Patriarch Bartholomew: Regarding Ukraine, we have a clear conscience
According to the Phanar head, the Russian Church, blessed by Constantinople, is now causing trouble to the Ecumenical Throne.
On November 2, during a service in the church of St. George the Victorious in Edirnekapi (Istanbul, Turkey), Patriarch Bartholomew declared that his conscience with regard to Ukraine is clear, reports the Greek edition “Romfea”.
According to Patriarch Bartholomew, "The Church is a living organism, therefore during my Patriarchate not only pleasant but also unpleasant events have taken place".
The head of the Phanar referred to the unpleasant events those "that came to the life of the Mother Church from other sister Churches blessed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate". In particular, according to Patriarch Bartholomew, this is the Russian Orthodox Church: "Today we are faced with an unpleasant situation with the Moscow Patriarchate on the Ukrainian issue."
However, the Phanar head says, "the Ecumenical Patriarchate and we, its humble ministers, have a clear conscience – we simply do our duty" because "we provide and protect the canonical rights and privileges granted by the Ecumenical Councils of the Church of Constantinople".
Touching upon the “Ukrainian issue”, the patriarch emphasized that “with respect to the recent Ukrainian issue, we have done nothing more than the Throne (the Patriarchate of Constantinople – Ed.) did, providing autocephaly to so many other Churches in previous years and centuries”.
At the same time, Patriarch Bartholomew also emphasized the role that the Church of Greece plays in this matter: “We are grateful to the Church of Greece for a good example set to other Сhurches, recognizing and entering into communion with the recently created 15th Autocephalous Church of Ukraine.”
In addition, he especially thanked the head of the Greek Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, for his personal stance in recognizing the OCU: “I read the letter of Brother Ieronymos and was moved. We also expect a continuation from other sister Churches, a continuation that will certainly come.”
Patriarch Bartholomew assured that the Phanar will continue to follow the chosen path: “We will overcome all troubles, and with gratitude to the Lord, we will move along the path that he set out for the Mother Throne”.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Greek hierarchs initiated the Pan-Orthodox Council without the participation of the head of the Phanar.