UOC hierarch on Phanar head's words: He "doesn't care" about Church unity

01 November 2021 13:14
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Photo: golos.ua Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Photo: golos.ua

Bp Victor is sure that “I don’t care” words by Pat Bartholomew on the exclusion of his name from the diptychs of the ROC will be recorded in the history of the Church.

A person who cares about the unity of the Church cannot have an I-couldn't-care-less attitude. Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshivka, the vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's Representation to European International Organizations, wrote about this in his tg-channel in response to the earlier comment of the head of Phanar regarding the exclusion of his name from the diptychs of the Russian Orthodox Church.

According to the hierarch of the UOC, what the head of Phanar said “unambiguously indicates that the whole situation around the formation of the OCU was not dictated by anything other than personal ambitions,” while the granting of the Tomos of autocephaly was based “on the phrase he pronounced rather than the canons of the Church."

“Because a person who cares about the unity of the Church, fulfilling the words of Christ ‘let all be one’, cannot say ‘I don't care’,” noted Bishop Victor. “The patriarch, who claims to be the head of the Church, cannot ‘give a damn’ to the position of another Local Church, by the way, the most numerous, as he would repeatedly state. After all, any Christian cannot speak like that about Eucharistic unity. For if we translate the words of Patriarch Bartholomew into a slightly different plane, then what will we have? An appaling blasphemy that has nothing to do with Christianity."

It is dreadful to think that with the same words Patriarch Bartholomew can answer the question of how he relates to the fact that the Body of Christ suffers because of the split caused through his fault, the hierarch added.

“Yet, we DO care,” he stressed. “Because ‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it’ (1 Cor. 12:26). Therefore, no matter how much Patriarch Bartholomew tries to show his ‘I-couldn't-care-less’ attitude to the greater half of the Orthodox world, we see only one thing – a suffering and lost person who, by his words and actions, is increasingly moving away from Christ."

Bishop Victor added that he and millions of Orthodox Christians worldwide are far from “giving a damn” to the God-commanded unity, hence “we will continue to pray that everyone may be one in Christ Jesus, pray ‘for everyone and everything’, including about the admonition of Patriarch Bartholomew.”

Earlier, the hierarch of the UOC stated that the head of Phanar seeks more dialogue with the RCC than with the Orthodox.

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