Patriarch Bartholomew shifts the blame for the Filaret schism to “Russians”
The Phanar’s head believes that the schism in Ukraine was made by the Russians rather than Filaret, moreover, they did not do anything for 30 years to overcome it.
Ukrainians asked Russians for autocephaly, they refused and thus made a schism in Ukraine, Patriarch Bartholomew gave a new interpretation of church history in an interview with the online edition Kurir.rs.
The Phanar’s head did not specify whether he means by the word “Russians” the members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or considers them to be exclusively citizens of the Russian Federation. It is only clear that according to the new position of Patriarch Bartholomew, it is the “Russians” who are to blame for the Philaret schism.
“The Russian side has not done anything in 30 years to heal this schism in Ukraine. And where is the love for schismatics? There isn’t any. It was the Russians who made the schism, and not the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Ukrainians, as they now say. So, the Russians made the schism and for 30 years did not take any steps to heal it,” said Patriarch Bartholomew in response to a question from journalists about why the Phanar granted autocephaly to Ukraine only now and whether the Ukrainian scenario will be repeated in Montenegro.
As the head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople now says, the Ukrainians did not want to be in the same Church with the Russians. And therefore, the Phanar’s interference in the religious life of Ukraine is dictated exclusively by good intentions.
“As the Mother Church, we had to take care of the canonical unity of millions of Ukrainians who did not want to be in the same Church with the Russians. These are not thousands, but millions of believers. They turned to us. What could we do? We brought millions of people to the Church,” he assured.
Patriarch Bartholomew also stated that in 1991 the Russians unjustly named the head of the UOC-KP Filaret Denisenko a schismatic, and people really like him.