The Archdiocese of Athens and the Church of Greece have been calmly monitoring the moves and the “hostile” actions of the Patriarchate of Moscow following the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It came as no surprise to the environment of Ieronymos that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow stopped commemorating the Archbishop on November 3. The Russian Orthodox Church had announced that it would sever communion with the Archbishop of Athens if he recognised the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and sent a message to Metropolitan Epiphaniy of Kyiv.
Such action is nothing new on the part of Russia. The Patriarchate of Moscow has severed communion with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for a year now when the latter granted the Autocephaly Tomos to the Church of Ukraine. Since then, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow does not commemorate him during the Divine Liturgy.
In the context of the unprecedented unilateral actions of Moscow which can be dogmatically and ecclesiastically checked for their prestige and correctness, namely the decision to stop commemorating Archbishop Ieronymos and the issuance of a “travel directive,” which prohibits Russian pilgrims from visiting six Metropolises of the Church of Greece, this does not exclude that the Church of Greece will decide on that matter through the Standing Holy Synod which meets tomorrow.
The Church of Greece is said to follow the strategy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On the one hand, Archbishop Ieronymos will continue to commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow and Metropolitan Epiphaniy of Kyiv while the Archdiocese of Athens and the other five Metropolises, which have been included in the “blacklist” of Moscow, will continue to welcome Russian pilgrims either clerics or laypeople.
However, the Church of Greece will pay close attention to any provocative acts or anti-canonical actions that may be attempted by officials of the Patriarchate of Moscow, as they had already threatened Greek bishops behind the scenes.