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Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: Russian Church Wronged Concerning Ukraine

To the Editor:

This is in response to the November commentary by Mr. Kalmoukos. As a sympathizer of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I have become profoundly distressed and disturbed by the Church of Constantinople’s violation of Church Canons and ecclesiology through its intervention in the affairs of Ukraine. It has long been established that the Ukrainian Church is under the omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Church. All local and autocephalous Churches recognize only the Church of Metropolitan Onuphry (Moscow Patriarchate) as being canonical and possessing catholicity and apostolicity.

The Orthodox Church is conciliar and decisions can only be made by consensus through the agreement of ALL local Churches. All agree that the Ecumenical Patriarch is “First among equals.” and possesses a “primacy of honor” but this does not give the see of Constantinople the right to grant Autocephaly to ecclesiastical territories belonging to another Autocephalous Church. Nor does Constantinople have the right to overturn the “Anathemas” imposed on the Ukrainian schismatics by the Moscow Patriarchate.

The actions undertaken by the Church of Constantinople have created alarm throughout the Orthodox world to the extent that Synods of many local Churches have met and endorsed the convening of a Council in order to resolve the the Church crisis.

With all due respect to Mr. Kalmoukos whose work I admire, and to the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself, the Russian Church has been wronged in Ukraine. It is also inaccurate to accuse the Moscow Patriarchate of having a mindset of “secular nationalism.” Orthodox Russia today stands as the fighter for Christian faith against Jihadism in Syria and against the depravity of western secular social values. While Russia continues building more Churches and Monasteries and embraces the faith of Christ, our beloved Greece is led by an atheist Prime Minister who has legalized same sex marriage and transgenderism while removing Orthodox faith from public schools and buildings.

Criticism of the Church of Greece, like that of Russia is also unwarranted. The Church of Greece has been performing magnificently by the work carried out by lay people and clerics alike in providing humanitarian relief for migrants who have reached the Greek islands and for ordinary Greeks themselves, while trying to defend itself and the Greek family from the Tsipras government.

There are many sophisticated Bishops, priests, and theologians within the Church of Greece who opposed the pseudo Council of Crete for valid reasons and they deserve respect.

Theodore G. Karakostas

Boston, MA

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