Phanar head: All Churches must recognize OCU, there's no other way to unity

24 August 2021 01:46
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Kyiv. Photo: Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Kyiv. Photo:

Patriarch Barthrolomew said in Kyiv that anyone who threatens to break off Eucharistic communion with him distorts Orthodox ecclesiology.

The unity of all Local Churches is possible only through their recognition of the OCU, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said during the reception in Kyiv, according to the official website of the OCU.

Patriarch Bartholomew assures that "Mother Church of Constantinople has always been deeply concerned about the church situation of the Ukrainian people," and the legalization of the UOC-KP and the UAOC "in 2019 was primarily a pastoral concern for spiritual justice and freedom."

According to the head of Phanar, "the division of the body of the Orthodox Church into three separate institutions in Ukraine was a deep wound for the communion of the entire fullness of the Orthodox Church ... In this sense, we are convinced that the granting of autocephaly will ultimately help resolve the issue of unity."

Patriarch Bartholomew said that the Phanar gave the Tomos to the Ukrainian schismatics "in order to overcome the schism and promote the unity of the Orthodox in Ukraine." Whether this goal has been achieved now, he did not specify.

He reported. that this decision was weighed and deliberate and was made "in order to respond to the numerous appeals of the presidents, authorities, the Verkhovna Rada and citizens of Ukraine, received before the convocation of the Holy and Great Council in 2016."

Patriarch Bartholomew believes that "requests for full canonical independence of the Orthodox of Ukraine", which even earlier – in November 1991, were sent by the Ukrainian bishops to the late Patriarch Alexy of Moscow (obviously, this is about Filaret's appeal – Ed.) and were rejected, were not canonical because "Patriarch Alexy had to report these requests to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the only Throne in the Orthodox world that is canonically authorized to grant autocephalous status."

The head of Phanar said in his speech that the granting of the Tomos to the Ukrainian schismatics was "the only realistic solution to the problem." "Only the recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly by all Orthodox Churches, and not any other position ... will contribute to pan-Orthodox unity," he said.

But those "who threaten to break off the Eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate cut themselves off from the tree trunk of the Orthodox Church," because "the Church cannot allow the distortion of Orthodox ecclesiology for the sake of low motives," he said.

As the UOJ reported, the Chancellor of the UOC said that Phanar is forming an "Eastern Pope model of Orthodoxy".

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