The actions of Constantinople will cause new splits, said in the Serbian Church

CC BY-SA 3.0 / Multimedijalni portal Vlade APV / Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Irinej. Archival photoThe actions of Constantinople will cause new splits, said in the Serbian ChurchCC BY-SA 3.0 / Multimedijalni portal Vlade APV /

The unilateral granting of autocephaly by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine will destroy the unity of the Orthodox world, while the claims of Constantinople to absolute preeminence in all Orthodox world «is accomplished not stand up to scrutiny,» said the Hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Bishop Irenaeus (Bulovic).

The full text of his article published on Friday, the Department for external Church relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate. This is the first reaction of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) on the recent actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the preparation of the «Ukrainian autocephaly.» They also strongly condemned the Orthodox Church, calling the intrusion on the canonical territory of other local churches. The hierarchs of the Synod of the Belarusian Church also protested against this move of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Bishop Irinej recalled that, in addition to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which no one asked about autocephaly in Ukraine there are three schismatic associations, as well as aggressive, according to him, the Uniate community.

«The negotiations for autocephaly just being with these schismatic «churches» and together with the state authorities of Ukraine in the absence of the canonical Church and against her will. Needless to say that this is the most brazen in this issue on the side of the dissenters are interfering Uniates. Therefore, it is not about the project of the granting of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, as we constantly hear and read, but about the program of granting autocephaly of the Ukrainian schismatic formations», — said the Hierarch.

He also criticized the recent statements of Patriarch Bartholomew that the «Ecumenical throne» has the right to make decisions in her own right and on its own initiative, before ignoring the existing boundaries of the Autocephalous Orthodox churches, no matter their position or resistance.

«This doctrine was committed is not tenable, because, according to the actual structure of the Church, above the episcopate and completeness of the Autocephalous Church is the only collegiate institution, that is, the credibility of the Cathedral of the Autocephalous churches (Ecumenical Council) or the Cathedral of the most churches of any broad region (the Great Cathedral)… the Ecumenical Patriarch has no right to discuss and even more to make decisions about the status of the Ukrainian Church and, therefore, any other Church, by himself, outside the Cathedral, autocratic,» — said in the article.

Bishop Irenaeus also pointed to the problem that the bishops and clergy of the schismatic organizations in Ukraine «deposed» of the priesthood canonical Church and their leader Filaret Denisenko, the «false Patriarch of Kiev», is not only cast out from a dignity, and, moreover, was excommunicated from the Church and anathematisation.

«How can any Church, not excluding the first in rank and glory, to break and to be considered invalid ecclesiastical acts and decisions of other sister Churches? Everything is just the opposite: committed by one Orthodox Church consecration, translation of the clergy, the worship of saints the like, on the one hand, and deprivation of dignity, overthrow, removal from worship and other penances, on the other, are automatically recognized and enforced without exception in all the Churches. If you remove this principle of inner connectedness and interpenetration of the Churches, at once disturbed the whole structure and the whole system of functioning of the Church body,» said the Bishop.

According to him, this method, until recently, steadily followed and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as against the schisms in Ukraine, and in relation to the split to Skopje, where there is unrecognized «Macedonian Church». Recently, however, continued the representative of the Serbian Church, it became known that dissenters from Skopje addressed directly to the Patriarch Bartholomew, bypassing the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople was included in the agenda of their questions. Until relatively recently, is said Irenaeus, «it is inconceivable», and there «emerges a clear analogy with the Ukrainian question.»

Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, he noted that the split will remain, moreover, he «ceases to be a mortal sin and a crime, leave even a Martyr’s blood, and turns into a simple and easy mistake, easy bruchetta and, in the end — Oh, what a strange miracle! – rewarded». Thus, at the same time «eliminates a barrier for many new divisions,» warns the representative of SPC.

«As far as I know, in two thousand years of Church history there is no precedent of joining the schismatics in the Church Body, to simultaneously automatically ascended to the height of the highest historical image of the existence of any Church and entered the ranks of illustrious and prominent Churches without any intermediate period of maturation, austerity, the restoration of Church morals and way of thinking, just «grace and bounty» mother Church,» stated Bishop of the Metropolitan.