Moscow, February 8, Interfax - Head of the Odessa Diocese of Ukrane’s new church Pavel Yuristy chaired a liturgy in the Monastery of Pantocrator on Mount Athos.
On the eve monks and the delegation of the newly-established Ukrainian church conducted vespers there, Yuristy wrote in his Facebook.
These divine services have become the first ones conducted by Athonite monks together with officials of the church recently established in Ukraine mostly from representatives of non-canonical religious organizations. However, the Moscow Patriarchate’s high officials referring to the Orthodox teaching more than once noted that those who celebrate services with schismatics become schismatics themselves.
Pantocrator is one of the five monasteries, which during the session of Holy Kinot backed up Patriarch Bartholomew’s call to visit enthronement of the new Ukrainian church head Yepifaniy Dumenko. However, representatives of other Athos monasteries spoke against it. Philotheou and Karakalou Monasteries stated they would close their doors if Yepifaniy came to visit them.
The creation of the local Orthodox church of Ukraine backed by the Constantinople Patriarchate and independent of the Moscow Patriarchate was announced at the unification assembly in Kiev on December 15. The new church is made up of representatives of the country's uncanonical church structures. The head of the new church received a tomos on autocephaly from Patriarch Bartholomew on January 6. No other Orthodox Churches have recognized the new church or agreed to send a delegation to the enthronement.