Monday, May 23, 2022

    Serbs may, but Ukrainians may not: Serbian patriarch claims OCU autocephaly “violation of canons”

    The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which, just like the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, received its autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, called the granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly to the OCU a “violation of canons.”

    This was stated by Patriarch Porfirije in an interview with the magazine of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, according to the Serbian Orthodox Church press service.

    “I will just say that despite the astonishing ease with which the Patriarchate of Constantinople ignored the holy canons, ecclesiology, the age-old order of the Orthodox Church, the Holy Tradition, we do not, renounce love for Mother Church, and neither does, I’m convinced, our sister Russian Orthodox Church,” said Serbian Patriarch Porfirije.

    Interestingly though, according to the same Patriarch Porfirije, granting autocephaly to the Serbian Church by the Ecumenical Patriarchate was not a violation of canons, ecclesiology and age-old order of the Church. Does he really think that Serbs may have an independent Church, while Ukrainians, who have been suffering from military aggression and Russian occupation for almost ten years, may not? Porfirije deliberately ignores the history of the capture of the Kyivan Metropolis by the Muscovites and the fact that it has always been administratively subordinate to the Ecumenical Church, until the granting of the Tomos.

    Moreover, the Serbian Patriarch openly sided with the ROC and condemned the Ecumenical Patriarchate for granting autocephaly to the OCU, which he called a “non-church project,” which could already be seen as an insult to the Holy Spirit.

    He assured that both the Serbian and Russian Churches hope and pray “that the day will come, as soon as possible, when non-Orthodox anti-church influence and non-church projects will be rejected.” Such statements by the Serbian Patriarch should be a wake-up call for other hierarchs.

    Denying the aspirations of Ukrainians and their struggle for an autocephalous church, Porfirije assured the Russian Foreign Ministry magazine that the Ukraine Church independent of Russia “did not bring anything good.” Probably the Serbian patriarch does not see well what the Russian Church has brought to Ukraine, just as the Russian Federation: the occupation of Crimea, support for armed gangs in the occupied areas of Donbas, provocations in Kharkiv and Odesa, and the setup of the “LPR/DPR” terrorist organizations. All these are the fruits, creations and projects of the Russian Federation, emerged with the certain help of the Russian “Church.” However, Porfirije stubbornly refuses to discuss these issues.

    It is not surprising, in fact, because Serbia is a great ally of Russia at the political level.

    It’s through the Serbs that Russia broadcasts fake news across the Balkans and Europe. Now, even the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who distinguished himself as the organizer of Amman meeting, pours less dirt on the Ecumenical Patriarch than the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije.

    Religious expert Oleksandr Yefremenko earlier recalled that the Russian and Serbian Churches received autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarch, without formal decisions of the Ecumenical Council.