His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Orthodox Church spoke in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its Primate, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, in his interview with International Life magazine.
“We will not change our position. We provide and will continue to provide significant support to Metropolitan Onuphry and the [Ukrainian Orthodox] Church,” His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije stressed.
He pointed out “the amazing ease with which the Patriarchate of Constantinople ignored the holy canons, ecclesiology, the age-old order of the Orthodox Church, the Sacred Tradition.”
Despite this, one should not give up one’s love for the Mother Church, Patriarch Porfirije believes.
“We hope and pray that the day will come, and as soon as possible, when non-Orthodox anti-church influence and non-church projects will be rejected, which, as I can see, have brought nothing good to anyone in Ukraine, and when we all, in the spirit of the conciliarity of the Church, will return to brotherly love and a pan-Orthodox solution to all problems,” the Serbian Patriarch said.
In describing the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije drew an analogy with Montenegro.
“We, like you, have experienced the collapse of the federal state. In this event, the enemies of Orthodoxy – and I would say: the enemies of Christianity – saw an opportunity to split the autocephalous or autonomous Churches. Therefore, we understand well what is happening in Ukraine,” he said.
On the contrary, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije considers the timely granting by the Russian Church of autonomy in governance for the UOC to be a successful example of church house-building.
“The broadest freedom, complete autonomy in governance, which the Russian Orthodox Church granted to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is an example of the manifestation of the highest economy and church consciousness,” the Serbian Patriarch noted.