Schismatic Bishop Admits: No Churches Would Have Recognized Us on Their Own

It’s important to recall that, despite the statement from Zorya, in the cases of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Church of Cyprus, no decision was Synodally approved.

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

In a recent interview, the speaker for the schismatic Ukrainian organization openly acknowledged something that the canonical Ukrainian Church and representatives of other Local Churches have known all along: that other Local Churches would never recognize their group if not for the influence of Constantinople.

Speaking with the DetectorUA Youtube channel, “Archbishop” Evstraty Zorya, the lead propagandist for Constantinople’s “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” plainly admits that the Churches of Greece, Alexandria, and Cyprus were not inclined to recognize the OCU, but were worked on by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

“As for the recognition of other Local Churches, without the work of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, it is obvious that neither the Patriarchate of Alexandria nor the Churches of Greece and Cyprus would have approved the decisions they made,” he says.

Recall that Patriarch Theodoros was once one of the most outspoken primates in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. He even traveled to Ukraine specifically to encourage the Orthodox flock to remain faithful to the canonical Church. Having served in Ukraine himself in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the schismatics emerged, Pat. Theodoros knows the truth about them firsthand and has even confessed that he personally suffered at their hands.

However, a year after Patriarch Bartholomew created the OCU, Pat. Theodoros suddenly entered into communion with them, thereby rejecting His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry as the canonical hierarch of Kiev.

While Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus was never so clearly on the side of the canonical Church, he repeatedly preached that unilateral decisions are harmful to the Church. However, in imitation of Constantinople’s unilateral creation of the OCU, the Cypriot primate later made his own unilateral decision to enter into communion with the schismatics.

It’s important to recall that, despite the statement from Zorya, in the cases of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Church of Cyprus, no decision was Synodally approved.

Pat. Theodoros of Alexandria suddenly began commemorating “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic OCU, on November 8, 2019. The Alexandrian Synod has never dealt with the issue, either before or after the Patriarch’s personal decision.

Abp. Chrysostomos of Cyprus made the same unilateral decision on October 24, 2020. However, unlike the Alexandrian Church, the Cypriot Church has been deeply divided over the primate’s inept decision. The Cypriot Synod later voted simply not to oppose Abp. Chrysostomos’ decision, but did not approve of it either.

In the case of the Church of Greece, the Bishops’ Council voted in October 2019 to leave the decision up to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, who soon officially recognized Dumenko and the OCU, although several Greek hierarchs continue to emphasize that the bishops never voted directly on the issue of recognizing the schismatics.

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