the whole mess and I don't wish to promote any schism but when you side with schismatics, defrocked priests and Uniates you are committing heresy. There is no way, he did not know what the reaction of the MP would be He side with the Ecumenists and the Fifth Column of the US State Department. In the meantime, while is not making the news the MP is moving into the Eps Latin America territories I wish them Godspeed
Ioannis1/21/2022 8:41 pm
Very well said Michael !
Aaron M Verghese1/21/2022 12:27 pm
The primates of the autocephalous churches should take such matters with great regard to make sure the history of 1054 will not be repeated again. All churches should right now look forward to maintaining peace within world orthodoxy instead of fighting for primacy and who belongs to who all hierarchs should refrain from taking sides and making such provoking statements but instead, work together to reach the common goal
michail1/21/2022 9:26 am
dont acknowledge the shismatics in ukraine anymore. War will come upon ukraine because of that
Michael 1/21/2022 6:13 am
If Patriarch Theodoros now knows he has done wrong and promoted schism let him publicly repent before it is too late. Perhaps the Church of Russia will accept his repentance and put this mess back on the path of restored Orthodox unity. Even those of us of Greek heritage are disgusted by the mess Ecumenical Patriarch has created by his arrogance. It is time for Bart to step down. Our house is on fire and soon there will be nothing left.
Mikhail1/20/2022 10:57 pm
He thought that his decision would "foster peace, unity and reconciliation"?!? He decided to recognize a group of laymen who are pretending to be a church because Bartholomew told him to do so. There is no way that he expected that to end well...unless he is under an incomprehensible delusion. More than 100 (possibly 200) clergy were able to see that he became a schismatic when he recognized a schism. Thank God that the ROC was able to provide a home for them.
Peter1/20/2022 8:34 pm
So…repent… I don’t believe anything he says.
Antiochene Son1/20/2022 8:20 pm
If he repents, we are bound to forgive him. But he must clearly acknowledge his error, not just express regrets for the outcome.
Alexander Leitner1/20/2022 5:25 pm
Sorry, but I do not believe what he says. He was set under pressure
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