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Ukrainian Autocephaly a Finalized Event According to Ecumenical Patriarch

November 14, 2020

CONSTANTINOPLE – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch made reference to the granting of the Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine.

Speaking to the Cypriot Channel RIK, Patriarch Bartholomew stated that “in the context of my responsibility for the stability and unity of Orthodoxy, the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine is included. This happened with the absolute certainty that this is how normal order is restored and that ecclesiastical life in Ukraine is beneficially affected. The questioning of the canonical tradition and the basic ecclesiastical principles in the name of extra-ecclesiastical interests shakes the foundations of ecclesiastical unity and turns the Orthodox Church into a secular organization, a confederation where the individual dominates to the detriment of the whole, to the detriment of the functioning of the entire Body of the Church.”

The Patriarch added that the recognition of the Ukrainian Autocephaly by Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, and just a few days ago, by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, “is an essential contribution to the cause of the unity of Orthodoxy as a practical consequence and expression of its ecclesiology.”

He emphasized that “Ukrainian autocephaly is a finalized ecclesiastical event and the only ecclesiologically consistent attitude is its recognition by the Orthodox Primate Brothers, as happened with the Autocephaly of all the younger the Orthodox Churches, including the Church of Russia.”

The Patriarch made a special reference in his message to Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, with whom, as he said, they share common visions.

“At this point I would like to refer to Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus with whom we have common visions and we join in the efforts to highlight the essential contribution of Orthodoxy in dealing with the great contemporary problems”, said the Ecumenical Patriarch.

He emphasized that “the denial of dialogue and the barren introversion ostensibly to save the purity of tradition, favors the development of fundamentalist tendencies in the Body of Orthodoxy. This was the message of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church, in the preparation of which our brother, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, bravely contributed. The support he offered us is unforgettable during the meetings of the Orthodox Primates and in the case of the Pan-Orthodox unity.”

Referring to that decision of the Archbishop of Cyprus for the recognition of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, he underlined that “the disputes over his decision to officially recognize the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church by brothers, hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus, reveal not their sensitivity, the normal order and unity of Orthodoxy, but rather their indifference to them for the sake of other expediencies. We remind them – fraternally – of the decisive role played by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the years 2005, 2006 at the invitation and request of the Church of Cyprus to settle in accordance with the canonical means the issue of the succession of the ailing Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos I and the role of the Patriarchate in other similar cases for the settlement of internal problems of the Churches of Bulgaria, Jerusalem and elsewhere. The primary coordinating and mediating role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is irreplaceable and absolutely necessary,” concluded the Ecumenical Patriarch.

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