Source: Union of Orthodox Journalists (UOJ)
Author: Elena Yufereva
Representatives of the Albanian Church propose to discuss the “Ukrainian issue” and ensure the unity of Orthodoxy throughout the world.
The Albanian Orthodox Church calls for an All-Orthodox Council to be convened, reports romfea.gr.
“As the unprecedented distress of Orthodoxy in Ukraine intensifies and the unspeakable suffering of the Orthodox faithful reaches a climax, an Ecumenical Orthodox Council, which is known to be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch and acts even if some Local Churches are absent, as was the case with the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete in 2016, should be convened as soon as possible,” the report says.
“The painful ecclesiastical problems that have arisen in recent years and recently in Africa, which have led to clear cracks in the relations of the Local Orthodox Churches and widespread concern among Orthodox believers, are not being addressed by chain retaliation by some churches and consensus gathering by others through the media,” the Albanian Church added.
“The responsible point of view of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania is expressed in official church correspondence, in communications from the General Secretariat and will be directly presented to the competent body, the Pan-Orthodox Council or Synaxis, which, in accordance with the principle of synodality, is the only body capable of solving the basic problems and ensuring unity and peace of the Orthodox Church worldwide,” the message resumed.
As previously reported, the Church of Albania called on the Phanar to convene a Council to resolve the OCU issue.
It is time to call a Pan-Orthodox Synodical Council of hierarchs and laypersons to discuss the uncanonical overlapping of jurisdictions in pluralistic lands like the USA, Western Europe, Canada, and Australia… wherever they exist. This situation is causing chaos in these lands where the Assemblies of Bishops find it difficult to maintain a quorum to meet to discuss the issues. We are now moving from disunity to cannibalism in these areas. Patriarchates of the Old World set up Metropolitans in the USA to compete with Dioceses of the same ethnic jurisdictions. This is the case with the Romanians. The OCA exists in the USA. Why are other jurisdictions of the Moscow Patriarchate allowed to be present? The situation is out of order. How many of the Bishops who sit in the Assembly of Bishops are American citizens? Our immigrant grandparents used the ethos and laws of the United States to set up the Church structure. The present hierarchical structure composed of foreign bishops is usurping the established structure to transfer what is here to come under the control of foreign bishops. The U.S. court system, with its unsettled understanding and legal decisions, adds to the confusion. U.S. foreign policy issues also interfere with Orthodox Christian Church organizations here in the USA. The solution is the calling of a Pan-Orthodox Synodical Council of Bishops and laypersons to sort out the issues.
+Anastasios of Albania is the most respected Orthodox Hierarch in the world.
The Ecumenical Patriarch should heed his call for a Council, and the Council should be attended by all of the other autocephalous Orthodox Churches. It should include the members of the various Assemblies of Bishops authorized by the 2009 Conference at Chambesy, as well as lay leaders.
Moscow, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Antioch boycotted the 2016 Council in Crete. Will Moscow attend a Council called by Constantinople to resolve the dispute over Ukraine? Albania seems to believe that such a Council “.. acts even if some of the local churches are absent, as was the case in 2016.” Really? Will Kirill/Putin call off their aggression if this Holy and Great Council acts to resolve the issue of whether the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine should be autocephalous or under the Moscow Patriarchate? Will Putin withdraw his troops and respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine? Will the Council have the moral authority to stop the killing?
Miracles do happen. Why not here? Why not now?
I like the suggestion of Mr. Matsoukas that the Council should also pivot and resolve the uncanonical issues of overlapping jurisdictions in the USA, Western Europe, Canada, and Australia. They punted on that in 2016. Now’s the time to put the Orthodox house in order. If there shouldn’t be two overlapping Orthodox Churches in Ukraine, why should there be fourteen in the US?
Very simple, the battle lines are drawn. Istanbul or Moscow. How about NEITHER? Follow Canon Law. In every territory, an AUTOCEPHALOUS Orthodox Church is to be established. ALL Orthodox are to be under its omophorion – simple. No Moscow & no Istanbul!
OCL has been educating and advocating for unity and autocephaly for the Orthodox Church in America for more than thirty years. OCL issued a Declaration last July calling for support from all Orthodox hierarchs, clergy and laity. The Declaration is reasonable, respectful and clear. Ultimately it is addressed to the Assembly of Bishops in America which was created for this specific purpose.
The Declaration was sent to the heads of each autocephalous Orthodox Church in their own languages asking for their support. These are the hierarchs who would presumably meet at a synaxis or council that +Anastasios and the Church of Albania have asked the Ecumenical Patriarch to convene.
Only one Hierarch has acknowledged receipt of OCL’s correspondence.
You are a frequent contributor to the dialogue this website seeks to encourage. What is your plan for bringing about the unity and autocephaly that you and OCL both agree is the only canonical solution to the situation in America and other pluralistic lands referred to by Mr. Matsoukas?
What do you suggest? Do you have a plan? What is it?