Polish Church Publishes Official Statement: Forbids Clergy from Communion with Constantinople’s Ukrainian Schismatics

Pravmir.com team | 18 November 2018

The Church also calls for a pan-Orthodox gathering to address the Ukrainian issue.

Warsaw, November 16, 2018

The official site of the Polish Orthodox Church has published its Council of Bishops’ communiqué from its Wednesday session, confirming earlier reports that they refused to recognize Constantinople’s rehabilitation of the two groups of Ukrainian schismatics.

“The Holy Bishops’ Council forbids the priests of the Polish Orthodox Church from having liturgical and prayerful contact with the ‘clergy’ of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the so-called ‘Autocephalous Orthodox Church,’ which have committed much evil in the past,” the statement reads.

According to the Polish hierarchs, persons deprived of episcopal and clerical ordination cannot be leaders in establishing peace in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

“Only the observance of the dogmatic and canonical norms of the Church and the preservation of the centuries-old tradition will protect Orthodoxy from severe ecclesiastical consequences on an international scale. The Polish Orthodox Church prays fervently for the unity of the holy Orthodox Church and for peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the message further reads.

The portions of the communiqué concerning Ukraine read in full:

I. The holy Council of Bishops has received disturbing news from Church life in Ukraine, which often affects the life of Orthodoxy in Poland.

Considering the above, as well as the general Orthodox concern of the Orthodox Local Churches resulting from the instability of Church life in Ukraine, which has a devastating impact on the whole life of the Church in Orthodoxy in general, the holy Bishops’ Council, in the interest of the good of the holy Orthodox Church, upholds the position expressed in the Council’s resolution of May 9, 2018, No. 340, and reiterates its call to make a decision to gather all the primates of the Orthodox Churches together in the spirit of evangelical love, humility, and understanding, while maintaining dogmatic and canonical doctrine, with mutual respect leading to a peaceful solution to the issue of divided Orthodoxy on Ukrainian soil.

Persons deprived of episcopal ordinations and priests cannot be leaders in introducing peace in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Their actions cause even more confusion and scandal.

Only the observance of the dogmatic and canonical norms of the Church and the preservation of the centuries-old tradition will protect Orthodoxy from severe ecclesiastical consequences on an international scale.

The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church prays fervently for the unity of the holy Orthodox Church and for peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

II. The Holy Bishops’ Council forbids the priests of the Polish Orthodox Church from having liturgical and prayerful contact with the ‘clergy’ of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the so-called ‘Autocephalous Orthodox Church,’ who have committed much evil in the past.

The Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church also recently refused to accept the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

In calling for dialogue between the various Orthodox Churches, the Polish Church echoes the call of not only the Russian Church, but also of the RomanianAntiochianGeorgian, and Orthodox Church in America Holy Synods. The same call has also been made by the primates of the SerbianAntiochianCzech and Slovak Churches, and the Finnish Church, which is an autonomous body within the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and also by a joint Antiochian-Serbian statement.

Met. Sawa himself made the same call last month.

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