A clarification on the discussions establishing eucharistic communion between Bishop Stefan and Archbishop Andronik
On April 4, 2017, Bishop Stefan and Archbishop Andronik, as well as several of their subordinate clergy, met for discussions that resulted in the signing of a declaration restoring Eucharistic communion between the two bishops. During the course of these discussions, Bishop Stefan’s clergy raised the question of the canonicity of Archbishop Andronik’s 2007 episcopal consecration that was performed with the participation of Bishops of the Synod in Resistance (Cyprianite Synod).
In response, Archbishop Andronik’s side provided the following clarification that satisfied Bishop Stefan’s group:
Archbishop Andronik’s side does not consider his consecration to be non-canonical. For the benefit of Bishop Stefan’s clergy, who doubt the canonicity of the consecration with the participation of the Synod in Resistance, we would remind everyone that this issue was resolved when the Synod of Metropolitan Cyprian was merged with the Synod of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece. All of the sacraments and ordinations which the bishops of the Synod in Resistance performed prior to unification were recognized as valid. It should be noted that this is the customary church practice when reuniting from a schism as it would otherwise be necessary to perform anew all baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc.
The official record of the unification of the synods of Archbishop Kallinikos and Metropolitan Cyprian stated:
“The Holy Synod accepted the document and proceeded to lift the penalties imposed upon the then Hierarchs of the Synod in Resistance, recognizing their Consecrations and Mysteriological acts and those of their successors who heretofore remained in communion with them.”
We would add that upon the unification of the two Greek synods, the bishops of the Synod in Resistance declared that the particular ecclesiology of Metropolitan Cyprian (Koutsoumbas) was never the official teaching of their synod and remained his personal opinion. “The Hierarchs of the former Synod in Resistance not only did not officially and synodally proclaim all that was ascribed to them under the name of “Cyprianism”… but have also clearly expressed opposition thereto…”
Today the teachings of Metropolitan Cyprian are not proclaimed by anyone, and if it were not for the efforts of warriors against the “heresy of Cyprianism,” no one would even learn of the existence of this doctrine.
The ROCA historically has always maintained a moderate position in relation to the churches of World Orthodoxy, but such a moderate position is not connected and does not coincide with the ecclesiological theories of Metropolitan Cyprian. Despite the fact that the ROCA entered into communion with the Synod in Resistance in 1994, the ecclesiology of Metropolitan Cyprian was not published in the emigre church press and was not known to a wide circle of clergy and believers.