Essential reading for all Orthodox believers to understand what the Ukrainian crisis means for the future of their Church. It will also assist others to see beyond the characterization of the crisis as a political event in relations between Russia and the West. Simply put, this is a crisis of Orthodox ecclesiology requiring a conciliar solution.
Posted by Theodore Karakostas on 23rd Jul 2021
"The ecclesial crisis in Ukraine" by his Eminence Metropolitan Nikiforos of Kykkos (Church of Cyprus) is to my knowledge the first book written in English about the schism that threatens the unity of Orthodoxy. The book addresses crucial issues such as how autocephaly is given and the historical background regarding the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. These facts favor the Russian Orthodox Church of which the Ukrainian Church is a rightful part of.
His Eminence discusses the claims put forward by the Church of Constantinople and responds by referencing canon law and the conciliar tradition of the Orthodox Church. It is made very clear that Constantinople may not grant autocephaly to any portion of a Church that belongs to another autocephalous Church.
His eminence rightfully supports the decision of the Russian Church to break communion with Constantinople and explains why. He also firmly states that the Greek Churches must support the Russian Church in Ukraine. Considering the tragedy that began in Ukraine in 2018 and which has engulfed portions of the Churches of Greece and Cyprus and the Patriarchate of Alexandria, this is a very important publication not only for all Orthodox Christians generally, but for Greeks in particular who find themselves under the omophorion of bishops who are in communion with the so called "OCU"
Hopefully this work of his eminence will be only the first of further publications to come from other distinguished hierarchs, priests, and theologians who fight for the restoration of proper ecclesiology over the whole Orthodox Church. Since the beginning of the crisis that has been instigated by Constantinople, many western media outlets have contributed to the chaos by publishing distorted views of what has been taking place in Ukraine. The work of his Eminence can serve to correct for all Orthodox faithful misleading information which is widespread.
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