The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America

On December 16, 2018 we published Ukrainian Autocephaly: An Awkward Spot for the OCA, which quickly became one of our most popular, most shared, most discussed articles of all time. It sits currently in the top 2% of over 500 articles.

On January 7, 2019 we reached out to the Chancery of the OCA with the following questions:

  1. Does the OCA recognize the autocephaly of the OCU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine]?
  2. Has the Metropolitan begun, or does he intend to begin, commemorating Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv and All Ukraine, liturgically/publicly in the diptychs, as the Primate of an autocephalous Church?
  3. If “no” to 1 and/or 2, is the OCA at least in communion with the OCU as well as the newly renamed ROCU [the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, until recently known as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate]?

Less than an hour later we were pleased to receive the following from the Chancery:

With regard to your email: His Beatitude and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops are reviewing the matters you inquire of. Any statements that they might make on these recent developments will be made through official channels, i.e.,

Two weeks later we note that no statement has appeared on the OCA website.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s first article to deal explicitly with the question of Ukrainian autocephaly appeared on April 25, 2018—Deacon Nicholas Denysenko’s The Promise of Autocephaly in Ukraine: What’s at Stake?—a full eight and a half months prior to the delivery of the Tomos of Autocephaly to Metropolitan Epiphanius by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

As far back as March 10, 2016 the official website of the President of Ukraine carried a report on Petro Poroshenko’s visit to the Phanar, where Patriarch Bartholomew and he discussed “the future of Ukraine, about peace, about single national Orthodox Church awaited by the Ukrainian nation.”

Which is to say, the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine didn’t fall from the sky while no one was looking. Certainly there has been more than enough time to review the matters at hand?

Although Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA was not included in the diptychs at Metropolitan Epiphanius’ Nativity Liturgy on January 7, this has never before prevented the OCA primate from commemorating those who do not commemorate him.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s tens of thousands of readers around the world eagerly await the conclusion of the OCA Synod’s review.

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