No rush: Phanar says why they recognized Filaret's anathema for 20 years

Patriarch Bartholomew. Photo:

The head of Phanar said that the anathema to Filaret Denisenko was “disciplinary” and hence he received “forgiveness”.

On December 6, 2021, during a conversation with Ukrainian journalists in Istanbul, the head of Phanar told why he had “reinstated” Mikhail Denisenko, with whose anathema he'd agreed since it was pronounced by the Russian Church, viz. since 1997, the Left Bank newspaper reports.

He said that "Metropolitans Makariy and Filaret (at that time the leaders of the UAOC and the UOC-KP, respectively – Ed.) appealed to the Ecumenical Throne to review their case, on which they were anathematized", since "there is a possibility of appeal in the ecclesiastical law: after a decision is made at the level of the Local Church, those who disagree with it can turn to the Ecumenical Throne to reconsider the matter."

The head of Phanar said he had sent letters to Makariy and Filaret, explaining that "the reasons why they were condemned were not related to faith or dogma, but were disciplinary." That is why, says Patriarch Bartholomew, "the metropolitans received ‘forgiveness’."

He is deeply convinced that all Orthodox Christians can use the right of appeal, regardless of the jurisdiction to which they belong.

At the same time, the representative of Phanar, Archimandrite Gregory, who was present at the meeting with Ukrainian journalists, said that the decision to legalize Ukrainian schismatics was not dictated by the opting-out of the Russian Church to attend the Cretan Council in 2016, but matured much earlier.

Commenting on the "reinstatement" of Makariy and Filaret (whose anathema imposed by the Russian Church had been recognized by Phanar since 1997), Gregory stated that "the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not make decisions hastily." However, neither Patriarch Bartholomew nor Archimandrite Gregory was able to tell how the ex-priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Makariy Maletich, who does not have the Episcopal rank, received "forgiveness" as the metropolitan.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that according to Patriarch Bartholomew, Moscow is angry with the transitions from the UOC to the OCU.

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