The head of the Church of Greece regrets the schism and hopes for reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church

After a meeting with the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Jerome of Athens and All Greece, Chairman of the Orthodoxy Assembly (MAP) and State Duma deputy Sergei Gavrilov said that the Greek hierarch regrets the split in Orthodoxy and hopes to restore communion with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The meeting between Gavrilov and Archbishop Jerome took place on May 25, and, according to the Russian official, the conversation, among other things, was “about what is happening with fellow believers in Ukraine, about the destructiveness of the split and its negative impact on relations between the two countries.”

“And our task is to counteract this as much as possible, to restore relations and strengthen them on the basis of Orthodox values. I hope that this will also affect the mood in the church environment, ”said the chairman of the IAP to Archbishop Jerome.

According to him, the head of the EOC agreed with this position. “He made an unexpected statement. He said that indeed, in sacred matters we make mistakes, and this leads to grave consequences, suffering for people. The archbishop said that he thought about this a lot. He was very kind, the atmosphere was very kind. He said that he hoped that with the help of God, through joint efforts, through repentance, we would restore our communion, ”Gavrilov said.

He also said that Archbishop Jerome invited not only Russian deputies to visit Greece, but also Orthodox Russian youth, “so that she could communicate with Greek youth and strengthen relations.”

“We talked about Athos. The archbishop said that he would pray for us, and that Athos, like many pilgrimage programs, strengthens our relations, ”the head of the IAP said, adding that, in his opinion, at the moment Jerome could not change his position on“ the Ukrainian issue “.

Archbishop Jerome invited Russian deputies and Orthodox Russian youth to Greece. However, he has not yet been able to change his position on the “Ukrainian issue”. The restoration of prayer communication with the head of the Greek Orthodox Church (EOC), Archbishop Jerome of Athens and All Greece, is possible only after he ceases to commemorate in prayer the head of the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) Epiphany (Dumenko), the secretary for inter-Orthodox relations of the foreign department told RIA Novosti Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk. “Unfortunately, without stopping the commemoration of Epiphany (Dumenko), this is impossible, simply impossible due to church canons – this is a church violation. We still hope that Archbishop Jerome will reconsider his decision, especially since it is not supported by the entire hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church. . Then it will really be possible to talk about it, “said Yakimchuk. Gavrilov and MAP General Secretary Maximos Harakopoulos also met yesterday with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulos. The meetings discussed relations between Russia and Greece, the importance of centuries-old cooperation and pages of common history. In 2018, at the initiative of the United States and under the auspices of the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, a schismatic structure was created together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople – the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), formed by the merger of two other similar self-proclaimed structures. The new church received a tomos of autocephaly from Bartholomew. At the same time, the persecution of the canonical UOC intensified in the country. The OCU also recognized the first hierarchs of the Alexandrian and Hellenic Churches, whose episcopate, as in the Church of Constantinople, is predominantly Greek, and in 2020 – the primate of the Cypriot Church, also predominantly Greek-speaking. The ROC responded to the recognition of the schismatics by breaking off relations with Constantinople and those primates and bishops in other local churches who accepted the Ukrainian schism.

Opinion: The desire of the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church (EOC), Archbishop Jerome, to restore communication with the ROC, declared at a meeting with State Duma Deputy Gavrilov, should not be given much importance, in our opinion. Greeks are masters of meaningful language and diplomatic courtesies. Of course, the EOC would like to restore communication with the ROC and with it the flow of pilgrims from Russia and donors … Yes, and in a Christian way, the conscience of the hierarchs who recognized the schism has hardly died. They are probably uncomfortable with the recognition of the obvious impostors from the OCU and the actual support of the persecutors of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. But it is obvious that remorse is not as significant as the American carrot and stick, and they would like to restore relations with the ROC in the Church of Greece, without losing relations with both Phanar and the American embassy in Athens.

Abbot Gabriel and Abbot Alexy. Photo:

In the meantime …

The abbots of the Athonite monasteries Pantokrator and Xenophon invited Dumenko to Athos for joint prayer. They reported that they knew about Dumenko’s “achievements” and wished that there was a real Orthodox spirit in the OCU. This was told by the “Archbishop” of the OCU Ivan (Evstratii) Zorya on his page in Facebook

Archimandrite of the Athonite monastery Pantokrator Gabriel toldthat he knows about Dumenko’s “achievements” and about the “achievements” of the OCU and is happy about them. He said that Dumenko was “loved very much” on Athos, and invited him to visit in order to “meet in person, to concelebrate and rejoice together.”

In turn, the abbot of another Athonite monastery, Xenophon, Archimandrite Alexy, too invited Dumenko to Mount Athos. Hegumen Alexy considers the OCU Tomos “a gift of God” and assured that he constantly prays for “peace to come in the Church of Ukraine, for love to reign and for a true Orthodox spirit to exist, which should characterize all of us”.

It is difficult to understand what the hierarchs mean, because today the main “spirits” who own Pan Dumenko are the spirit of acquisitiveness and the spirit of sodomy, and they have nothing to do with Orthodoxy.

However, the ways of the Lord are inscrutable, and perhaps on Athos, in the stronghold of Orthodoxy and surrounded by Christian shrines, the schismatic Dumenko will repent?

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