BOSTON – His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus commemorated for the first time the name of Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kyiv and All Ukraine, thereby recognizing the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, during the Divine Liturgy for the ordination of the new Bishop of Arsinoe, Pagkratios, at the Monastery of Panagia Chrysorroiatissa in Paphos οn Saturday morning, October 24.
In a post on Twitter, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine thanked the Church of Cyprus for the recognition saying “the Church of Cyprus, one of the oldest local Churches, was recognized as Autocephalous at the Third Ecumenical Council, 10th in the Diptych, joined the Tomos recognition of the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and became the fourth Church to recognize the Local OCU.”
It is noted that the Church of Cyprus became the fourth Church to recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, after the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Church of Greece, and the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which commemorated Metropolitan Epiphanios during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Thessaloniki on October 19, 2019, and Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria in November of 2019.
Theodoros declared at that time that “from here in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, I would like to refer to a great event for our Church. The Patriarchate of Alexandria, the second in rank, after much prayer and consideration, in the presence of the Holy Hierarchs, in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador of Greece, I would like to officially announce that our Patriarchate included today the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine and His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanios.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros of America welcomed the decision of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus to recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and commemorate Metropolitan Epiphanios.
In a post on social media, the Archbishop said: “Historic day in the Church of Cyprus, the only Autocephalous Church of the Ecumenical Councils. H.B. Archbishop Chrysostom recognizes the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and commemorates H.B. Metropolitan Epiphany. The Ecumenical Patriarchate’s stewardship of the Church continues.”
Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus said that “my decision to commemorate Metropolitan Epiphanios first serves Orthodoxy. The Church of Cyprus recognizes the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, said today Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus after the ordination of Bishop Pagkratios of Arsinoe at the Monastery of Panagia Chrysorroiatissa.”
As reported by the Cyprus News Agency, in his statements, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus stated that his decision served the Orthodoxy and the Church of Cyprus. It may be against certain people, he said, but what interests the Archbishop himself is Orthodoxy.
Metropolitans of Limassol Athanasios, Nikiforos of Kykkos, Isaias of Tamasos, and Bishop Nikolaos of Amathous issued a statement expressing strong reaction against the decision of Archbishop Chrysostomos to recognize the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in this way.
The four hierarchs state that this move of the Archbishop of Cyprus “constitutes a blatant violation of the polity of our Orthodox Church and its operation.”