by Andreas Loudaros*
Archbishop Ieronymos, with a message towards every direction, tried to put an end today to the unofficial rumours about the stance of the Church of Greece and himself regarding the Ukrainian issue.
Just a day before the start of the proceedings of the Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece, he informed in a letter the Body of Hierarchs that he would add another extraordinary meeting this coming Saturday regarding exclusively the Ukrainian issue.
The Archbishop, personally summoning the Hierarchs, made use of the privilege granted him by the Charter by convening an Extraordinary meeting just after the end of the proceedings of the ordinary sessions.
The background messages
By convening the Hierarchy and personally undertaking to make a suggestion on the subject, he makes it clear in every way that it is a matter of his own handling and that he does not intend to ‘slip’ into signature-gathering processes, etc. At the same time, he sends the message that since this issue is extraordinarilly added in the agenda of the Hierarchy, Athens is not going to filibuster anymore.
As long as the Archbishop insists on his original position for a request for ratification of the Standing Holy Synod’s decision by the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy, that is to say management of the matter is a prerogative of the Primate, then it is most likely on Saturday not to have a decision that says “whether or not we recognize the new “Autocephalous Church” but “we recognize the prerogative of our Primate to make the relevant decisions on his own.” Unless the Archbishop himself refuses to exercise this privilege and asks the Hierarchy to make the final decision, something that Archbishop Ieronymos does not seem willing to do.
The most likely decision most of us are waiting for is the confirmation of last August’s Standing Holy Synod’s decision. If this eventually happens, it is possible, the following day, to hear the name of the Primate of the Church of Ukraine in the Diptychs, at the Cathedral of Athens where the first archieratical ordination will be officiated by the Archbishop. However, this cannot be considered a fact.
Well-informed sources at orthodoxia.info do not rule out the possibility of a short period until the relevant letter is sent to Ukraine and the name of its new Primate is included in the Diptychs, for reasons that the Archbishop has so far not shared with his interlocutors.
*The article was originally published in Greek by orthodoxia.info