Speaking on state-owned public TV channel of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus referred to the letter he sent in the summer of 2018 to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, in which he stressed that there the position of the Church of Cyprus was identical to that of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue of Ukraine.
He commented: “When I sent the letter, I did not know some essential aspects, such as that in the Tomos of Autocephaly granted by Russia, there was a condition; the Church of Ukraine must first commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the local primate, and then the Patriarch Moscow.”
“I do not in any way refute what I said in 2018 and, in fact, in a relevant discussion with the Ecumenical Patriarch, I was in favor of creating an exarchate in Kyiv, which will be under the jurisdiction of Moscow or creating a structure, which will belong to the Russian Orthodox Church as a commemoration of their religious roots,” emphasizes in his statement the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos.
He added: “I thought this was right and fair because of the ties between the Russians and Kyiv where they were baptized.”
The decision of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus to commemorate Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv last Saturday has stirred up a storm of reactions within both the Church of Cyprus and the Russian Orthodox Church.