His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus dared, and he made the correct decision by recognizing the new Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine eucharistically, first by commemorating Metropolitan Epiphanios’ name in the Diptychs on Saturday, October 24 during the Divine Liturgy and ordination to the Bishopric rank of Bishop Pagratios of Arsinoi, and then through an official letter and announcement.
Archbishop Chrysostomos followed the example of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and also Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria. Chrysostomos delayed a little, anxious to make a correct ecclesiological decision, but what matters is that he ignored all the warnings, threats, and intimidation from some of his own hierarchs but also of Patriarch Kyrillos of Moscow and his protégé, the cunning Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolask.
Archbishop Chrysostomos, with his decision, sent a clear message to other ‘hesitant’ Patriarchs and Archbishops of the same descent, blood, and language, that the issue doesn’t have only ecclesiastical parameters but also ethnic dimensions – with the correct connotation of the term – because it involves the prestige and the reach of Hellenism.
The paradigm of decisiveness, strength, and ecclesiological ethos that Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus has displayed should be followed without any further delay by the remaining hesitant hierarchs, beginning with Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, who should proceed with the recognition immediately because he has embarrassed himself irreparably. Of course, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania should stop the well-known games he learned in his youth at the Zoe pietistic organization, to remind himself that what he is today is a Primate of an Autocephalous Church – a position he owes to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The least he can do is to end his tactics and show some gratitude to the Mother Church of Constantinople.
Archbishop Chrysostomos was attacked by four hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus who prefer to support the Russian Patriarchate rather than the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Mother Church of Constantinople. The least we can say is shame on them.
Regarding Patriarch Ioannis of Antioch, I really don’t want to even mention him because he has been a coward, but I am sure he will follow at some point the correct course paved by Archbishop Ieronymos and Patriarch Theodoros and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus. Regarding the Muscovite Kyrillos, he is being steadily isolated and a time will come when he and Hilarion with have only each other to commemorate.