Saturday, July 13, 2024

    Poland’s Church Council upholds ambiguous decision on OCU

    The Council of Bishops of the Polish Orthodox Church has upheld its previous decision on the church situation in Ukraine. The autumn session of the Council, which took place on October 26, 2021, under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, kicked off from hearings of the said issue.

    The statement on the Polish Church’s website said that the Council of Bishops “had looked into the current church situation in Ukraine and “confirmed the previous resolutions of the Holy Council on the issue raised.”

    No further details have been provided.

    In October 2019, the Council of the Polish Church decided to “retain its position on the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, expressed in the Conciliar Resolutions No.340 of May 9, 2018, No.341 of June 25, 2018, and No.342 of April 2, 2019. The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church does not mind the Church of Ukraine being granted autocephaly based on dogmatic and canonical norms, applied to the whole Church, not a group of apostate schismatics. Apostates from the teachings of the Holy Church shall not represent a healthy church body. This violates the Eucharistic unity of all Orthodoxy.”

    Religious scholar Ilya Bey at the time noted that finding themselves between a rock and a hard place, Polish bishops decided to use the most general wording. The council declared its support for Ukrainian autocephaly, in a curtsey to Constantinople, while mentioning schismatic factions, applying a discourse imposed by Moscow. The main thing is overlooked here: who exactly does the whole Council of Bishops consider schismatics in Ukraine, and who – the canonical Church…

    In September 2018, Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa signed a statement with Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, calling for all parties involved to prevent conflict over the autocephaly granted to the  Orthodox Church of Ukraine, before the Patriarchate of Alexandria ultimately recognized the OCU.