Among the Greek Orthodox Christians who reject Patriarch Bartholomew's uncanonical interference in the affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a number of people have left the Greek church, and the Russian church (ROCOR) has opened a mission parish to serve them.
A new mission parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has opened in Lubbock, Texas, to serve several families who left the local Greek parish, under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, due to the Patriarchate’s anti-canonical interference in the internal affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Speaking at an international conference on the Ukrainian crisis in Moscow last week, Archpriest John Whiteford of the ROCOR parish of St. Jonah of Manchuria in Spring, Texas, noted that there are various reactions from the Orthodox in America to what is happening in Ukraine. There are those Greeks who will support the Patriarchate no matter what, others are who are in disarray and confusion about what is happening, and others who outright reject the Patriarchate’s interference in Ukraine, Fr. John told the conference audience, reports RIA-Novosti.
As Fr. John explained, representatives from Greek parishes have contacted him and asked what is really going on in Ukraine. Some members of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church in Lubbock, Texas decided to leave the parish and join the jurisdiction of ROCOR, which has opened the St. Catherine Mission in Lubbock, within the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, to minister to the several families.
The mission is being served by visiting clergy until the diocese can appoint a priest to regularly serve the parishioners.
Two priests formerly of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, another of Constantinople’s three jurisdictions in America, Fr. Mark Tyson and Fr. Nektarios Trevino, have also joined ROCOR. Two parishes of Constantinople’s Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe have also joined ROCOR, and the entire Archdiocese is currently considering joining the Moscow Patriarchate, after Constantinople suddenly revoked its Exarchate status without warning in late November.
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