Serbian hierarch: Bartholomew is not Pope, he has no power over the Church

Bishop Anthony (Pantelič) of Moravici of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Photo: Facebook page of the UOC Information Centre.

The Phanar head has no authority to grant autocephaly to one of the structures of the Local Churches, said the vicar of the Serbian Patriarch at a conference in Kyiv.

At the International Theological Conference "Catholicity of the Church: Theological, Canonical and Historical Dimensions” held at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the vicar of His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia, Bishop Anthony (Pantelič) of Moravici, said Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople does not have the same powers as the Pope, therefore he cannot make decisions on granting autocephaly to one of the structures of the Local Churches on his own, reports the UOC Information Centre on its Facebook page.

The Serbian bishop said that after the head of the Phanar granted the Tomos to the OCU, representatives of some Local Churches tried to meet with him to discuss the Ukrainian issue since such actions of Patriarch Bartholomew offend other Primates. “Patriarch Bartholomew did not consult with any of the Local Orthodox Churches. This offends other Primates of the Local Churches, and they believe that Bartholomew is the first among equals in honour, but not the first like the Pope. He has no such authority. The Ecumenical Councils and the Church Fathers say that the Patriarch of Constantinople cannot be the one who solely makes decisions such as granting autocephaly to one of the structures of the Local Churches,” said Bishop Anthony.

Also, the vicar of Patriarch Porfirije said that the Serbian Church shares with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the pain of schism. “If one part of the body hurts, then the whole body hurts, and ‘the whole body’ is the Church. If you have a toothache, then it is unpleasant for you, the whole body is ill. Also, if a schism occurs in one part of the Church, then we feel that this schism affects the entire catholicity of the Church. The catholicity of the Church is in unity,” said Bishop Anthony.

As reported, we recognize only the UOC led by His Beatitude Onuphry, the Serbian Patriarch said.

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