Orthodox hierarchs from various Local Churches condemned the Ukrainian schism and expressed support for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church/Moscow Patriarchate (UOC/MP). Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis of Paris and all France (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) said in an interview with the website Православие в Украине (Pravoslavie v Ukraine: Orthodoxy in the Ukraine), “The only way open to the schismatics is to return to the Orthodox Church led by Metropolitan Vladimir”. Along with other Orthodox clergy from other Local Churches, he recently visited Kiev on the feastday of the Baptism of Rus, which also had festivities celebrating the 20th anniversary of the installation of Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan of Kiev and all the Ukraine as the First Hierarch of the UOC/MP. Metropolitan Emmanuel emphasised, “The Patriarchate of Constantinople has no relationship with schismatics; it doesn’t acknowledge or recognise them”.
Archbishop Petros Giakoumelos of Aksum (Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa) also unequivocally denied that any of the Local Churches could recognise schismatics; it was a sheer impossibility. In Vladyki Petro’s opinion, the Kiev anniversary celebration was testimony to the current stability of the UOC/MP, saying, “Nothing can destroy or divide the Oneness of the Church”.
Metropolitan Nikolaos Hatzinikolaou of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki (Church of Greece) stressed, “The healing of the schism is an internal matter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which she must deal with as she sees fit, without any pressure from other Local Churches”. He spoke of the impossibility of recognising the “Mysteries” performed by schismatics, pointing up a similar case in the Greek context. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece decided not to recognise baptisms performed by schismatic Greek Old Calendarists, as it isn’t in communion with such unfaithful elements; it receives such people by chrismation.
For his part, Archbishop Abel Popławski of Lublin and Chełm (Church of Poland) pointed up, “Schism is a sin; as with any other sin, it can only be cured with repentance”. He reminded us that Philaret Denisenko, the head of the self-proclaimed so-called “Patriarchate of Kiev”, is under an anathema, and he and his organisation has no place among the canonical Churches.
7 August 2012