Head of Phanar: Asking for a Council? You should have come to Crete

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople during the meeting with Archbishop Chrysostomos. Photo: orthodoxtimes

The Patriarch of Constantinople believes that all Local Churches should recognize the decisions of the Cretan Council.

On March 6, 2020, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, during his meeting with the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, said that those who are asking to convene the Pan-Orthodox Council on the “Ukrainian issue” should have come the Cretan Council in 2016, the Orthodox Times website reports.

The head of Phanar noted that Archbishop Chrysostomos is a “prudent and insightful guardian of our common heritage of Orthodoxy” and wished him God’s blessing “so that you will be able to continue your work for the sake of the Church of Cyprus and all Orthodoxy.”

The Patriarch of Constantinople noted that, unfortunately, there was a resurgence of ethnophyletism in Church life after the fall of communism.

He added referring to everyone who does not agree to the granting of the Tomos to the OCU that "now they are asking for the Synod! They should have recognized the Pan-Orthodox Council of Crete and they should also have come there. But they did not.”

In addition, the head of Phanar is sure that “they should have recognized these decisions because they were taken unanimously in Geneva. The texts are still the same. There are only some minor changes and improvements.”

He recalled that “these decisions were signed by all in Geneva in January 2016, and then we went to Crete in the hope that all the Churches that signed these texts would be present. However, at the last moment, they did not come.”

According to him, “Moscow led Antioch, Bulgaria and Georgia down the garden path as well. Despite all this, we are still waiting for the decisions to be recognized. We were told that they sent them to special commissions for further examination. Four years have passed since 2016, but they are still examining the decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Council.”

The Patriarch of Constantinople also stated that during the preparation of the Cretan Council, he could not come to terms with the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding the placement of the Primates of the Local Churches. According to him, it is impossible to organize a Pan-Orthodox Council under such circumstances.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that according to Archbishop Chrysostomos, Phanar’s claims to grant autocephaly to other Churches are justified by tradition.

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