Phanar head: Those who deny our rights deny the very structure of Orthodoxy

Patriarch Bartholomew. Photo:

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople reiterated that the granting of autocephaly to the OCU was "ecclesiologically and canonically correct."

Those who deny the obvious fact and question the rights and obligations of the Ecumenical Patriarchate doubt the very structure of Orthodoxy. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said this in an interview with Avvenire, commenting on the situation with the granting of autocephaly to the OCU.

According to the head of the Phanar, "in the Ukrainian issue, we acted the same as in other cases of granting autocephaly."

“We followed the tradition of Orthodoxy, laid down by centuries-long church practice,” he said. “Let me recall that Constantinople has already granted autocephaly to nine other Local Churches before Ukraine. Today, of course, some deny this obvious fact due to their selfish goals. But those who question the rights and obligations of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in fact, question their very existence and identity, the very structure of Orthodoxy."

Patriarch Bartholomew emphasized that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the first Throne of Orthodoxy with centuries of experience and loyalty to the canonical tradition, which “has always, within the framework of its obligations, fought for the preservation of pan-Orthodox unity” and “took care of the canonical granting of the status of self-government” to the new Local Churches so that they had the opportunity “ to regulate their internal affairs on their own, while remaining in close communion with their Mother Church of Constantinople."

The same thing, according to the head of Phanar, happened with Ukraine, and the granting of autocephaly to the OCU "was not only ecclesiologically and canonically correct, but also the only real solution to the problem."

“And, of course, it did not serve, as some believe, political expediency or even geopolitical interests. It was an act of responsibility of the Mother Church to the millions of our Orthodox brothers who found themselves outside the Church without any fault," added Patriarch Bartholomew.

In addition, the head of the Phanar is convinced, "those who doubt the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Orthodoxy are introducing a new precarious ecclesiology."

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the head of Phanar is pleased with such a result of granting the Tomos to the OCU as an increase in the number of Ukrainian pilgrims to Turkey.

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