Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich): The Church of Cyprus faces a truly fateful choice

Managing directorof the UOC on the significance of the upcoming meeting of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Churchof Cyprus.

Saint Augustine the Blessed: «We believe in the holy catholic Church. However, heretics and schismatics also refer to their communities as churches. But heretics, falsely thinking about God, distort the very faith, and the schismatics by lawless divisions depart from brotherly love, although they believe in the same thing as we do. Therefore, neither heretics belong to the ecumenical Church, which loves God, nor schismatics belong to it».

On November 23, 2020, a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Churchof Cyprus will take place.

It will take place against the backdrop of extremely negative and sad events. First of all, we are talking about the adoption by the Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus of the sole decision to commemorate in the diptychs of the Orthodox Primates the head of the«OCU».

This unauthorized step, which was taken without the consent of the members of the Holy Synod, not only de facto split the Orthodox Churchof Cyprus. It also led to the impossibility of carrying out prayer and Eucharistic communion between our Church and the Archbishop of Cyprus.

Taking this into account, the significance of the results of the said meeting, as well as the general results of the settlement of the problem caused by the actions of the First Hierarch of the Church of Cyprus, increases many times over. Indeed, at the moment, within the framework of the corresponding discussion, two fundamental issues are being resolved.

The first concerns the prospects for increasing the schism in world Orthodoxy. The Churchof Cyprus can either aggravate or not aggravate the gap in pan-Orthodox unity. This is not only a responsible, but also a truly fateful choice. For its results will have to be held accountable before God. In fact, loyalty to the Lord and a willingness to follow a course that legalizes schismatics and destroys the foundations of the Orthodox faith are now in the balance.

The second question rests on the theme of conciliarity. The corresponding decision to commemorate the «OCU» was taken arbitrarily, by the method of voluntarism. And if it is not abolished,then there will be a precedent for establishing the supremacy of the power of one hierarch over the conciliar mechanism of church government. De facto, we are talking about the possibility of establishing the format of«papism»in a particular Orthodox Church. What unseemly consequences such a development of events can lead in the future, I am sure, there is no need to explain.

Proceeding from this, we can safely say that a very serious burden of responsibility is now placed on the shoulders of the bishops of the Orthodox Churchof Cyprus. Both the fate of conciliarity in their Church and its unity depend on their position.

May the Lord grant them wisdom, strength and courage to make the right choice!

Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary,
ing director of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Опубликовано: Sun, 22/11/2020 - 09:22


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