The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece issued the following statement on the Ukrainian issue:
“The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece met on January 8 for its first January session, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece. During this session, we read His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s letter #119, dated December 24,2018, concerning the election of the first primate of the new Autocephalous Church in Ukraine, as well as the related letter by Bishop Epifaniy, the new Primate of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and the letter by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The permanent Holy Synod decided to refer the issue of the recognition of the new autocephalous Church in Ukraine to the Assembly of Bishops of the Church of Greece”.
The date of the Assembly of Bishops is not specified in the decision of the Synod. The last Assembly of Bishops of the Orthodox Church of Greece was held on October 4, 2018.
The Department of Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whose primate is Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv, published the following comment:
“Referring the study of this issue to the Assembly of Bishops of the Church of Greece indicates that for this Church, as throughout the Orthodox world, the question is notably complex. Especially as it is related to the ‘absence of canonical episcopal consecration of the primate of the new structure'”.
The Department of Ecclesiastical Affairs also draws attention to the fact that “in the official statement, Epifaniy is not referred to as a metropolitan, and Bartholomew and Kirill are referred to as ‘patriarchs’. Moreover, the full name of the newly created ecclesial structure cannot be explained by the recognition of the ‘Orthodox Church in Ukraine’ as a structure, but by the fact that in the text of the decision, they only mention the translation of letters sent to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece”.