Metropolitan Seraphim (Mentzelopoulos) of Piraeus. Photo: newpost.gr
The OCU is a “church” that does not exist from the canonical point of view, consisting of canon breakers, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus believes.
The hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Seraphim (Mentzelopoulos) of Piraeu, is sure that the decision to reinstate the “two anathematized and non-ordained schismatic structures of Ukraine” is invalid, and therefore the decision to grant autocephaly to the OCU is invalid, either. His commentary on the decision of the Synodal Commissions of the Church of Greece on the recognition of the OCU was published by the Greek online edition “Romfea”.
In the commentary, Metropolitan Seraphim called the church structure recently created in Ukraine “a church that does not exist from the canonical point of view and consists of canon breakers”.
“This, of course, should be recognized by the Pan-Orthodox Council, which, by the work of Their Beatitude Primates of the Holy Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, should be convened in the fastest way to overcome this seemingly difficult problem, which, unfortunately, no one puts on a real canonical basis,” wrote the bishop of the Church of Greece.
Met. Seraphim reminded the church hierarchs of eternity and the Judgment of God, as well as of responsibility to them.
“The actions and deeds of each determine his place before his Creator, forever!” said Metropolitan.
According to him, the absolute responsibility of the bishops and presbyters of the Church before God consists of “preserving in any way the canonical, ecclesiological and functional highest value – the unity of the Church.”
Vladyka Seraphim drew the attention of his readers to the fact that the creation of the OCU is a geopolitical project.
“The Orthodox Church was involved in the Ukrainian issue as evidenced from time to time by statements of US government leaders with their first congratulatory statement by Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo on the provision of autocephaly of the so-called ‘Ukrainian Autocephalous Church’. An unprecedented event – the US Secretary of State congratulates for the purely ecclesiastical action,” said the hierarch of the Church of Greece.
In conclusion, he wondered whether the Synod Commission for Dogmatic and Canonical Issues had taken into account all of the above.
“Did the Synodal Commission for Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Christian relations study the consequences of recognizing this invalid autocephaly, as explained at the Permanent Holy Synod, the consequences of the obvious canonical error of the honest Ecumenical Patriarchate and the specific reaction of the Moscow Patriarchate to suspend church communion with the Greek Church and the possible recognition in Greece of another religious ‘structure’, which is already contacting across the border in America with the Russian Church of the former Synod in Karlovtsy (ROCA)?
Do we honestly accept the approaching whirlwind? Are we ready to take responsibility before God, before our eternity and before history?” Metropolitan Seraphim asks.
According to the hierarch of the Greek Church, “the conclusion that folows for a decision on the Ukrainian church is that erroneously and without canonical competence, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate reinstated and made a final decision on the former clergy of another church body, the Russian Church, changing and repealing the decisions of the Patriarchal Council without proper jurisdiction.”