Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Middle East primates to meet in Nicosia over Ukraine

(Basilica) - The four Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches in the Middle East will meet a second time in Nicosia in the near future in an effort to find a solution for the ecclesial issue of Ukraine.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria addressed for the first time the issue of granting autocephaly to Ukraine in an interview with the Greek newspaper Ethnos.

Patriarch Theodoros announced that the leaders of the Orthodox Churches in the Middle East will meet again ‘very soon’ in Nicosia.

‘I think a solution can be found. We simply have to let aside our personal issues and consider the interest of the Church.’

In April, Patriarchs Theodoros of Alexandria, John X of Antioch, Theophilos III of Jerusalem and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus met at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Cyprus to discuss the most important ecclesiastical issues relating to the consolidation of the Christian presence in this region and the deepening of cooperation between the local Churches for this purpose.

During that meeting, the Patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem took the first steps to resolve the dispute over the Archdiocese of Qatar, a problem that led to the absence of representatives of four Autocephalous Churches at the Holy and Great Council three years ago.

In April, the Archbishop of Cyprus was encouraged to speak to other sister Churches in order to find a solution to the situation of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

‘The Archbishop of Cyprus is a wise hierarch, he has kindness and he loves the Church,’ Patriarch Theodoros said.

Last month, Archbishop Chrysostomos had a first series of meetings with the Patriarchs of Serbia and Bulgaria, as well as with the Archbishop of Athens.

‘The Archbishop of Cyprus will try to ask His Holiness to organize a first meeting between the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Patriarch of Moscow, because there is a bond of deep friendship between the two Primates,’ the Patriarch of Alexandria noted.

After that, ‘an informal meeting of all the Primates’ is desired.

‘Our age has so many problems and we cannot afford to be divided,’ Patriarch Theodoros added.

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