Polish hierarch: Autocephaly is granted with the consent of all Churches
Abp George also recalled that during the preparation for the Crete Council, documents were agreed on to grant the Tomos with the consent of the Primates of all Churches.
On November 11, 2021, the rector of the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw (Poland), Archbishop George (Pankovsky) of Wroclaw and Szczecin, recalled the words of Patriarch Bartholomew that autocephaly is granted with the consent of all Churches.
During the International Conference at the KDAiS on the topic "Catholicity of the Church: Theological, Canonical and Historical Dimensions", Archbishop George said that even when the representatives of world Orthodoxy gathered at the pre-council meetings for the preparation of the Crete Council in 2016, “there was always a mental difference in understanding many ecclesiological issues".
He also said that during the preparation for this council, "the rules for recognizing autonomy did not cause much discussion, since the Mother Church can grant autonomy only to its part located on its canonical territory".
Moreover, according to Vladyka George, when it was time to discuss the term “autocephaly”, the participants in the pre-conciliar meetings “received fragmentary materials previously agreed upon, according to which autocephaly is granted by the entire Church and with the consent of the Primates of all Local Orthodox Churches”.
“This was the starting point for our work. Since the issue of autonomy was agreed upon rather quickly and simply, many thought that the same would happen with the issue of autocephaly,” the hierarch said.
Archbishop George quoted Patriarch Bartholomew, who in an interview of January 2001 to the newspaper Nea Ellada said literally the following: “Autocephaly or autonomy is granted to the entire Church by the decision of the Ecumenical Council. In cases where, for various reasons, it is impossible to convene an Ecumenical Council, the Ecumenical Patriarch, as the coordinator of all Orthodox Churches, grants autocephaly or autonomy, subject to the consent of all Local Orthodox Churches."
Vladyka also said that after the Council of Crete, His Beatitude Savva, Primate of the Polish Orthodox Church, stated the following regarding the topic of autocephaly:
“This question is, in principle, understandable. You just need to be consistent in it to the end. In the case of Ukraine, it was violated by the Patriarch of Constantinople. We previously agreed that the proposal to grant autocephaly is presented by the so-called Mother Church, but autocephaly is provided by all of us, the Primates. The Patriarch insists that only his signature should be on the Tomos. We can serve under his chairmanship, but everyone must sign the Tomos."
As reported earlier, Archbishop George (Pankovsky) said that today the Church is in a state of hybrid war.