Only Novichok could prevent Ukraine from obtaining autocephaly

30 July 2018, 10:07 | Ecumenical Patriarchate | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew supports the decision to establish an independent Church in Ukraine, and the Kremlin has no arguments left to influence Constantinople.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew supports the decision to establish an independent Church in Ukraine, and the Kremlin has no arguments left to influence Constantinople.


The BBC reported this, citing the sources in the Ukrainian Church and political circles which met with Bartholomew in the course of last year, according to Obozrevatel.

The interlocutors claim that during the personal meetings the Patriarch assured them that he supported the decision to grant the Tomos of autocephaly.

In turn, the sources close to the Patriarchate of Constantinople claim that Bartholomew has long supported the recognition of the Ukrainian Church. However, for many years, he was held back by an agreement with the Russian Orthodox Church.

“In 2008, under President Yushchenko, Ukraine was already close to receiving the Tomos of autocephaly. At that time, an agreement was reached: Bartholomew does not interfere with the situation in Ukraine if the Russian Orthodox Church attends the Pan-Orthodox Council – the congress of all Orthodox Churches whose organization was Bartholomew’s lifework,” said the BBC's interlocutor.

However, in 2016, the Russian Orthodox Church ignored the Pan-Orthodox Council, arguing that some Orthodox Churches refused to participate in the congress, which means that the council cannot be called “Pan-Orthodox”. In Constantinople, some believe that the ROC forced three more Churches to boycott the event.

“In 2016, all agreements were broken by Moscow itself. What will Constantinople do after that, if not return to Ukraine?” asked the source.

“Patriarch Bartholomew makes everyone hostage to his personal grudge against Patriarch Kirill,” said a source familiar with the negotiation process.

According to BBC, the Kremlin has no arguments left to influence Constantinople.

“Moscow can now influence Bartholomew only physically. The Novichok – ‘newbie’ is everywhere,” chaffs the source close to Constantinople.

According to another interlocutor, acquainted with the negotiation process, indeed, in recent months the security of Patriarch Bartholomew has been increased.

As reported by RISU, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, on July 28, in a speech at the celebrations on the occasion of the 1,030th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine, emphasized that the Ecumenical Patriarchate “will not leave his Ukrainian children unprotected in the face of their fate”.

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