NICOSIA – His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus sent a letter to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew shortly before the Church of Cyprus’ recognition of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine.
In the letter, Archbishop Chrysostomos informed the Ecumenical Patriarch that due to his aggravated health condition, he cannot continue to attend meetings with the other Primates of the Orthodox Churches on the Ukrainian issue.
He also emphasized that “the attitude of neutrality that we observed as the Church of Cyprus, had the sole purpose of the general good of Orthodoxy, and our desire was to help with all our strength the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
Archbishop Chrysostomos noted that after seeing the fruitlessness of his efforts and “after much reflection and prayer,” he commemorated the new Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphanios.
He clarified that the occasional disagreements about “alleged intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine and through the concession of the Tomos of Autocephaly in the absence of the rest of the Primates, are not valid, as those who protest are the first offenders.”
He calls on the other Orthodox Churches to abide by the ecclesiastical institutions and the decisions taken from time to time, and reminds that except for the four Middle Eastern Churches which are apostolic and did not need a Tomos for their Autocephaly, all the other local Churches owe their autocephaly to a Tomos granted to them by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which delimits their borders.
The Archbishop noted that “every local Orthodox Church should and must remain within its borders, and not intervene by ordaining Bishops in provinces of another local Orthodox Church.”
The Archbishop also spoke of “arbitrary interference by the Russian Church within the borders of another local church (in Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania)”, which does not justify its protests that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is interfering in its internal affairs.