Actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, his globalist sponsors and pseudo-church organizations created with their help continue contributing to the division and instability within the Orthodox World.
On October 24, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus made the unilateral decision to commemorate Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the ‘independent’ Orthodox Church of Ukraine that was created to fight against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) on the territory of Ukraine. Thus Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus became the third Orthodox primate besides Patriarch Bartholomew to commemorate the pseudo-church organization.
The decision faced a strong opposition within the Cypriot Church. His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol immediately left the Liturgy when he heard the name of Epiphany Dumenko. On the same day, Metropolitan Athanasios, together with three other hierarchs of the Cypriot Church, Metropolitans Nikiforos of Kykkos and Isaiah of Tamassos, and Bishop Nicholas of Amathountos, appealed to Archbishop Chrysostomos to immediately revoke his anti-canonical decision to include the name of Epiphany Dumenko in the diptychs of the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.
Their statement was in English can be found here. In the statement, they declare their opposition to actions of Patriarch Bartholomew and the other primates who have accepted the schismatics and repeat that this decision has been made arbitrarily and anti-canonically in Ukraine and only threaten greater disunity and schism in the Church, given that Ukraine is the canonical territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The statement also supports the decision of the Moscow Patriarchate to interrupt Eucharistic communion with those who enter into communion with the schismatics.
In own turn, Archbishop Chrysostomos claims that his decision will be for the good of Orthodoxy, while in fact the forceful promotion of pseudo-church organizations created and supported by the Bartholomew-led bloc that play in the favor of the globalist, neo-liberal agenda goes full contrary to the interests of conservative societies of these countries. The globalist, neo-liberal agenda weaponized by Bartholomew and his sponsors is mostly aimed at undermining the position of the church as one of the key pillars of conservative societies of Europe. Forces standing behind this push likely believe that the destruction of the position of the church in these societies will allow them to overcome the local resistance and entrench the aggressive neo-liberal, pro-globalist and consumerist ideology there.
The text of the statement:
With great concern, but also with the deepest sorrow, we were informed of the commemoration of the “primate of the Ukrainian Church” Epiphany by His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus today, Saturday, October 24, 2020, during the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Chrysoroyiatissa, where the God-beloved Bishop Pankratios of Arsinoe was consecrated.
1. The act of the Archbishop constitutes a blatant violation of the synodal, conciliar, and democratic structure of our Orthodox Church and the functioning of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus based on this system.
2. This question was raised by His Beatitude at a recent session of the Holy Synod (September 9, 2020), and it was decided then to consider it at another meeting, to hear the views and positions of all members of the Holy Synod and make a synodal decision on this issue.
3. The recent appointment of Epiphany as the “Primate of the Ukrainian Church” by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew has caused turmoil in the Orthodox Church, and to date, only the Greek Church and the Alexandrian Patriarchate, for reasons not related to this present consideration, have recognized him. All the other Local Orthodox Churches have a negative stance towards the issue. (It should be noted here that during the “ordination” of this Epiphany, not a single representative of the Local Orthodox Churches was present, with all the ensuing consequences.)
4. The one proclaimed “primate” of the Ukrainian Church by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has no canonical ordination, and this is because he comes from the schismatic groups of the Ukrainian Church. If His All-Holiness the Patriarch truly desired to follow the canonical procedure for granting autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine, then he should have granted autocephaly to the canonical Metropolitan of Kiev, Onuphry, for which he should have obtained the consent of the Moscow Patriarchate, to which he [Metropolitan Onuphry—Trans.] submits, as well as the consent of the Local Orthodox primates.
5. The act of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of granting “autocephaly” to the schismatic structures of the Ukrainian Church is an arbitrary, anti-canonical, and anti-ecclesiastical action in the sense that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is within the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, and this autocephaly constitutes, as said above, interference within the jurisdiction of the said Patriarchate. In this regard, the Russian Church, reacting, justifiably interrupted Church communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and also with the Churches of Greece and Alexandria.
6. Granting autocephaly is conceivable and possible, according to the Sacred Canons and practice of our Church, only with the prior approval of the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches. In this case, the Ecumenical Patriarch, despite the content of the Sacred Canons and Church Tradition, and contradicting his earlier statements on this issue, acted unilaterally and arbitrarily. And, unfortunately, the primate of the Cypriot Church has followed this example, ignoring and despising his own Holy Synod.
7. The Archbishop of Cyprus’ decision to commemorate Epiphany as the “primate of the Ukrainian Church” further exacerbates the tense situation between the Orthodox Churches, threatens to increase the schism in universal Orthodoxy, and recklessly integrates the Church of Cyprus into this climate [of schism—Trans.].
8. We call upon His Beatitude to immediately revoke this anti-canonical and invalid act, and at the same time, we ask all of our bishops of the Cypriot Church to jointly demand the convocation of an extraordinary session of the Holy Synod to make an appropriate decision.
9. Finally, we must also emphasize the untimely nature of our primate’s actions, given the critical times we are going through, as far as our national issue is concerned, but also the threatening actions of the Turkish expansionist policy, which threatens to diminish our nation.
We testify to all the above in good faith, aware of our hierarchical conscience and our sacred duty to preserve the canonical order and unity of the Church in order to avoid the deadly sin of schism, for according to St. John Chrysostom, “no blood can wash away this sin.”
Nicosia, October 24, 2020
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