Patriarch Theophilos invites Primates of Churches to discuss OCU case

21 November 2019 16:31
Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. Photo: Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. Photo:

Pat. Theophilos has invited all the Primates “to discuss the preservation of our unity in Eucharistic communion”.

Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem has proposed all the Primates of the Local Churches to gather in Jordan “to discuss the preservation of pan-Orthodox unity”, reports Vladimir Legoyda, the acting Patriachal Press Secretary and head of the Synodal Department for Relations with Society and the Media, on the Telegram-channel.

His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem is currently in Moscow to receive the Patriarch Alexei II Award for working towards Church unity from the International Public Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples.

In his speech at the presentation of the award, Pat. Theophilos said that he was “deeply concerned about the difficulties clouding the life of the Church and the threats hanging over us because of our sad divisions”.

He, therefore, invites all the primates to a “brotherly meeting in love” in Jordan to “discuss the preservation of our unity in Eucharistic communion”.  

“In a peaceful spirit of brotherly love and care, we are making the following proposal: in our home, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, we want to receive our brothers, primates of the Orthodox churches, and in the spirit of canons, in a collegiate manner, discuss the preservation of our unity in Eucharistic communion. Unity in the Church, in faith and in life is a gift of the Holy Spirit,” said Pat. Theophilos.

He recalled that the Primates of the Churches “have God-given responsibility to maintain the unity of the Church, even if it requires sacrifice.”

“Using this opportunity, we announce that we are opening the doors of our house in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to hold a brotherly meeting in love in order to witness to the Church and the world the unity of the Orthodox Church and our Orthodox faith,” said Patriarch Theophilos III.

Earlier, the Jerusalem Patriarchate did not recognize the creation of the new church structure in Ukraine. He admits only the clergy of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church to serve at the Holy Sepulcher and other shrines of Jerusalem and denied access to activists of the OCU. In 2019, the media reported that the delegation of the OCU did not even have permission to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. “Anyone who wishes can come to the temple and receive the Holy Fire – this is permissible for everyone because it’s a feast,” the Internet edition “” cited the words of one of the representatives of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. “But to get inside the shrine, and also to hold a joint prayer there or to hold a service in the Jerusalem Cathedral on the eve, another church of yours (OCU - Ed.) cannot. They don’t have permission to do this.”

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