During the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece said that the proclamation of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine is beneficial to the Orthodox Church. As a result, it will strengthen “the relations of the two Sister Churches, the one of Russia and the one of Ukraine.”
The autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine was the only issue on the agenda of today’s extraordinary meeting. Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece was the rapporteur.
The Archbishop first mentioned that the Standing Holy Synod had been examining the Ukrainian autocephaly issue in detail in several sessions. He referred to the competent Synodical Committees, that on Doctrinal and Nomocanonical Matters and that on Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations, in order to jointly make a recommendation to the Holy Synod.
On August 13, the said committees submitted to the Chief Secretary the joint decision and recommendation entitled “The question of canonical jurisdiction in the Holy Metropolis of Kiev.”
The opinion of the committees was the following: “In the light of the above considerations, on the issue of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine we recommend, canonically and legally, that we do not oppose the recognition of the Church of Ukraine and the autocephaly as well as its coexistence with the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece then noted that the Church of Ukraine had always remained under the canonical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which had resigned from its canonical jurisdiction to join the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches. He added that the Patriarchate of Moscow deemed the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine non-canonical as if it canonically belonged to it.
He said that the proclamation of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine was beneficial to the Orthodox Church. As a result, it will strengthen “the relations of the two Sister Churches, the one of Russia and the one of Ukraine. Finally, he recommended “the recognition of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine of the Independent Republic of Ukraine.”
After a discussion among the members of the Hierarchy, they decided to accept the decision of the Standing Holy Synod and the recommendation of Archbishop Ieronymos. He recognised “the canonical right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant autocephaly as well as the privilege of the Head of the Church of Greece to further deal with the issue of recognition of the Church of Ukraine.” Lastly, seven Metropolitans demanded the postponement of the present decision.