Piraeus Metropolis: Persecutions of the canonical UOC raging in Ukraine

29 January 2019 23:30
Piraeus Metropolis of the Hellas Orthodox Church Piraeus Metropolis of the Hellas Orthodox Church

Piraeus Metropolis urged the Holy Synod of Hellas Church not to recognize OCU deeming it anti-canonical and noting that Orthodoxy is moving toward a great schism.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople asks thirteen Local Churches to recognize the OCU’s autocephaly in a situation of unprecedented confrontation and rampant persecution of the UOC in Ukraine. This is said in the statement of the Metropolis of Piraeus.

Noting that Tomos on autocephaly was granted by Patriarch Bartholomew to a new schismatic formation, led by newly elected “metropolitan” Epiphany, Phanar ignored the appeals of many Local Orthodox Churches to solve the Ukrainian issue through a dialogue within the Council with Pan-Orthodox participation.

The metropolis explained that Constantinople ignored the opinion of the canonical Local Church and the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian people: “As it is evidenced by church and political news, there are political and geostrategic goals behind the granting of autocephaly. This is clearly seen not only by the gratitude sent by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to the United States of America for "vigorous support in the process of granting autocephaly", but also by official statements of the spokesman for the US Foreign Ministry Gezer Neuert, which says that ‘the US supports the granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’."

“The pan-Orthodox ecclesiastic consciousness, <...> unanimously demonstrates that the Ukrainian Church is in the canonical jurisdiction of the Russian Church. All Patriarchs and autocephalous Local Orthodox Churches consider His Beatitude Onufriy the only canonical Metropolitan of Kiev, who is subordinate to the Russian Church,” the clergy believe.

According to the metropolis, the church situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, “because, instead of healing, the schism is growing more and more”: “After the non-canonical granting of autocephaly in Ukraine, an unprecedented persecution of the canonical Orthodox Church, led by Metropolitan Onufriy, began. Bishops, priests, monks and ordinary believers are drenched in mud, monasteries and temples seized, the communities of the canonical Church expelled, while the UOC itself was renamed the "Russian Orthodox Church."

“There is a completely unprecedented civil confrontation. And at the time when persecution is rampant in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate in its letter No. 119 of December 24, 2018 asks thirteen Local Churches to recognize autocephaly and the new “Church” of Ukraine. But currently four Autocephalous Churches – Russia, Serbia, Poland and the Czech Republic – do not recognize the schismatic “metropolitan” Epiphany, while deploring Patriarch Bartholomew,” the statement reads.

The clergy assume that the same line will be followed by the Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Bulgarian Local Churches.

In view of the upcoming convocation of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, “with a sense of anxiety and responsibility for the pan-Orthodox unity of our Church,” the metropolis called upon the hierarchs to “fulfill their duty with a high sense of responsibility. We ask them to consider this issue soberly, with the fear of God and love for the Church, taking into account the sacred canons and all that we noted above, serving the general Orthodox unity and the interests of the Church.”

The clergy of the metropolis expressed the hope that "the hierarchs will rise to the occasion and will not recognize the new schismatic" Church "led by "metropolitan" Epiphany, following the sacred canons, which they, having pronounced firm oaths on the day of their bishop's ordination, promised to abide.

As the UOJ reported, previously 13 monasteries in Athos voted against taking part in the enthronement of the head of the newly established OCU, Epiphany (Dumenko).

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