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Many in Churches of Greece, Cyprus, Alexandria oppose recognizing OCU — clerical official

Over the past year, not a single new regional Orthodox Church has recognized the OCU

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The full-fledged recognition of the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) by the Churches of Greece, Cyprus, and Alexandria did not happen in 2021 since many priests and bishops of these Churches do not agree with their primates recognizing these dissenters, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for Society and Mass Media Relations Vladimir Legoyda said in an interview with TASS.

Over the past year, not a single new regional Orthodox Church has recognized the OCU. In response to a question as to the current state of relations with those four Churches that did recognize the Ukrainian schismatics, the church official noted that "it cannot really be said that the Churches of Greece, Cyprus, and Alexandria had recognized the OCU."

"There were no legitimate decisions made on this issue, only the declarations by the primates. I know that many clergymen and episcopates of these Churches do not consent to recognize the secessionists, they sympathize with the Ukrainians who through the ‘labors’ of Phanar bore a great amount of suffering from the extremists with the authorities turning a blind eye," he noted.

In response to a question on whether it is possible to talk about the emerging separation of the Orthodoxy into a "Greek-language" one and the rest, considering that only the primates of the Greek-language Churches recognized the schismatics, the official said that the Russian Orthodox Church does not want to "end relations with the Greek world, while it does not want to break ties" with the Russian Orthodox Church.

He also reiterated the remarks of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia that this is about "the implementation of a very specific plan which aims to tear Russia away from the Greek world and the Greek world from Russia." "With God’s help, these plans will not succeed," he concluded.

In 2018, following the so-called unification council in Kiev, the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was created out of two schismatic church structures - the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — the Kiev Patriarchate — which received autocephaly by the decision of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Regional Orthodox Churches do not recognize the canonical status of the new structure. That said, in addition to Constantinople, the prelates of the Churches of Greece, Alexandria, and Cyprus recognized the OCU. The Russian Orthodox Church ceased liturgical intercommunion with them as well as with those bishops in these Churches that recognized the schismatic structure.