2019-11-02 18:46:00

Russian Orthodox Church to stop communion with head of Greek Church

Moscow, November 2, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church will stop Eucharistic communion with the head of the Greek Church this coming Sunday, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion, said.

It was reported on October 29 that Archbishop Hieronymus II of Athens and All Greece had sent a peace missive to Yepifaniy Dumenko, the head of the non-canonical church of Ukraine (Orthodox Church of Ukraine, OCU) in which he officially recognized the entity. The letter was sent several days after the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate warned that it would sever communion with those Greek hierarchs who recognized "the non-canonical schismatic communities" of Ukraine.

"We said that if the archbishop of Athens officially recognizes the Ukrainian schism, his name will be removed from the diptychs of the Russian Orthodox Church. What does that mean? It means that the patriarch will not mention the archbishop of Athens in his services, the same way as he is not mentioning the patriarch of Constantinople. I think he will not be mentioned this coming Sunday when the patriarch holds his service. That means we are stopping Eucharistic communion with the archbishop of Athens," the metropolitan said on the program Church and World on Rossiya-24.

At the same time, he said this does not mean that the Russian Orthodox Church is severing communion with the entire Greek Church. "We will keep communion with all those archbishops who do not recognize the Ukrainian schism, and such archbishops do exist in the Greek Church," the metropolitan said.

The metropolitan additionally said that the pilgrim services of the Russian Church will recommend that pilgrims of its diocese not visit the archbishops of the Greek Church who recognize "the Ukrainian schism."