Pat. Bartholomew: We restored the canonicity of the entire Ukrainian nation

29 May 2019 00:16
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Photo: Orthodox life Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Photo: Orthodox life

The Patriarchate of Constantinople restored the canonicity of the people that was outside the Church for no dogmatic reason, the head of the Phanar said.

We consider it a great blessing from God that the Ecumenical Patriarchate managed to restore the canonicity of an entire multi-million nation, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said in an interview about his activities in Ukraine with the Bulgarian news agency “BGNES”.

At the same time, the primate of the Phanar assured that the multi-million Ukrainian nation "was outside the Church for no dogmatic reason".

"Thank God! So, the decisive factor that made the Ecumenical Patriarchate grant Ukraine autocephaly is the healing of schism and the restoration of church unity,” said Patriarch Bartholomew.

According to him, thanks to the Council of Chalcedon, the Patriarchate of Constantinople allegedly has the privilege of accepting appeals against the decisions of other Local Churches, and in the decision to grant the Tomos of independence to newly established Churches, it is not obliged to take into account the opinions of others on this issue.

"The Ecumenical Patriarchate, guided by the sacred canons (including the 9th, 17th, and 28th canons of the IV Ecumenical Council, the 36th Canon of the Trullan Council, and 1 Canon of the Council of 879/880, which was held at the Hagia Sophia Church in Constantinople), assumed responsibility for granting the Tomos of autocephaly to all Churches, turning them into archdiocese or patriarchs, without discussion or cooperation on this matter with other Churches,” Patriarch Bartholomew stated.

In his opinion, the legalization of schismatics from the UOC KP and the UAOC without their repentance fits into the framework of this practice.

“In the case of Ukraine, we did nothing else. We used the same practice we have followed in recognizing all newly established Autocephalous Churches,” said the primate of the Phanar. He also reiterated that he considered Filaret and Makariy canonical bishops, despite the numerous testimonies of the hierarchs of the UOC and the ROC, that Makariy never was a bishop in the ROC but fell into schism as a priest.

Patriarch Bartholomew finds the ROC responsible for Filaret Denisenko and Makariy Miletich's schism.

"The schisms that were created in the past century and arose mainly from the desire of the Russian Church to prevent the church independence of Ukraine."

He is confident that the presence of the Moscow Patriarchate in the country is detrimental to the Ukrainian people.

“The shocking political events through which new, completely different geopolitical conditions were formed made the presence of the Moscow Patriarchate (in Ukraine – Ed.) undesirable and detrimental to the interests of the Ukrainian nation and the unity of the Ukrainian people. For this reason, it is understandable why most of the Ukrainian people want a church liberation from the Church, which helps or even serves the interests of the state that is in conflict with Ukraine,” he concluded.

Earlier, the Greek theologian Pavlos Trokados explained that the Pan-Orthodox Council can be convened by the head of any Church, and the Primate of the Phanar has no special prerogatives or "primacy". “All Primates are equally" first "in modern reality with many states and should equally care about the stability of the Church. Therefore, they are jointly responsible for the convocation of the Pan-Orthodox Council since the Patriarch of Constantinople is only one of the members of the Council (as has been said about the Apostle Peter). Or maybe Patriarch Bartholomew is already superior to the Apostle Peter?” he stressed.

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