For those unaware: Head of Phanar deems OCU as a blessing for Ukraine

Epiphany Dumenko, Patriarch Bartholomew and Petro Poroshenko. Photo:

Patriarch Bartholomew is confident that the autocephaly of the OCU is a finalized church event, its recognition being a contribution to the unity of Orthodoxy.

On November 2, 2020, the head of Phanar, Patriarch Bartholomew, said that "ecclesiastical life in Ukraine is beneficially affected” by the granting of the Tomos to the OCU, reports Orthodox Times edition.

According to him, “In the context of my responsibility for the stability and unity of Orthodoxy, the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine is included. This happened with the absolute certainty that this is how normal order is restored and that ecclesiastical life in Ukraine is beneficially affected."

The head of the Phanar is convinced that "the questioning of the canonical tradition and the basic ecclesiastical principles in the name of extra-ecclesiastical interests, shakes the foundations of ecclesiastical unity and turns the Orthodox Church into a secular foundation, a confederation where the individual now dominates to the detriment of the whole, to the detriment of the functioning of the whole body of the Church."

He is confident that the recognition of the OCU by Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus "is an essential contribution to the cause of the unity of Orthodoxy as a practical consequence and expression of its ecclesiology."

According to Patriarch Bartholomew, "the Ukrainian autocephaly is a finalized ecclesiastical event and the only ecclesiologically consistent attitude is its recognition by the Orthodox Primate Brothers, as happened with the Autocephaly of all the younger brothers of the Orthodox Churches, from the Church of Russia."

He also stressed that he and Archbishop Chrysostomos share common views: "At this point I would like to refer to Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, with whom we have common visions and we join in the efforts to highlight the essential contribution of Orthodoxy in dealing with the great contemporary problems."

The head of Phanar believes that "the denial of dialogue and the barren introversion ostensibly to save the purity of tradition, favor the development of fundamentalist tendencies in the body of Orthodoxy."

Referring to the recognition by the Archbishop of Cyprus of the OCU, he stressed that the disputes over this decision by the archbishops of the Church of Cyprus "reveal not their sensitivity, the normal order and unity of Orthodoxy, but rather their indifference to them for the sake of other expediencies."

"We remind them – fraternally – of the decisive role played by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the years 2005, 2006 at the invitation and request of the Church of Cyprus to settle in accordance with the regular institutions the issue of the succession of the ailing Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostos I and the role of the Patriarchate in other similar cases for the settlement of internal problems of the churches of Bulgaria, Jerusalem and not only.”

He is convinced that "the primary coordinating and mediating role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is irreplaceable and absolutely necessary."

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the head of Phanar stated that in the spirit of pastoral sensitivity, he “temporarily tolerates” the existence of the UOC hierarchs not as local ruling bishops, but only as titular ones.

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