On Which Matters Moscow and Constantinople Now Differ

Originally appeared at: Byzantine Texas

In the newspaper a thorough analysis is made of the homily addressed by Patriarch Bartholomew to a group of Ukrainian Supreme Rada members who were on a visit to Constantinople. The patriarchal address is focused on the notorious Ukrainian problem. A great deal in this speech is reprehensible. In my article here, I will confine myself to its passage, which I believe to be a deception of those who do not possess facts about this unprecedented ecclesiological scandal:

“The unity of Orthodoxy by no means is put to test because the Ecumenical Patriarch responded to a request of Orthodox Ukrainians. The Tomos of Autocephaly was an act of responsibility of the Mother Church…”

In my previous article in Orthodoxos Typos (“The Orthodox Press”) entitled “Are you are not ashamed, a Patriarch with no fear of God?” I considered another Patriarch Bartholomew’s defiant misconception concerning this topic. At that time, in his interview he said that the pseudo-autocephaly he granted to his personal Kiev pseudo-church consisting of outcasts, self-consecrators, the anathematized and schismatics is similar to already existing other autocephalies. At that time, I pointed to over ten essential differences and I do likewise now by setting forth even more facts than before, doubtless and irrefutable: 

1) Because of the Ukrainian problem, the unity of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with a half of the Orthodox world has been fully broken off because the Moscow Patriarchate has suspended canonical communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 

2) For this reason, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and personally the Ecumenical Patriarch have entered into a disturbing conflict with the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Moreover, this conflict continues. 

3) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, too, is in a state of complete ecclesiological rupture the new Patriarch of Serbia, Porfirije, who has accused Patriarch Bartholomew of the fact that the Ukrainian church problem is tormenting the world Orthodoxy. The actions of Constantinople in Ukraine disagree with the Tradition of the Church. Holy canons have been apparently violated (see “The Ark of Orthodoxy” of March 11, 2021). Throughout the Orthodox world, the devilish Ukrainian problem continues causing events shaking the church unity. 

4) While in Greece, after the pseudo-recognition of the Ukrainian male-autocephaly, there is a continued great temptation in the form of a variety of publications and statements made by high-level figures against the official Church. 

5) In the Patriarchate of Alexandria, a confusion has emerged in the episcopate and Patriarch Theodore has been seriously compromised by his arbitrary and uncanonical recognition of false-bishop Epifaniy as Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine. Irreparably a damage was done to his Patriarchal authority because Patriarch Theodore has fallen into contradiction and proved inconsistent as he had recognized (prior to that day) Onufriy as the canonical the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine. 

6) In the Church of Cyprus, too, the Ukrainian problem has also generated a great discord between the Archbishop and Metropolitans. 

7) The Ukrainian autocephaly subverting the canon law has also caused a great confusion on Holy Mount Athos. 

8) Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, an outstanding theologian, has concluded that the Ukrainian problem has violated the unity of the Orthodox world and to heal it he has proposed to convene a Pan-Orthodox Council. Many others, too, have asked him to convene it. 

9) Even many metropolitans, professors at theological schools and other theological scholars and well-educated clergy have expressed the opinion that in this case, precisely the uncanonical and arbitrary action of Patriarch Bartholomew has caused and continues causing multiple schisms throughout the Orthodox world.

10) In my other previous article entitled ‘Your Eminence, you are causing an alarm in Orthodoxy’, there is an information proving the fact of confusion throughout the Orthodox world. There was no response either from the Patriarch himself or from his staffers. 

11) There are already dozens of publications making a special emphasis on the fact that the Ukrainian pseudo-autocephaly continues causing seismic commotions throughout the Orthodox world.

12) Such an autocephaly together with pseudo-primate and pseudo-bishop Epifaniy has extremely aggravated the situation of the schismatic church of Kiev. 

13) For over a year now, ten autocephalous Churches have refused to recognize the Kievan misshapen new church formation.  

14) Moreover, even if eventually only one autocephalous Church does not recognize this Kievan new formation, then there will be a schism within Orthodoxy and this prematurely patriarchal autocephaly will not enjoy any authority at all. 

15) Asserting that the pseudo-autocephaly of his personal pseudo-church has not affected the church unity in any way, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has thus apparently refuted his own self. In his above-mentioned speech, he said that the situation of a church schism in Ukraine ‘was a deep wound on the body of the whole Orthodox Church’. However, since this painful situation has not only been healed by Patriarch Bartholomew’s action treacherous as it is to the whole church order and Tradition, but has also seriously deepened (there is an evidence of this), the Patriarch’s confession that the Ukrainian problem continues to be ‘a deep wound on the body of the whole Orthodox Church’ remains absolutely right. 

The sorrowful conclusion is that the patriarchal imprudence has caused many bleeding wounds on the holy body of Orthodoxy. 

Finally, it should be noted that Patriarch Bartholomew is liable to dethronement. Behold, ‘If a bishop tells a lie and it will be proved that heretics in his diocese were alleged to have converted into the Orthodox faith or they converted thanks to him, although, on the contrary, they asked for something different, let he be deposed’ (Παντελεήμονος Μητρ. Κορίνθου, Κλεὶς τῶν ἱερῶν Κανόνων, σελ. 481).

If the highest measure of spiritual punishment is stipulated for only one such lie, then how is Patriarch Bartholomew to be punished? 

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