Head of Phanar to the Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia: Do not provoke!
Pat. Bartholomew sent an angry message to Abp. Mikhail of Prague, in which he threatened with having troubles for inconsistency of the Statute with Tomos of Autocephaly.
On February 1, 2021, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople sent a letter to Archbishop Mikhail of Prague, in which he expressed his dissatisfaction with the statement of Archbishop Mikhail on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, reports Credo.press.
Patriarch Bartholomew stressed that he considers the autocephalous status of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, received from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1951, to be “imaginary”, because “this sister Church (ROC – Ed.) never had and does not have canonical rights [to grant autocephaly], because it received its own status from the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the only grantor of autocephaly in the 16th century, like all later new autocephalous Churches."
As proof of the invalidity of the autocephaly received from the ROC, the head of Phanar names the position of Archbishop Dorotheos, who "felt the need at the end of the last century to ask for canonical autocephaly from the Mother – our Church of Constantinople – for the hierarchy, clergy and people of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia."
“In turn, the Mother Church then answered with love, and so you entered into communion with the canonical Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, all [mutually] recognized, and received the honor of participating in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete,” writes the head of Phanar.
However, in his opinion, the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, “contrary to the agreements, continues to this day, under various pretexts, to create obstacles and not respond to the natural demand of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to bring the Statute of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia into compliance with the terms of the Tomos on the granting of canonical autocephaly, which cannot remain without unpleasant consequences."
In this regard, Patriarch Bartholomew reminded Archbishop Mikhail that “twenty years ago your Church did not want to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its illegal ‘autocephaly’, but ten years ago your Church tried to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its imaginary autocephaly, of which we testified in writing to Your Primate, His Beatitude Mr. Christophoros and Archbishop Nicholas."
“Then we exchanged Letters sent in copies to Your Eminence, but if we express our dissatisfaction and reproaches to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in connection with the inexplicable and unacceptable intention to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the alleged autocephaly, then anyone can consider your Church unsettled and anti-canonical, [being] subordinate to the Holy Church of Russia,” assures the head of Phanar.
He also noted that the desire of Archbishop Mikhail "to celebrate this negative, clearly non-canonical event at a regularly established time interval, insignificant for the Most Holy Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, raises doubts about your honesty and sincerity, at least in relation to the Mother Church of Constantinople."
"It’s about time to study the history and canon law of our Holy Orthodox Church. Do not provoke!" exhorted the Phanar head the Primate of the OCCLS and concluded his letter by “invoking God’s mercy and enlightening on His Eminence Archbishop Mikhail”.