Phanar’s exclusive right to grant autocephaly is unreasonable, – historian

Patriarch Bartholomew during the Crete Council

The Patriarchate of Constantinople has arbitrarily appropriated a special status, the expert believes.

The claims of Phanar to the exclusive right to grant autocephaly are unreasonable, stated historian Vladimir Poliakov.

He said this, commenting on the interview of Metropolitan Elpidophor of Bursa with "Pravmir", in which the representative of Phanar stated that "the granting of autocephaly to a Local Church has for almost 1350 years been subject to the exclusive jurisdiction and competence of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Holy Synod of the Constantinople Church".

Poliakov noted that until the beginning of the twentieth century, the Patriarchate of Constantinople had to to reckon with the fact that in most countries of the Old and New World Orthodox parishes were almost exclusively under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"There were no statements that only the Patriarch of Constantinople has the right to grant autocephaly at all," the expert said. "At that time, neither Phanar, nor other ancient patriarchal sees, which existed only because of the intercession for them from the Turks by the Russian emperors and generous financial assistance from Russia, dared to speak of such things."

According to Poliakov, after the revolution of 1917 and the weakening of the Russian Church, Phanar began to gather under its jurisdiction Orthodox Europe and America, and, bypassing the rules of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, voluntarily appropriated the status of a spiritual leader of the entire Orthodox diaspora.

The historian recalled that on the eve of the Council in Crete, held in 2016, the Local Churches agreed on a completely different understanding of the pan-Orthodox consensus in the matter of granting autocephaly.

"It was decided to grant autocephaly only in the event that all Local Churches express their consent to this step," Poliakov noted. "And there was no question at all of recognizing Constantinople Patriarch’s "right to bestow autocephaly independently," which he himself appropriated."

On July 1, 2018, Patriarch Bartholomew said that "Constantinople never transferred the territory of Ukraine to anyone". In turn, most representatives of the Orthodox Churches condemn the schism in Ukrainian Orthodoxy and do not accept its legalization in any form

In mid-April, Poroshenko turned to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople with a request to grant Tomos on autocephaly for the Church in Ukraine and announced the creation of the Single Local Church. The Verkhovna Rada supported the appeal of the President.

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