UOC hierarch: Phanar wants to speak in EU on behalf of World Orthodoxy
Phanar is trying to position itself in the EU as a leader of all Orthodox Christians worldwide, which causes disagreement on the part of other Local Churches.
Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis and head of the Representation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to European International Organizations, believes that the head of Phanar wants to single-handedly represent the fullness of Orthodoxy in the EU. Vladyka Victor wrote about this in his telegram channel.
The bishop noted that on February 20, addressing Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) on the occasion of his appointment to the Chalcedonian See, Patriarch Bartholomew stated that “the Orthodox testimony to European institutions in Brussels”, carried out by Metropolitan Emmanuel on behalf of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, "was violated due to the incoherent creation of many branches representing various Orthodox Autocephalous Churches."
According to Bishop Victor, "such narrative by Patriarch Bartholomew once again underlines his own papal ambitions, according to which he believes that the jurisdiction of Constantinople extends to all territories outside the Local Orthodox Churches."
Vladyka recalled that Offices and Representations of the Constantinople, Russian, Cypriot, Romanian, Greek, and Bulgarian Churches were established at the international institutions of the European Union, and in 2017 there was also established a Representation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to European International Organizations.
In addition, back in 2010, the Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches in the European Union was created, which is called upon to form a common position on various issues calling for "Orthodox testimony".
“Despite this fact, the Church of Constantinople is trying to position itself as a leader of all the Orthodox of the world. This causes disagreement on the part of representatives of other Local Churches, each having its own separate voice in the activity of the aforementioned committee,” said Bishop Victor.
In addition, according to the hierarch, “the representatives of the Greek Churches in the episcopal dignity even had frictions with Constantinople due to the fact that it performed divine services in churches in the premises of their missions in Brussels, where the Patriarchate of Constantinople has a diocese headed by Metropolitan Athenagoras and which includes the Benelux countries.”
Vladyka Victor believes that “while voicing such theses, Patriarch Bartholomew asserts that in his opinion, only Constantinople has the right to speak on behalf of the fullness of the Ecumenical Church, indicates the desire for unquestioning and sole leadership on the part of Phanar in the Orthodox world, which was repeatedly opposed by other Local Orthodox Churches, while in his words about the 'incoherent' creation of representations of other Churches in the EU, Patriarch Bartholomew solidifies his disdain for other Local Churches.”
According to the bishop, if Patriarch Bartholomew were sincerely concerned about the unity of the Orthodox Church and the fate of Orthodoxy in general, “then he would gladly perceive the presence of other Local Churches in all international institutions without exception,” because “the common, conciliar position makes the voice of the Orthodox Church more powerful, since the preaching of the Gospel and the ‘Orthodox testimony’ requires synergy."
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, according to the head of Phanar, the Local Churches hinder the Orthodox testimony of Orthodoxy in Europe to be borne by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.