28-02-2019

No Pan-Orthodox approval needed to issue the Tomos, Patriarch Bartholomew says

At his residence in Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew answered the questions of the media outlet Politika about his decision to grant autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine. The Ecumenical Patriarch stressed that Ukraine received autocephaly in the same way as all other churches did, including the Russian church.

The Patriarch reminded that the issue of Ukraine was long-pending. The Church-Mother did not suddenly decide to solve some fictional problem. The fact that some persons took a liking to the idea of ​​split, and they were not interested in solving a huge persisting church problem, did not free Constantinople from responsibility for its solution.

“As for the provision of autocephaly with the consent of other Orthodox Churches, this did not happen, because it is not a tradition in our Church. All the Tomoses of the autocephaly that were granted to the newly created autocephalous churches (Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Athens, Warsaw, Tirana and Presov) were provided by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and this was not preceded by any agreement or negotiation at the Pan-Orthodox level. And it is really surprising that the Church, which received its Tomos for autocephaly only with the signature of the Patriarch of Constantinople, is now asking how it is possible that the Ecumenical Patriarchate unilaterally gives Tomos of autocephaly to Ukraine. The answer is obvious: in the same way and in the same manner as he has already given church independence to other newly created Churches,” the First Hierarch emphasized.

The Patriarch reiterated, “There are no more schismatics in Ukraine, as the Church has restored communion with them. And we consider the great blessing of the grace of the All-Holy Spirit that so many millions of people have again joined the canonical Church. If you look at the documents of the Ecumenical Councils, you will see that what the Constantinople Church has done is not a new, unprecedented act.”

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