Peristeri, Greece, February 11, 2022
The Russian Church has not only invaded the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, but has, in fact, created a schism, believes Metropolitan Gregory of Peristeri.
Therefore, the Church should be deprived of its autocephalous status for a period of five years, Met. Gregory, professor of canon law at the Theological School of the University of Athens, proposes.
Likewise, against the background of the Russian Church’s rejection of Constantinople’s interference in Ukraine, Archbishop Job (Getcha) of the Patriarchate of Constantinople stated in 2018 that Constantinople has the authority to simply rescind the autocephaly of any Church that arose after the period of the Ecumenical Councils.
In Met. Gregory’s view, the Russian Church was granted autocephaly in 1589 with two conditions: to conduct activities within the borders of its territory and to communicate with the other Churches. Thus, Pat. Bartholomew should revoke the Russian Church’s autocephaly and defrock Metropolitan Leonid, the Russian Exarchate for Africa, the Greek hierarch believes.
“This means that, at the same time, the bishops of the Russian Church will enter into the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Then they won’t be able to make decisions like they did in December,” he said, referring to the establishment of the African Exarchate.
Additionally, a pan-Orthodox council should be immediately called to deal with the Russian Church’s African Exarchate, Met. Gregory said on OrthodoxTV.gr a few days ago.
He also expressed his conviction that Africa is only the beginning. The Russian Church will likewise move into the territory of the Church of Greece and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Met. Gregory believes.
Further, he accuses that the Ukrainian crisis is only a pretext used to finally enact what Moscow has been planning for 30 years already.
“It’s absurd to punish those who follow the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” the Metropolitan said.