Serbian hierarch: Patriarch of Jerusalem has the right to assemble Churches

03 January 2020 21:25
Bishop Irinej (Bulović) of Bačka. Photo: Bishop Irinej (Bulović) of Bačka. Photo:

Bishop Irinej of Bačka believes that the Jerusalem Patriarchate as a Church founded by Christ has the right and duty to convene the Council of Churches.

Bishop Irinej (Bulović) of Bačka of the Serbian Orthodox Church stated that Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem has the moral right to convene an All-Orthodox meeting of Primates on the “Ukrainian issue”.

He said this in an interview with the Serbian edition "Seal", the text of which is fully published on the website of the Bačka diocese of the SOC.

According to the Serbian hierarch, the initiative of Patriarch Theophilos to convene the Primates of the Orthodox Churches in Amman is "literally inspires and saves".

He emphasized that “since the crisis began, our Church has consistently and decisively upheld this idea. Most Churches also advocate for it”.

Vladyka says, "The problem is that the Patriarch of Constantinople refuses to convene such a meeting, knowing that he will remain in the minority." Because of this, according to Bishop Irinej, "some Greek-speaking Churches, such as Hellas and Cyprus, do not want to participate in the pan-Orthodox meeting unless it is convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first among the leaders of the Orthodox Churches."

However, Bishop Irinej considers such an attitude unjustified. According to him, if Patriarch Bartholomew does not convene the Pan-Orthodox assembly, "then someone else will do it".

He noted that "of the Church Councils of the past, two of which were held in Constantinople itself, no one was headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople".

Vladyka recalled that until now the canonical primacy of the honor of the Patriarch of Constantinople in the Orthodox Church has not been disputed by anyone. Nevertheless, Bishop Irinej emphasized, "there is a special, spiritual and blessed primacy of Jerusalem as the "Mother of all Churches, "the only Church founded directly by the Lord Christ Himself".

That is why, Bishop Irinej believes, "the Patriarch of Jerusalem has the moral right and the duty to convene all Orthodox Churches for a meeting in the face of so many challenges and temptations".

As reported earlier, in the opinion of Bishop Anthony (Pantelič) of Moravici, the Ecumenical Patriarch is the first in honor but not in authority, and only the Pan-Orthodox Council should decide on such issues as granting autocephaly.

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