Head of Phanar: OCU is associated with Western democracy

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the OCU head Sergey (Epiphany) Dumenko. Photo: riafan.ru

Part of the Phanar’s mission is to encourage and provide the opportunity for the Local Church to achieve self-determination and self-government, said Pat. Bartholomew.

The OCU is more associated with Western democracy than with the repressive regime in the East, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said in an interview with the Romanian online publication evz.ro.

“For many years, the religious and civic leaders of Ukraine wanted to create an independent Church for a single country, which is more associated with democracy in the West than with the repressive regime in the East,” he said.

The head of the Phanar emphasized that he sees encouragement as part of the mission and ministry of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

“We believe that it is part of the mission and ministry of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to encourage and enable a local church to achieve the same self-determination and self-government, which so many other Churches have received from the Mother Church of Constantinople – including Russia, Romania, and Greece ”, said His Holiness with the Romanian edition.

He also commented on his relationship with the Pope, the friendship with whom Pat. Bartholomew perceives as "a primary way to influence our believers".

“It is true that our spontaneous decision to attend Pope Francis' inaugural service was unprecedented. Once again, however, in the perspective of this openness and a spirit of cooperation, we consider our personal friendship with Pope Francis as a primary way to influence our believers and to shape our world for peace and not for war, for tolerance and not for prejudice and inclusion and not for isolation. This is undoubtedly the message of the Gospel in the modern world,” admitted Patriarch Bartholomew.

We recall that before the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the consecration of Patriarch Bartholomew, the House of Congress expressed gratitude to him, and later in the USA, the head of the OCU Sergey (Epiphany) Dumenko was also awarded. During the award ceremony, the award founders highlighted "many years of experience of Metropolitan Epiphany in protecting the Ecumenical Patriarchate". “Metropolitan Epiphany was an active supporter of religious freedom and a key advocate of the church and canonical prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” reads the founder’s website.

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