Patriarch Irinej of Serbia appeals to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to reconsider his previous decisions and restore the love and unity of local Orthodox churches.
Patriarch Irenej, in a five-page letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, dated February 6, notified that the Holy Synod of the Church of Serbia does not recognize the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine “because it is canonically non-existent and it is forcefully imposed.”
“The schismatics remained schismatics. Once a schismatic – always a schismatic”, wrote with clear aversion of Patriarch Irinej in his letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
He also said that “the only Church that we know and recognize in this case is the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by His Beatitude Onuphry, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”
The Serbian Patriarch also points out that the Church of Serbia does not recognize “the schismatic hierarchy as Orthodox hierarchy, since the members of the Denisenko team acquired their ‘ecclesiastical hypostasis’ from an excommunicated and anathema-given hierarch.”
He also notes that he does not accept that Mr. Dumenko is a hierarch,”not to talk about a Primate of an autocephalous Church.”
Finally, he notifies the Ecumenical Patriarch that he has asked clerics of the Serbian Orthodox Church to avoid any “liturgical and canonical communion, not only with the above-mentioned Mr Epiphany Dumenko and his adherents, but also with hierarchs and clerics who concelebrate with them and get in any communion with them, observing the canonical principle that one who gets in communion with someone who is out of communion, will himself be out of communion.”