Your Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry,
We know the difficult situation that the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church is going through and the trials that Your Beatitude and the other hierarchs are being subjected to. Therefore, with all the love in Christ we want to help you in the fight for the Faith, so that the work of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is one of confession, through which the Truth, who is Christ Himself, can be proclaimed.
As you are aware, we have supported the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, by being the first church, under the auspices of His Eminence Seraphim, Metropolitan of Piraeus, to pronounce Anathema against the false metropolitan Epiphany Dumenko. We recognise only the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, under the pastoral care of Your Beatitude. Glory to God!
However, the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the pressure of the war and the political pressure of President Zelensky has made some decisions that cannot be justified from a canonical point of view. These are not free decisions but were made under duress, with a gun to the head, so to speak. From these decisions, the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church forcibly takes a certain autocephaly without having the consent of the Moscow Patriarchate, which is the canonical way. The consequences are, on the one hand, a departure from canonicity, and on the other, the persecution of the Orthodox hierarchs who have been considered Russian spies and dangerous pro-Putin persons. The same thing happened to those who were afraid and renounced Christ before the Turks to embrace Islam, who were later killed. The same is also happening in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, where instead of confessing Orthodoxy during this great opportune moment, she prefers to take an uncanonical action and then be “beheaded”, in the sense of being outlawed or even persecuted. In order to be a truly martyred Church, she must follow the canonical path as laid out by the Holy Fathers, namely to renounce the ecumenical teachings of the Moscow Patriarchate and witness to the whole world that she is truly Orthodox and that she does not accept these terrible heretical teachings from the official communications of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Nevertheless, the Patriarchate of Moscow is a canonical Patriarchate. Even though she was destabilised during the communist period and her hierarchs were driven outside the Soviet Union to form the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), the latter reunited with the Moscow Patriarchate and is a Church with Apostolic succession, a Church in the great family of Orthodox Churches in the Church of One, Holy, Catholic and Unique Orthodox Church. However, the decision of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to separate herself from the Moscow Patriarchate in this way, by taking the right to make Holy Chrism and to open her own parishes in the West, is wrong from a canonical point of view because this was done under political pressure, as I have mentioned above.
Therefore, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has put herself in a certain schism with respect to the Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church, because the Moscow Patriarchate is still an integral part of the Orthodox Church. There is no Anathema from the Local Orthodox Churches against the Moscow Patriarchate. This is why even under the pressure of the war, to break away from the Moscow Patriarchate in this manner, without the blessing of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, is regrettably a form of schism on the part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
However, this situation can be corrected by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in a canonical manner. She is able to cease communion with the Moscow Patriarchate due to the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church openly teaches the heresy of ecumenism which is as serious as the acceptance of the false Council of Crete. Even though the Moscow Patriarchate did not participate in the Council of Crete, her position is just as heretical by adopting the same heresies, including the Toronto Statement. This is the only canonical solution that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church can adopt that does not create a new schism.To support the case for the adoption of the canonical solution to distance the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the heretical teachings and ecclesiological errors of the Moscow Patriarchate, I list the following heresies as follows:
- the heretical teaching of “Incomplete Churches” found in the official texts of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (see Appendix 1);
- the recognition of the Apostolic Succession of Holy Grace within the so-called Roman Catholic or Papist church(2016 Havana document from the joint blessing of the Patriarch and the Pope);
- the recognition of the existence of a common God and Father to the three monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism);
- the holding of common prayers with the heterodox;
- the reception of old schismatics and heretics (Roman Catholics, Russian Old Believers and others) without Holy Baptism, Chrismation and Ordination (in the case of priests coming from them);
- the fact that the Moscow Patriarchate does not baptise Roman Catholics or Protestants if they are baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity as they are thought to be part of the Orthodox Church in a certain way; thereby adopting the declarations in the Toronto Statement;
the heretical texts in which it is not said that the Church of Christ was identified only with the Orthodox Church.
In other words, even though the Moscow Patriarchate did not participate in the Council of Crete, it does not mean that she has not accepted its teachings.
The official teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church is unfortunately heretical from an ecclesiological perspective. According to the 15th Canon of the First and Second Council of Constantinople in 861 (see Appendix 4), the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is entitled to interrupt communion with the Moscow Patriarchate on the grounds of heresy. Any other motivation to interrupt communion without maintaining submission to the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate would be non-canonical. This is the way of the Church from an Orthodox point of view, not from a political or war point of view. This is how the Orthodox Church is saved from heresy because it is far worse for the Orthodox Church to become heretical than to suffer through wars or bloodshed. Let us not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. (Matthew 10:28). This is the reality of the Gospel, this is the reality of Christ.
The canonical Orthodox Metropolis of Kyiv, the bishops and metropolitans of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have every right to convene a council (even online, if necessary) to discuss this issue and ask the Moscow Patriarchate to renounce these heresies and leave the World Council of Churches. If the Russian Orthodox Church does not want to do this, then the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, has every right to interrupt communion with the latter, together with the Holy Synod of Russian Orthodox Church. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church would then be a truly confessional Orthodox Church.The Georgian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church have very clearly condemned heresies but more than that can be done. We would have an Orthodox Church that is not only condemning these heresies but also a fervent, martyred Church. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church will invigorate the entire Orthodox Church through her new martyrs. Otherwise, the fate of the Orthodox Church at the national level is in a very bad state. Almost all the Local Orthodox Churches have betrayed Christ by their acceptance of the false Council of Crete. They are caught up in this fog and have been swallowed up by the worldly things; instead of understanding what the essence of the problem is, we look at the external things. The result of this heresy is also the current war where Russian Orthodox brothers are unjustly waging war with the Ukrainian Orthodox brothers and killing each other, with the West cheering this abominable crime. What can be worse than Orthodox brothers killing each other? Please use this canonical solution before it is too late; do not wait until the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been outlawed to tell the truth and renounce the heretical teachings of the Russian Orthodox Church.The proposals for the Romanian vicariate in Ukrainian Bukovina (Diocese of Chernivtsi) to be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Romanian Patriarchate is also another bad decision if it is made. The Romanian Orthodox Church has unfortunately betrayed the Orthodox Faith, having participated and signed the false Council of Crete, and also has the same ecumenist spirit deeply rooted in her. Let us take this as an important opportunity to confess the Truth in Christ!If you would like to further discuss this matter with my humbleness, we are ready with Orthodox materials, in collaboration with renowned theologians Fr. Theodoros Zisis, Prof. Dimitrios Tselengidis, as well as other theologians of the Orthodox Church who fight for the Truth.In conclusion, I write to Your Beatitude these things with all respect and love, seeing and understanding my humble role as a servant of Christ, as a presbyter in the Church of Christ. I neither write with arrogance, nor in contention, nor as a form of superiority over a venerable Church chosen by God to save millions of people. I know my place but I also have every right to say these things with all the humility and obedience that I have before the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church, before Your Beatitude, the entire Holy Synod and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.
With all my love in Christ,
Protopresbyter Matei Vulcanescu
NB: Please see attached the explanations of the ecclesiological errors adopted by the Moscow Patriarchate.
Appendix 1 – The ecclesiological errors adopted by the Patriarchate of Moscow
I will present the ecclesiological errors exposed in the public letter to the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, from which you will understand why His Beatitude Met. Onuphry and the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should interrupt communion on the grounds of heresy, first of all by renouncing what has been signed together and then asking for a break in communion.
The Church of Russia should officially rectify its general ecclesiological proclamation by distancing itself from such ecclesiological positions as the theory of “incomplete Churches” (in the document adopted by the Russian Council in 2000) and the recognition of the Apostolic Succession of the Holy Grace to the Roman Catholics (in the document of Havana of 2016, concluded with the common blessing of the Patriarch of Moscow and the Roman Pope). The Church of Russia would then be able to condemn Patriarch Bartholomew; otherwise the Patriarch of Constantinople will be in position to accuse the Church of Russia of the same ecclesiological errors. Indeed, we can say that the Moscow Patriarchate comes under the same situation (of course, not at the same level) by receiving Russian Old Believers and heretics (Roman Catholics and others) without Holy Baptism, Chrismation and Ordination (for priests among them). For example, the well-known case of the Roman Catholic hieromonk Gabriel Bunge, where he was received as a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church without Holy Baptism, without Holy Chrismation and without Holy Ordination, and he now serves as an Orthodox hieromonk. Through this example, the Russian Orthodox Church affirmed the sacraments of the heretical Roman Catholics.
I present below some theological elaboration on the ecclesiological fallacies that led to the recognition of the Ukrainian Schism. These fallacies are based on the theory of the so-called “incomplete Churches” that was adopted by the so-called “Holy and Great Council” of Crete in 2016. These are terrible heresies that the Russian Orthodox Church has adopted which provides a clear reason why His Beatitude Met. Onuphry should interrupt the communion with the former, and not for war and other things, as this indicates that he does not know what the Russian Orthodox Church is doing.
For reference, these are the ecclesiological errors that the Russian Orthodox Church has adopted, by copying the fallacies of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
“1.15. The orthodox Church, through the mouths of the Holy Fathers, affirms that salvation can be attained only in the Church of Christ. At the same time however, communities which have fallen away from orthodoxy have never been viewed as fully deprived of the grace of God. Any break from communion with the Church inevitably leads to an erosion of her grace-filled life, but not always to its complete loss in these separated communities. This is why the orthodox Church does not receive those coming to her from non-orthodox communities only through the sacrament of baptism. In spite of the rupture of unity, there remains a certain incomplete fellowship which serves as the pledge of a return to unity in the Church, to catholic fullness and oneness.
1.17. The existence of various rites of reception (through baptism, through chrismation, through repentance) shows that the orthodox Church relates to the different non-orthodox confessions in different ways. The criterion is the degree to which the faith and order of the Church, as well as the norms of Christian spiritual life, are preserved in a particular confession. By establishing various rites of reception, however, the orthodox Church does not assess the extent to which grace-filled life has either been preserved intact or distorted in a non-orthodox confession, considering this to be a mystery of God’s providence and judgement.”In the aforementioned synodal text of the Russian Orthodox Church, we observe the existence of the ecclesiological heresy of “incomplete Churches”, a theory that was adopted by the Roman Papacy at the Second Vatican Council (this theory was processed and forwarded by the Jesuit theologians Congar and Rahner).
The Holy Canons which on certain historical occasions allowed for the reception of some heterodox persons through only Chrismation or repentance represent the “oikonomia” (economy, dispensation or relaxation) as opposed to the “akribeia” (strictness) of the Church. The Church through the voice of the Holy Fathers did not use “oikonomia” in order to formulate a dogma of the Church. We have never found in the writings of the Holy Fathers the idea that heretics are not fully deprived of the Grace of God. On the contrary, through the Church Anathemas at the Ecumenical Councils, the heretics were pronounced to be fully deprived of the Grace of God. The mistake of defining dogmas based on certain Holy Canons of “oikonomia” – receiving heretics into Orthodoxy through the relaxation of “akribeia” – is mainly supported by the Metropolitan of Pergamon, Ioannis Zizioulas, and this has also been derived from the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council, which teaches a variable ecclesiastical gradation of “churches” or the idea of incomplete churches (the complete Church being the one in communion with the Roman Pope, and then the others being in different ecclesiastical stages – in concentric circles – namely the Orthodox, the Monophysites, the Magisterial Protestants, the Non-Denominational Protestants and even those atheists who do good works). The Orthodox teaching abhors such a theory; instead it clearly states that heretics have been deprived of the saving Grace. Of course, God in His supreme love takes care of them, but does not save them as long as they remain outside the Church.The renowned theologian Fr. Ioannis Romanides, as does the professor of dogmatics Dr. Dimitrios Tselengidis – in reference to the theory of “incomplete Churches” – says that we cannot speak of a woman as being “a little pregnant”. Baptism cannot be quarterly valid, neither Priesthood nor the Eucharist, nor Marriage. Eucharist – the body of Christ – cannot be half of the Body of Christ. If a Sacrament is somehow valid at heretical assemblies, it would be valid by virtue of an active priesthood; and this means that it would be active also in the Eucharist and in the heretical baptism. Otherwise, according to the Apostolic Canons, heretical baptisms are non-effectual.The fact that the Holy Fathers in some cases received persons into the Church through the “oikonomia” (dependent upon the form of their previous heretical baptism) does not confirm a valid baptism outside the Church. Although a custom has been introduced, that an Orthodox layman can baptise under extreme circumstances and then the baptised person only receives Holy Chrismation; this extraordinary baptism (with sand, for instance) is performed again by the Orthodox priest. St. Simeon of Thessalonica says that the one baptised by a layman should be baptised by the priest. Theologian Christian Felmy in “Ecclesiastical Dogmatics” says it is wrong that some have drawn doctrinal conclusions from the “oikonomia” of the Church.
“1.15. The Orthodox Church, through the mouth of the Holy Fathers, affirms that salvation can be attained only in the Church of Christ.
“The term Church of Christ in this statement does not necessarily mean the Orthodox Church. As we know from the World Council of Churches and the 1950 Toronto Statement, it is stated that the Church of Christ includes the Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Protestants, so they do not say that the Church of Christ is identified only with the Orthodox Church. If this was stated, then this phrase would have been Orthodox. However, this phrase is not Orthodox, because it does not define what the Church of Christ is. We know the same deceit through ambiguity from the Toronto Statement and from the constitution of the World Council of Churches.”1.15… At the same time, however, communities that strayed from orthodoxy were never seen as completely deprived of God’s grace.”This is a terrible blasphemy against all the Holy Ecumenical Councils and the Anathemas pronounced by the Holy Fathers. It states that they were not completely deprived of the Grace of God. Of course, they are totally deprived of the Grace of God, as we are talking about the Saving Grace of God. This is a terrible heresy here.”1.15… Any break from communion with the Church inevitably leads to an erosion of her grace-filled life, but not always to its complete loss in these separated communities. This is why the orthodox Church does not receive those coming to her from non-orthodox communities only through the sacrament of baptism. In spite of the rupture of unity, there remains a certain incomplete fellowship which serves as the pledge of a return to unity in the Church, to catholic fullness and oneness.”This is the official teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church, namely that the Orthodox Church does not receive everyone through the sacrament of Baptism. This is not because of “oikonomia” (dispensation) but because they consider that these heterodox persons have received different “levels of Grace”. It means that those who would baptise in the name of the Holy Trinity have a measure of Grace. We know from the Holy Fathers that all the communities that broke away from the Orthodox Church do not share in the Saving Grace of God in any form. They neither partake in the Crucifixion of Christ, nor the Blood of Christ.“1.17. The existence of different rites of reception (by Baptism, by Chrismation, by repentance) shows that the Orthodox Church relates to the different non-Orthodox confessions in different ways.”This understanding is completely wrong! The Church does not have different reception rites. It is derived from a canon of “oikonomia” (dispensation) of the Second Ecumenical Council, which describes some old heretics who the Holy Fathers at that time decided to receive in this way. This is because they either had been baptised by Orthodox priests who hold heretical teachings, or there were situations where it was an Orthodox bishop or a condemned Arian bishop. The Holy Fathers considered them to be in the Church for reasons of history and “oikonomia” (dispensation). According to Fr. George Metalinos, these people were part of the Church which meant that they were baptised by Orthodox bishops and priests and then turned to heresy. Thus, the Church received them by Chrismation only, receiving confirmation that they had received the Holy Spirit through forgiveness, due to the fact that they returned and condemned that heresy. It is a completely and entirely different situation. There are no different ways of receiving from groups that have broken away from the Church but rather a return of those who had already been baptised as Orthodox. Only those who were baptised by single immersion received Baptism in the Church by triple immersion. This is the theory of Ioannis ZIzioulas which was adopted wholesale by the Moscow Patriarchate; they have adopted the heretical teachings of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. There is no difference between the pro-Western Patriarchate of Constantinople and the pro-Putin Moscow Patriarchate in terms of heretical teaching.”
1.17… The criterion is the degree to which the faith and order of the Church, as well as the norms of the Christian spiritual life, are preserved in a certain denomination.”This demonstrates the concept of “Vestigia Ecclesiae” which is linked to the 1950 Toronto Statement, later adopted by the Council of Crete, where other denominations are not just remnants that do not have grace, but they also have a share in salvation and that is why they are not received by Baptism. This is the transformation of “oikonomia” into dogma, which is unacceptable; Church “oikonomia” can never become dogma. The dogma is: I confess One Baptism in the Orthodox Church. The door of entry into the Orthodox Church is only through Orthodox Baptism. No one can be received without Orthodox Baptism, because he would remain outside the Church of Christ, outside salvation. (The Canon of St. Cyprian of Carthage, adopted by the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils and elevated to ecumenical rank). The Church is One, the entry into the Church is through Orthodox Baptism, not through heretical baptisms. There are neither sacraments of the Church outside the Church that are effectual, or bearers of Grace, or saving to a lesser or greater degree. Only in the Orthodox Church is there salvation and there is catholicity or the fullness of the teaching of Christ and Grace; outside the Orthodox Church there is no saving Grace in any form. This is the teaching of the Holy Fathers, this is the teaching of the Church, this is the teaching of Christ. [cf. He who does not gather with Me scatters (Luke 11:23); I am the vine, you are the branches (John 15:5); Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away (John 15:2)]”
1.17… By establishing the various rites of reception, however, the Orthodox Church does not assess the extent to which the grace-filled life has been either preserved intact or distorted in an unorthodox confession, considering this to be a mystery of God’s providence and judgement.”This statement contradicts the previous statement where the Church is said to have a method of measuring the “levels of grace” that other heretical confessions have through the different means of reception into the Orthodox Church. There is also a contradiction: what God has revealed to the Church is still called a mystery? It is not a mystery as God has clearly said that the Orthodox are saved; He does not say that the heretics are saved.
Appendix 2 – Excerpt from the opening address of a group of non-commemorating priests of the Moldovan Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate
We present to you a brief history of the ecumenical path followed by the Patriarchate of Moscow as follows:In 1961, the Moscow Patriarchate joined the World Council of Churches (WCC).
- On the 16th of December 1969, the decree of the Moscow Patriarchate approving the communion of Roman Catholics and Russian Old Believers (although it was revoked a few years later).
- In 1975, the Russian Orthodox Church Delegation signed the Declaration of the Orthodox Delegates at the General Assembly of the WCC in Nairobi.In 1982, the Russian Orthodox Church adopted the Document “Baptism, Eucharist, Ministry” of the WCC.In 1986, the Russian Orthodox Church adopted the report of the third pre-synodal Pan-Orthodox consultation at Chambesy called “The Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement”.In 1988, the Russian Orthodox Church adopted the Report from the Consultation with the Church of the East and Oriental Orthodox Churches.
- In 1991, the Russian Orthodox Church signs the Declaration of the Orthodox delegates at the General Assembly of the WCC in Canberra (the head of the Russian Orthodox Church delegation at that time was Metropolitan Kirill Gundeaev, who is the current patriarch)In 1993, the Russian Orthodox Church signed the Balamand Declaration.In 2000, the “Basic Principles of the Russian Orthodox Church against heterodoxy” was published, in which the 1950 Toronto Statement was praised.
- In 2001, the Russian Orthodox Church adopted the Ecumenical Charter of the Conference of European Churches (CEC).In 2006, the Russian Orthodox Church signed the Document of the Summit of Religious Leaders in Moscow.
- In 2013, the Russian Orthodox Church signed the Unity Statement of the WCC, in Busan.
- In 2016, the Russian Orthodox Church signed the preparatory documents for the so-called “Holy and Great Synod”.The reaction of non-acceptance of ecumenical documents and actions began in 2006 with the elaboration of the final resolution of the Summit of Religious Leaders in Moscow (in which it was stated that we have a common God with all the participants of the summit, i.e.: Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, all kinds of pagans and heretics). This summit was organised by the Moscow Patriarchate, was voted and accepted by the High Council of Russian Orthodox Church, by her Holy Synod and, in practice, by all her priests, from the pulpit and pastoral ministry of Patriarch Alexei at Nativity of Christ since 2007.
The Russian Orthodox Church did not accept the Synod of Crete as a pan-Orthodox for the reason that it did not reflect pan-Orthodox unity as four of the local Churches were not in attendance. It was not because of the ecumenist heresy that was approved and institutionalised at pan-Orthodox level. On the other hand, the ecumenist activity of the Russian Orthodox Church continues unhindered at all levels until the present; that is why we find that the refusal to recognize the Council of Crete does not mean abandoning the ecumenist heresy. Our pain was intensified when we learned about the participation of Russian Orthodox Church at the 14th plenary session in Chieti, Italy (15-22 Sept 2016), with the so-called Romano-Papist “Church”, accompanied by canonical violations such as common prayers as well as the approval of the ecumenist heresy in the final resolution of the session.With great regret, as we followed the actions of the Russian Orthodox Church under whose canonical subordination are the local Moldovan and Ukrainian Churches, we are forced to mention that the apostasy is developing with great speed after the Council of Crete.On the 18th of October 2016, Patriarch Kirill awarded the so-called “archbishop of the Church of England”, Justin Welby, with the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh of the Second Order; the man who “ordains” female and homosexual bishops. The Patriarch attributed an ecclesial character to the institution Justin Welby leads, not to mention common prayers and other canonical and dogmatic violations committed at this meeting by the Russian Orthodox Church commission in Great Britain.
Appendix 3 The Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its canonical situation”
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church proclaimed its independence last year on May 27 at the Synod of Theofania, the residence of Metropolitan Onuphry. Although this event was very important, it was not given much importance in the Orthodox world. According to synodal decisions, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church changed its church state, discarding all memories of the connection with the Russian Church, such as:
-The Ukrainian Church is an inseparable part of the Russian Church, and through it it is connected with Universal Orthodoxy;
– The Metropolitan of Kyiv is elected by the Ukrainian Synod and blessed by the Patriarch of Moscow;
– The name Metropolitan of Kyiv is mentioned after the name of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow (Currently, the name of the patriarch is not mentioned, but the name of Metropolitan Onufrie);
-The Ukrainian Church opens parishes in the diaspora, without Moscow’s blessing;
– Metropolitan Onufrie mentions at Vohodul (Entrance) the Great, the names of all the Patriarchs according to the Diptych starting from John of Antioch (with the exclusion of those who mention Epiphanius);
-The Ukrainian Church decided to Consecrate the Holy and Great Mir in Kyiv, without obtaining it from Moscow;- Only the bishops of the Ukrainian Church are members of the synods in Moscow;
– The Ukrainian Church is ready to start dialogue with the Ukrainian Church of Epiphany, provided that their bishops will receive the right ordinations and acquire Apostolic succession;
-The Ukrainian Church condemns the war as a violation of the commandment not to kill, and condemns the position of Patriarch Kirill, who blesses the special operation;
– The Ukrainian Orthodox Church gave the right to the dioceses, which are on the other front line, to independently decide the problems of existence in the new reality, and to live according to the old state.
So, I would like to emphasise that the name of Patriarch Kirill is only mentioned at the liturgy, the only first-stater remains Vladika Onufrie, in his turn the Blessed One mentions the Autocephalous Patriarchs according to the Diptychs, the decision was made to boil the Great Mir independently and to heal the schism in the bosom of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”
Appendix 4 Canon 15 of the First-Second Council of Constantinople, 861
The rules laid down with reference to Presbyters and Bishops and Metropolitans are still more applicable to Patriarchs. So that in case any Presbyter or Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter’s name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a conciliar verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgement against him, creates a schism, the holy Council has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this transgression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting those persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church. But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Councils, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it barehead in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodal verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honour which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.(Ap. c. XXXI; c. XVIII of the 4th; cc. XXXI, XXXIV of the 6th; cc. XII, XIII, XIV of the lst-and-2nd; c. V of Antioch; c. VI of Gangra; cc. X, XI, LXII of Carthage.)
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