Greek original, with video, here.
Archbishop Anastasios of Albania met yesterday, Wednesday, January 29 with a Ukrainian delegation in Tirana.
The head of the delegation, Bishop Victor of Baryshevsk and those with him received a warm welcome.
The Archbishop of Albania once again expressed his concerns as well as his opinion about the situation prevailing in Orthodoxy on account of the Ukrainian issue.
He first thanked the Ukrainian brothers for the visit and for the greetings of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev.
“Thank you for the greetings of brother Metropolitan Onufry, with whom we often correspond. I would also like for you to relay all our love and co-participation in this tribulation that is happening. I know that Metropolitan Onufry is a man of prayer who avoids conflicts and situations and places all his trust in God,” stated the Archbishop of Albania.
The Archbishop then emphasized that, “From my childhood years, I watched with particular emotion the heroism of our brothers throughout Russia and Ukraine during that great persecution that they faced last century.”
“The Orthodox Church is not a confederation of Local Orthodox Churches, but rather it is the One, Holy and Apostolic Church. Therefore, the tribulations of every local church are our tribulations. What is yours and what is ours is in common,” the Archbishop of Albania added.
His Beatitude did not fail to mention the honorary “Patriarch” Filaret (Denysenko) whom he has long known.
“We are the same age as Metropolitan Filaret, whom I have known since he was in the World Council of Churches and represented the Church of Russia. I know all the details, how when someone puts himself first and then Christ, it leads to tragedies,” stated the Primate of the Church of Albania.
Anastasios also added, “I have written about it! From the time he was excommunicated and anathematized, he could not perform ordinations. Ordination is not something that we do personally; it is something that occurs when we represent the Church. You cannot say that the Holy Spirit comes when you yourself have long since abandoned Him. For this reason we have remained with the position that you know and have not made a recognition.”
“I feel that three basic principles which are fundamental for the existence of the Orthodox Church have been harmed: Apostolic Succession, the Divine Eucharist and Synodality. Therefore we insist that schisms are overcome with an Ecumenical Council and not with letters and other activities.”
Anastasios also stressed, “I am absolutely sure that the truth has its own dynamic. Perhaps what worries us is that God is not in a great hurry. He does not give a solution immediately so that some things appear and we are all tried together.”
His Beatitude closed by urging the Ukrainian brothers not to lose hope because, as he stressed, “from the moment that we entrust our whole life to Christ and are constantly focused on His face, he will give the definitive solution when He decides to.”