LAST UPDATE: 18:41
Metropolitan Ierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios published the letter he sent to the Standing Holy Synod in which he sets out his views on how the Church of Greece should decide on the issue of autocephaly granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine.
As he points out, both the Tomoi of Autocephaly and the patriarchal values were given by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to all newly established Patriarchates at their request (and sometimes at the request of their political authorities) and are ad referendum status to the Ecumenical Synod. This also means that they recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s authority to grant the autocephaly status and patriarchal values.
The basic principle is that no church should intervene in the decisions of the other churches, especially in the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, nor judge them before the Ecumenical Council meeting, to which they are referred for examination.
Metropolitan Ierotheos comments in his letter that the Church of Greece cannot reject the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to issue a Patriarchal Act of granting autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.
The Church of Greece has to accept this decision for the moment, and, when the Ecumenical Council meets, it can then express its opinion on the issue.
“By rejecting the way the Patriarchate issued the Tomos of Autocephaly of Ukraine will call into question the autochephaly statuses of the eight current Autocephalous Churches, including the Autocephalous Church of Greece, since they were granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate” says Metropolitan Ierotheos.
He stresses that the issue of Ukraine requires meeting and co-operating with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, all the more since the Church of Greece is responsible for the administration of the dioceses of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Greece. “Otherwise, the Tomos of Autochephaly of our Church is undermined.”
He underlines that the issue of autocephaly in Ukraine cannot be put to the vote in the Hierarchy, because “in such a case we will intervene in a case of another Church, especially of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, once it maintains the “supreme canonical right” over the so-called “New Lands”.