An extraordinary meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Orthodox Church of Greece met on 12 October 2019 and decided to approve “the normal right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to confer autocephaly, as well as the privilege of the Primate of the Church of Greece to further deal with the question of the recognition of the Church of Ukraine.”
According to the agenda, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece presented his Report entitled “The autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine”. In the introduction of his report, His Beatitude stated that the Standing Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has dealt intensively with this subject, having referred it to the relevant Synodical Commission, on Dogmatic and Legal Issues and on Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations, in order to jointly propose them to the Holy Synod.
On 13 August, these Commissions submitted to the Secretariat their report entitled “The question of the normal jurisdiction on the Holy Metropolis of Kiev”. The conclusion of the Commissions’ Report was: “In view of the above, the issue of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine ought to be considered both canonical and legal, and it is recommended that the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine be recognized.”
According to the official Press Release, His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos made a brief reference to the synodical institution and the administrative organization of the Church, as well as to the institution of autocephaly. He noted that the Church of Ukraine has always remained in the normal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which declined from its canonical jurisdiction over her in order to introduce her into the communion of autocephalous Orthodox Churches, an act which the Patriarchate of Moscow considers as anti-canonical, as if the Church of Ukraine belonged to the Patriarchate of Moscow.
Finally, after having qualified the proclamation of the ecclesiastical autocephaly of Ukraine as particularly beneficial to the Orthodox Church and valuable in strengthening the relations between the two sister Orthodox Churches of Russia and Ukraine, he suggested to recognize the Church of the Independent Republic of Ukraine.
The presentation of the report was followed by a constructive discussion and the Hierarchy has decided to accept the decision of the previous Standing Holy Synod and the recommendation of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece to recognize “the canonical right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the granting of autocephaly, as well as the privilege of the Primate of the Church of Greece to further address the issue of the recognition of the Church of Ukraine”, while seven Metropolitans asked for the adjournment of the decision.