September 5, 2009

Ukrainian Theologian Threatens Ecumenical Patriarchate With Excommunication

Constantinople Patriarchate Risks Throwing in Their Lot, Ukrainian Theologian Believes

Odessa, Russia
September 4, 2009

If the Constantinople Patriarchate accepts schismatics under its omophorion, it will find itself outside the canonical Church, a member of the Moscow Patriarchate Synodal Commission, cleric of the Odessa Diocese Archpriest Andrey Novikov believes.

“If, Lord forbid, Constantinople chooses to commune with Ukrainian schismatics, it will have no canonical authority, as non-canonical interference in “alien diocese” is severely punished by certain canons,” Fr. Andrey says in his article conveyed to Interfax-Religion on Friday.

The priest states that the Constantinople Patriarchate “again after a short repose is ready to take anti-canonical actions and interfere into the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.” Fr. Andrey believes that is how statements of some Constantinople representatives should be considered as they talk about their readiness to accept schismatics from the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in their jurisdiction.

However, the Moscow Patriarchate representative is convinced that such admission will be “illegal and of tiny canonical authority.” In the result, “schismatics will continue to be schismatics,” while clergy of the Constantinople Church “besides interference in alien field penalized by church law, will commit one more church and legal crime and grave sin against church unity as it will have prayer communication with tose excommunicated from the Church and, according to the canons, it is corrected with deposition and excommunication.”