LAST UPDATE: 17:52
In a letter sent to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and all Albania calls for a Pan-Orthodox Council to be held “as soon as possible”, in order to prevent “the evident risk of a painful schism.”
In his letter, sent on January 14, 2019, but now published due to alleged leak of passages of the letter and in order to avoid creating wrong perceptions, Archbishop Anastasios considers that the current situation requires a new approach and inspiring initiatives to promote peace in Ukraine and to safeguard the unity of Orthodoxy.
The Archbishop of Albania also notes that the concerns expressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch in October 2018 have been verified, that is instead of peace and unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox, “a risk of division has started to creep in.”
In the letter, the Archbishop refers to some predictions, that is the present turmoil and the “obvious division” will last for a while and that all the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches will eventually accept the current status quo. However, it is noted that for those who know the history of ecclesiastical schisms and the endurance of religious fanaticism, those predictions can be perceived only as unfounded.”
In fact, the Church of Albania mentions: “The anxiety of preserving the unity of the Orthodox Church obliges us to express our doubt as to the validity of ordination, which has been performed by anyone who has been defrocked, excommunicated and anathematized.”
At the same time, the Church of Albania reminds its criticism directed at the Church of Russia for denying participating in the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete and the rush to severe full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
It is underlined that the Divine Eucharist must remain outside any conflict.