LAST UPDATE: 14:48
The four Hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus, who reacted strongly to the recognition of the Autocephalous of the Church of Ukraine by Archbishop Chrysostomos, gave their own answer to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of his recent statements.
In particular, in their letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch, Metropolitan Nikiforos of Kykkos, Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos and Bishop Nicholas of Amathounta, expressed their sorrow at the Patriarch’s statement that with their reaction to the recognition of the Autocephalous of the Ukrainian Church “They reveal not our sensitivity to ecclesiology, the regular order and the unity of Orthodoxy, but rather our indifference to it, for the sake of other expediencies.”
They commented as well on Ecumenical Patriarch’s statement that the Autocephalous of the Ukrainian Church is a finalized ecclesiastical event and the only ecclesiologically consistent attitude is its recognition by the other Orthodox Primates, “we do not agree, since none of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches attended the enthronement of Epifaniy, but to date only two local Churches have recognized him. However, the recognition by the Archbishop of Cyprus is an arbitrary and illegal act.”
In fact, the four Archpriests emphasized that each Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, as Primate of the First Throne of the Orthodox Church, is “primus inter pares”, a primacy that is not a “primacy of power” but “a primacy of responsibility and ministry” for the unity of the Church, the right faith and love.
They also questioned whether they have the right “as members of the Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Church of Cyprus”, to express their views freely and fearlessly, and whether it is right for the Archbishop (of Cyprus) to “despise and abolish the whole Holy Synod and to act completely different”.
“As for the other purposes, which we may serve in our knowledge, we think that our presence and service in the Church so far testifies to the quality of our ministry and the inviolability of our morals,” they pointed out.