POSTED BY: NEWSMAKER 17.09.2018
© RIA Novosti / Sergey Starostambulsky
Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and Antikythira of the Greek Orthodox Church has said that the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople have led to a schism in Orthodoxy and urged him to repent and to cease causing a schism.
The President of the Ukraine, Petro Waltzman, is trying to obtain the recognition of anti-canonical religious structures and so create a schismatic church in the Ukraine, outside the framework of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Patriarchate of Constantinople had previously reported that ‘in preparation for the granting of autocephaly’ it had appointed its North American Exarchs to Kiev.
The Synod of the Russian Church on Friday declared ‘a break in diplomatic relations’ with the Patriarchate of Constantinople after it had appointed its Exarchs to the Ukraine, which has always been on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate. In particular, it decided to cease commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I during Patriarchal services and in structures, presided over by the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The persistence of Patriarch Bartholomew in providing the schismatics in the Ukraine with autocephaly has led to sad results. The Patriarch of Constantinople, instead of playing with the Pope of Rome, should express his repentance, reads the statement of the Metropolitan, the text of which is available to RIA Novosti.
‘I was deeply saddened on hearing about the break in communion of the Patriarchate of Russia with the Patriarchate. These sad and disastrous results come from the insistence of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian schismatics who are separated from our Holy Orthodox Church, that is, from all the Orthodox Patriarchates and Local Orthodox Churches and constitute only a small minority of the Ukrainian people’, he said in his statement.
Metropolitan Seraphim recalled that until recently the Patriarchate of Constantinople recognized only the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the leadership of Metropolitan Onufry.
‘Now he for his own reasons wants to give autocephaly to the schismatics in the Ukraine and revise the sacred order and the canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine, which is recognized by not only the Russian Orthodox Church, but by all the other Local Orthodox Churches’, the document says.
‘The schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and Holy Canons, Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. What then is the perseverance of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an Autocephalous Church? To provoke splits and divisions in the One, Universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?’ he asked in the statement.
Metropolitan Seraphim said that many of the troubles were caused and provoked by the decisions of the meeting held in Crete in June 2016.
The Metropolitan criticized the recent decision of the Synod of the Constantinople Church to allow remarried priests under certain conditions.
Instead of praying together, as organized recently with the Pope of Rome and the leaders and representatives of other Christian communities and faiths, which are not only not helpful, but seriously insulting to Orthodox Christians, he should repent and return to the Universal Orthodox Christian world ‘to the Holy Faith’, to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers, the Ecumenical Councils of the Church, and in general to our Orthodox Tradition’, he said in the statement.
‘We know from St. John Chrysostom that «the sin of schism is not washed away even by the blood of martyrs’, said the Metropolitan of Kythira.