To the Editor:
The following letter is in response to “U.S. Ambassador Pyatt Says Russia Undermining Patriarch.”
It is completely unacceptable for secular authorities who are not members of the Orthodox Church to interfere in matters pertaining to Canon Law and ecclesiology. The Orthodox Church was founded by Jesus Christ and is the “one holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.” The Church professes the faith as revealed to us the prophets, apostles, and fathers of the Church. Our faith emanates from revelation and the divine will of God.
It is completely unacceptable and utterly offensive for some non-Orthodox official to interfere with our faith. The Ecumenical Patriarch is “First Among Equals,” which the Russian and all Orthodox Churches are in agreement with. The crisis at hand however has to do with utterly uncanonical action of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the territory of Ukraine which is not part of its own “omophorion.”
Canon Law prohibits one Autocephalous Church from interfering in the internal affairs of another Church. Constantinople is in the wrong because not only has this Church proceeded to grant Autocephaly to a territory belonging to another Church (!), it has also entered into communion with schismatics who were previously anathematized by the Russian Church (actions that were recognized by Patriarch Bartholomew and his Synod) while completely disregarding the real Church of Ukraine under his beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
The so called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” is a fake Church with no valid mysteries and whose “primate” is a man who lacks both valid ordination and consecration. This is a fake and politically created entity that is engaging in the horrific persecution of the Canonical Church of Ukraine that is recognized by every local Church other than Constantinople.
Ambassador Pyatt is way out of line in commenting on matters internal to the practices and ecclesiology of Eastern Orthodoxy. The Orthodox Church is led by Jesus Christ and is not a political organization. Secular officials must keep their secular hands off the Holy Church of Christ.
Theodore G. Karakostas