Abp Anastasios about ROC Exarchate in Africa: Orthodoxy is obviously split

09 January 2022 13:42
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Archbishop Anastasios. Photo: George Tserefos Archbishop Anastasios. Photo: George Tserefos

According to the head of the Albanian Church, to say that there is no split in Orthodoxy due to the OCU, but only disagreements, is like denying the existence of COVID.

On January 8, the Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania, said that the creation of the Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa testifies to the split in Universal Orthodoxy.

The official website of the Albanian Church published an appeal by Archbishop Anastasios, in which he recalled his position on the creation of the OCU.

According to Archbishop Anastasios, "from the very beginning of the church crisis in Ukraine, he pointed out verbally and in writing that church schisms and schismatics cannot be healed by time", but "on the contrary, time only deepens and perpetuates them."

“The scandal and the weakening of Orthodox testimony as a result of this schismatic activity are obvious. This is a painful scenario,” stressed the Primate of the Albanian Church.

He recalled that the only way out of this situation can only be a return to the synodal principle in Orthodoxy and reconciliation based on the canons of the Church.

In his opinion, “the statement that there is no schism in Orthodoxy, but only disagreements, is akin to the theory that there is no such thing as coronavirus. The split, with its various mutations, is obvious, and it is urgent to look for a cure and use the vaccine prescribed by the apostolic tradition – reconciliation."

He recalled that in November 2019 he sent a message to all Orthodox Primates, in which he called for overcoming the "church polarization". In this message, according to the Archbishop, it was pointed out "the absolute imperative of unity, the need to dialogue, to avoid ethnic and racial divisions, urgently activate the principle of Synodality, on which the Orthodox Church has rested throughout all times."

“United in the Holy Spirit, in mutual respect and with the sole purpose of finding a peaceful settlement, we have the opportunity to come to a decision generally accepted by the entire Orthodox Church,” the Primate of the Albanian Church recalled his words.

He is confident that "this urgent appeal remains absolutely relevant today." At the end of the address of Archbishop Anastasios, his message of 2019 was posted on the website of the Albanian Church.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Primate of the Albanian Church called for the early convocation of a Council on the OCU issue.

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