Metropolitan Alexander of Nigeria responded in an open letter to Metropolitan Agathangelos of Odessa about his accusations against Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria. In particular, the Metropolitan of Nigeria answered in detail and asked the Metropolitan of Odessa to take back the insults. He added that those remarks were unfair and that the Metropolitan of Odessa seemed to be acting as if he was influenced by lies and calumnies.
He also pointed out, “You have made some insulting remarks on the Ecumenical Patriarchate due to the issue of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine (I wonder when you will realise that it is you who are creating the current schism, because you do not want to accept the fact that everything we do in our Church has a beginning, middle and end). As an Orthodox Christian and a Hierarch, I am sorry for you. This kind of inappropriate behaviour is to your discredit. It goes without saying that I have sent this letter to you because I will no longer put up with insults against our Ecumenical Patriarch.”
He further stated, “We respect the ecclesiastical order. There is a First in the Orthodox Church, who plays a decisive role. You are accusing the Ecumenical Patriarch of betrayal, while it is you who do not respect the Ecumenical Patriarchate that introduced Orthodoxy to you and created your Church.
I reject the negative remarks you made on the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Patriarch of Alexandria. Your actions are leading to the division of the Church as you do not abide by the rules you are invoking. You want to impose your views.
I advise you with love to repent and read Church history; people who eventually denied heresies and schismatic behaviours were welcomed back in the Church. You should see the world in a different way and not only from the Russian point of view. Until then, keep this kind of remarks for yourselves. You should not accuse Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and all Africa of anything, because he is an example of love, sacrifice, and good missionary work.
I would also like to speak of the last paragraph of the letter you sent to the Ecumenical Patriarch. You said that ‘the blood of the martyrdom cannot wash out the sin of schism.’ So, I would like to ask you with all due respect how, as shepherds of the Orthodox Church, we can wash out our sin when we do not take the necessary steps in order to heal the wound caused by the current schism.”