Media: Pat. Bartholomew resents Local Churches' response to Tomos for OCU

18 June 2019 20:05
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Photo: Radio Svoboda Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Photo: Radio Svoboda

All efforts of the Patriarch on the "Ukrainian issue" are in vain, since "millions of the Orthodox do not recognize schismatics of Ukraine as Church."

Renowned in the Greek-speaking world, journalist, publicist and theologian Georgy Papatanassopoulos believes that the Ecumenical Patriarch no longer conceals he is cross with the pan-Orthodox reaction, caused by his proclamation of the Ukrainian schismatics as “Autocephalous Church of Ukraine”. The journalist’s article was published by the Greek publication Βήμα ορθοδοξίαί.

In particular, the publication states that on June 11, 2019, in the monastery of the Apostle Barnabas in Nicosia, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France read aloud a letter from Patriarch Bartholomew to the Cyprus Church, in which "an outburst of his wrath is evident".

In his letter, the Patriarch does not speak about the Church of Cyprus he addresses, but mainly concentrates on the chanting of the Church of Constantinople and, moreover, he does this in a very arrogant and unprecedented tone, which, in the end, according to the journalist, “leads him to historical and ecclesiological inaccuracies".

The Ecumenical Patriarch writes in his letter that “the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople is the common Mother of all Churches. We regret that we have come to the need to repeat these self-evident things.”

In addition, according to the journalist, the patriarch’s letter stresses that “in Constantinople there is no coordinating instrument in the form of a dignitary. The only coordinating instrument is a loving heart, rich in the mind of Orthodoxy.”

At the end of his message, the patriarch reports that Phanar exists in such a status "because it has the commands of the Divine Fathers and Holy Councils, which gave the Ecumenical Patriarchate the sacred, inviolable and unconditional privilege of service." 

The above statements by Patriarch Bartholomew forced George Papatanassopoulos to comment on them.

In fact, the publicist believes that the Patriarchate of Constantinople was not obligated by anyone “to ensure the welfare of other Churches” and no one vested it with such a “sacred, inviolable and unconditional privilege of service”.

In addition, according to Orthodox ecclesiology and the rule of law, all Orthodox Churches can be called Great Churches because they all "went through fire and iron, and all have their martyrs".

At the same time, all Churches should remember, “The Mother Church is the Church of Jerusalem, followed by Alexandria and Antioch,” while Constantinople is “a Byzantine city that became glorious only when the great Constantine made it the capital of Rome state and turned into a new Rome".

Furthermore, according to the theologian, the phrase from the letter of Patriarch Bartholomew that the Church of Constantinople "serves the truth alone", without any outside influence, looks very strange. Especially if we take into account that Phanar is located in the territory of an Islamic country "with the Sultan-like mentality", which, moreover, is currently "located in the center of the geopolitical whirlwind".

At the same time, the publicist says, the Church of Hellas has a bitter experience of “passive and gentle attitude” towards itself on the part of Patriarch Bartholomew.

In addition, expressing respect for Patriarch Bartholomew, the theologian stresses that “for the life of the Church, arrogant beliefs and hegemonic behavior are redundant. That is exactly why it does not resemble a secular organization like the Vatican.”

He stresses that despite all the vigorous efforts of the patriarch on the “Ukrainian issue,” there will still be no positive outcome, because “millions of Orthodox DO NOT recognize the schismatics of Ukraine as a canonical church.”

The journalist asks the question, why Patriarch Bartholomew calls pan-Orthodox unity “imaginary”, if in another place he writes that he is responsible for this unity?

Also, the theologian points out that “in the case of Ukraine, the Moscow Patriarchate has the right. And this right has been recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the same status that it exercises in relation to the Greek Church for one and a half centuries.” Whereas each state should have its own Church, then “why does Mr. Bartholomew not recognize the full autocephaly of the Church of Greece? As long as Crete, Dodekanisos, Mount Athos, Patmos and others are under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the patriarch has no right to talk about Ukraine.”

The article also notes that "in Ukraine, loyalty to the canonical Church is more than 70% despite the oppression it is faced up with."

The journalist writes that one metropolitan, who read the patriarchal letter, was very upset and said, “If Patriarch Bartholomew behaves in such an insulting and arrogant way towards his people, how does he behave in the rest of the world? I understand now why there is no sympathy for him anywhere. A lot of hierarchs in Greece fear Patriarch Bartholomew, others simply show respect, some of them are superficially submissive, but everyone knows what he really is.”

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, in the opinion of the Patriarch of Alexandria, the religious conflict in Ukraine has a solution.

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