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African priests issue open letter about Patriarch's recognition of OCU
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Steve Hayes
2019-12-18 12:05:01 UTC
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African priests issue open letter about Patriarch’s recognition of OCU

Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, December 17, 2019

A number of African priests of the Patriarchate of Alexandria have
issued an open letter regarding the recent decision by their
Patriarch, Theodoros II of Alexandria, to recognize the schismatic
“Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and to commemorate its primate, Epiphany
Dumenko, in the Divine services.

The priests note that while the majority of the clergy and laity of
the Patriarchate are Africans, their opinion on the matter was never
sought and thus not taken into account.

The letter is signed by 27 priests from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and
Zambia who are saddened by the decision of their Patriarch and pray
that it will be reconsidered.

OrthoChristian received the open letter via email, with the message,
“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, with respect and humility, we
are very happy to write you to explain our opinion and our decision as
a canonical Church and priests in Africa.”

The letter reads in full:

An Open Letter of Orthodox African Priests

It was with great surprise and embarrassment that we, Orthodox African
priests, learned about the decision of Patriarch Theodoros II of
Alexandria to recognize the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

This sudden decision is the opposite of the position previously held
by our Patriarch, and it jeopardizes the good relations of our Church
with the Russian Orthodox Church that have developed in recent
decades. In addition, the recognition of yesterday’s Ukrainian
schismatics is criticized in many Local Churches, and means a break
with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, to which most Orthodox
Ukrainians belong.

As far as we know, such a decision was made without asking the opinion
of the African clergy, although it is the Africans who make up the
majority of clergy and parishioners of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

We would like to express our opinion and say that we do not agree with
the above decision. We respect our Patriarch and obey our bishops,
but, just as many priests and even bishops in the Church of Greece
expressed their disagreement with a similar decision on the
recognition of Ukrainian schismatics, we believe that we have no less
of a right to express our opinion.

We regret the unexpected decision of the Patriarch of Alexandria and
we would like to see it revised.

Rev. Fr. Agapios Omukuba, Kenya
Rev. Fr. Ambrose Chavala, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Anastasios Andrea, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Antipas Odhiam, Kenya
Rev. Fr. Athanasios Oruk, Uganda
Rev. Fr. Athanasios Rukamunuga, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Augustinus Batalingaya, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Barnabas Woasim, Zambia
Rev. Fr. Barnabas Kalumuna, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Mapalala, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Charalambos Ocen, Uganda
Rev. Fr. Chrysostomos Sospeter, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Constantine Shoki, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. David Lakwo, Uganda
Rev. Fr. Eleftherios Nchunguye, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Eliakim Kulali, Kenya
Rev. Fr. Johannes Asonga, Kenya
Rev. Fr. John Jacob, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Laurent Sakwa, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Marcos Rugemalira, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Paul Kagoma, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Hieromonk Philaretos (Kimaro), Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Petros Theophanos, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Polycarpos Uchenja, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Stephen Rushenya, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Theodoros Mutabazi, Tanzania
Rev. Fr. Archimandrite Zacharia (Enock), Tanzania
Steve Hayes
2019-12-27 02:05:02 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 18 Dec 2019 14:05:01 +0200, Steve Hayes
Post by Steve Hayes
African priests issue open letter about Patriarch’s recognition of OCU
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, December 17, 2019
A number of African priests of the Patriarchate of Alexandria have
issued an open letter regarding the recent decision by their
Patriarch, Theodoros II of Alexandria, to recognize the schismatic
“Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and to commemorate its primate, Epiphany
Dumenko, in the Divine services.
Name of Patriarch of Alexandria was removed from Diptychs of Moscow
Patriarchate

Dec 26, 2019 | 19:26 in FrontPage, Patriarchate of Moscow

During the meeting of the Holy Synod, chaired by Patriarch Kirill, the
Moscow Patriarchate decided to sever full communion with the
Patriarchate of Alexandria by removing the name of the Patriarch of
Alexandria from its Diptychs. The main reasons were the recognition of
the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the commemoration of Metropolitan
Epiphaniy by Patriarch Theodore.

According to Moscow Patriarchate’s spokesman, Vladimir Legoida, the
Moscow Patriarchate severed full communion with the Head of the Church
of Alexandria but it remains in full communion with the Metropolitans
of Alexandria who did not agree with Patriarch Theodore and did not
recognise the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. He added that the Moscow
Patriarchate had not severed full communion with the Archbishop of
Athens and the Metropolitans of the Church of Greece either.

Vladimir Legoida said that the actions taken by the Patriarch of
Alexandria were not canonical because he recognised the Church of
Ukraine even though the Hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Alexandria
had never voted for such a decision.

He also argued, “The decision of the Patriarch of Alexandria to
recognise the schismatic Church of Ukraine runs counter to his
previous statements according to which he would recognise the
canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv
and all Ukraine. In addition, such a statement was made by the
Patriarch of Alexandria when he visited the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
from September 27 to October 1, 2018, three weeks after the intrusion
of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine through the
appointment of an Exarch in Kyiv.”

During the meeting, the Moscow Patriarchate also decided to abolish
the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Moscow and convert
the Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate in Alexandria into a Russian
church. In addition, the Moscow Patriarchate decided to withdraw from
the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria the parishes of the
Russian Church located on the African continent and to make them
stauropegic monasteries.

Source: https://t.co/xrF4X3ZFVL?amp=1
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