UOC comments on Proshenko’s request to show Tomos

Deputy Head of UOC DECR Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich

Some Churches, including the Patriarchate of Constantinople, do not have the Tomos. This is due to church practice, explained Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich.

Petro Poroshenko should have asked the Patriarchate of Constantinople to show its Tomos, deputy head of the UOC DECR Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich wrote on his Facebook page, commenting on the recent proposal of the President for the ROC to show its Tomos.

“If President Poroshenko has already become such an expert on tomoses, then maybe, for a start, he would suggest that the Patriarchate of Constantinople show its Tomos? Since it grants Ukraine the Tomos, does it have one itself? Let me tell you a secret: the Patriarchate of Constantinople has no Tomos,” Fr. Nikolai wrote.

The priest explained that the status of some Orthodox Churches was established by the decisions of the Councils.

“The status of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is based on the 28th rule of the Council of Chalcedon (the Fourth Ecumenical Council), which took place in 451,” Fr. Nikolai noted. “Moreover, the mentioned rule does not speak about the autocephaly of the Constantinople Patriarchate but about the formation of the Patriarchate as such by giving the Archbishop of Constantinople the right to ordain metropolitans in Ponti, Asia Minor, and Thrace, that is, in fact, the Archbishop of the capital (city) was granted the vast territory of the patriarchate."

The DECR deputy head reminded that the autocephalous and patriarchal status of the Russian Orthodox Church was granted in 1589 by Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople, and in 1593 this decision was approved by the All-Orthodox Council in Constantinople.

“Thus, the ROC does not have the Tomos but the Letter by Patriarch Jeremiah, although the Tomos and the Letter are essentially the same,” said Fr. Nikolai. “The ROC also has decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Council, or rather of the Council of the oldest patriarchs.”

The priest also recalled that the Church of Cyprus also did not have the Tomos – the decision on its church autocephaly was taken at the Third Ecumenical Council in 431.

“By the way, 20 years before the Constantinople Patriarchate. Thus, none of the ancient churches have a the Tomos, since tomoses appeared in church practice mainly in the 19th century, when national autocephaly began to be proclaimed. So, not by Tomos alone,” concluded Protopriest Nikolai.

Earlier, Petro Poroshenko, speaking in Vinnitsa, said that in Ukraine, the OCU is now canonical, and others should prove their canonicity by showing the Tomos.

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