The Synod of the Bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine said that the recognition of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine by the Archbishop of Athens and the Patriarch of Alexandria was not canonical.
The Synod took place on Friday. Metropolitan Onufriy deplored the decision taken recently by the Churches of Greece and Alexandria on the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine. He also said that the actions taken by the Heads of those two Churches were not canonical. However, he expressed his gratitude to Hierarchs and clergymen of the Church of Greece and the Patriarchate of Alexandria for not concelebrating with the schismatics.
During the Synod, the Russian Church argued that the recognition of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine would lead to division within the Orthodox Church world and strongly criticised the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Heads of the Churches of Greece and Alexandria.
In its communiqué, the Holy Synod of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate stated, “The situation in the Orthodox world has deteriorated significantly and the divisions between local Orthodox Churches have not only caused administrative problems but also spiritual deprivation. The decisions taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the recognition of the schismatic ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine’, which has come into full communion with the Churches of Greece and Alexandria, were not canonical.”
Seeking to undermine the significance and validity of the decision of the two Churches that recognised the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Moscow Patriarchate argued that the decision was taken under the influence of geopolitical and political factors that were in conflict with the traditions of the Church. Metropolitan Onufriy welcomed the initiative taken by Theophilos III of Jerusalem to convene an Assembly of the Heads of Orthodox Churches in Jordan, as he said that a Synodal Pan-Orthodox Consultation would be the only way to find a solution. He said, “We are aware of all the difficulties associated with convening an Orthodox Assembly. However, we cannot think of another solution at the moment.”