The reason for the cessation of commemoration of Metropolitan Silouan Oner, dated on the 20th December 2023, is due to the fact that His Eminence is publicly preaching heresy, namely: inter-communion with the Monophysites/Miaphysites, participation in the “World Council of Churches” (WCC) and the acceptance of the “baptism” of heretics. Therefore, according to Canon 15 of the 1st-2nd Council of Constantinople (861), those who separate themselves from their bishop before a synodal decision due to the bishop publicly preaching heresy or implicitly supporting heresy as taught by his synod, are not under condemnation, but should instead be counted worthy and honoured as the Orthodox.
Canon 3 of the Third Ecumenical Council, precisely decrees that any ecclesiastical punishment or any ecclesiastical action taken by heretics, who have already been condemned by the Holy Synods or yet to be synodally condemned, against those who remain Orthodox, is null and void. In other words, no Orthodox should accept any ecclesiastical punishment from a bishop who has evidently shown that he publicly preaches heresy.
The Letter of Metropolitan Silouan Oner on the false deposition from the priesthood of Father Matei Vulcanescu, dated on the 23rd December 2023, is referred to below in this statement. From this official letter of His Eminence, the false deposition is based on the fact that Father Matei and the parish of Saint Edward the Martyr and Saint Paraskevi of Rome in Liverpool, have applied Canon 15 of the 1st-2nd Council of Constantinople, where the Metropolitan is accused of heresy. Therefore, this letter of false deposition has proven and sealed the fact that Metropolitan Silouan Oner is in heresy according to the Holy Canons and the Orthodox Dogma.
In conclusion, Father Matei Vulcanescu and the parish do not recognise and do not accept any ecclesiastical punishment, and Father Matei continues to serve the Holy and Divine Liturgy and to perform all of his priestly ministry in the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
The Letter of Metropolitan Silouan Oner:
Archbishop: His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan Oner
In the false apology written by Matei Vulcănescu to me and the clergy of this archdiocese on 21st December 2023, he cites Canon 15 of the 1st and 2nd Council of Constantinople as a reason for refusing to commemorate me at the Divine Liturgy. In doing this, he is publicly declaring me to be a heretic and a pseudo-bishop. This is a grave and unjustified insult to me and to the other bishops of the Holy Synod of Antioch, which cannot be ignored. Apostolic Canon 55 states: "If any of the clergy insult the bishop, let him be deposed: for 'you shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.'"
Therefore it is with great sorrow that I give notice today that Matei Vulcănescu has been deposed as a priest and returned to the lay state. No priest of this archdiocese may participate in any service in which Mr Vulcănescu participates as if he were a priest.
To the Faithful of the former parish of St Edward the Martyr and St Paraskevi of Rome, Liverpool: I implore you for your own salvation to seek an Orthodox parish nearby where you may participate fully in the life of the Church. There are Greek, Russian and Romanian parishes either in or near to Liverpool, or you may wish to contact any priest of my archdiocese for assistance.
Be assured of my continued love and prayers.
+ Silouan, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Christian British Isles and Ireland
Signature of the Metropolitan
Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East
Canon 3 of the Third Ecumenical Council:
“And if any of the clerics in any city or village were stopped from the priesthood by Nestorius and those with him because they thought rightly, we have entitled them to be restored to their own rank. And in general, we decree that those clerics who think alike with the Orthodox and the Ecumenical Synod are not to obey in any way whatever the bishops who have apostatised, or those who remove themselves (ἀποστατήσασιν ἤ ἀφισταμένοις Ἐπισκοποις), or think differently from the Synod.”
Canon 15 of the 1st-2nd Council of Constantinople, 861:
”[...] 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."