Conflicts Threatening an Orthodox Ecumenical Council

Patriarch Bartholomew

Patriarch Bartholomew

Source: Greek Reporter

A fierce conflict between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Moscow, that may lead to a new schism, threatens a forthcoming Orthodox Ecumenical Council.

The reason is the effort of the Russian Church to degrade the primacy of Constantinople in the Orthodox world and to expand in China and Japan.

This expansive strategy has clear political extensions of a geopolitical character, with the assistance of president Putin.

Patriarch Bartholomew reacted intensely, sending a letter to the Patriarch of Moscow, Kyrill, and two others, of informative character to Archbishop Ieronymos.

According to the letter to Kyrill, the facts that caused the reaction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are: the suppression of the contribution of the Church of Constaninople to the Christianization of Kievan Rus, the degradation of the Patriarchate’s delegation, the improper enhancement of the “autocephalous” Orthodox Church in America, and the unannounced presentation of a text that disapproved the violence in the Middle East. This had already happened in 2011, at the Council of high-ranking Bishops of Orthodox Churches of the Middle East at the Phanar.

The interest of the Russian Church for proselytism in China and Japan is not only religious, but also political. The text concerning the violence in the Middle East is included in that framework.

It seems that the Tsaric subconscious comes to the surface, connected to the old theory of  ”Third Rome” and this, despite being refuted, consists the main target. The opulent grand events contribute to the gold wrapping.

All the above have already caused serious side-effects. Most important of which, is the danger of cancellation of the Orthodox Ecumenical Council.


 

Comments

  1. Why is Patriarch Bartholomew publically criticising the Russian Church? If he is serious about his claim to seniority in Orthodoxy, surely his first concern should be for the maintainance of Orthodox unity. Reports, like the one above merely demonstrate disunity which does a dis-service to the Church. We are supposed to be witnessing for Christ in the world. When the world sees us constantly quarrelling among ourselves, this makes our task so much harder. We need our spiritual fathers to set an example of “oneness of mind, brotherly love and piety” as it says in the Litany.

  2. Primacy of Constantinople? The word “autocephalous” for OCA being put in quotations?

    Stop emailing me.

  3. Stop emailing me this garbage. There is no EP primacy, it’s a neopapist fantisy and we see how that idea led the west into apostacy.

  4. WALTER DOLBIN says:

    PATRIARCHATE BARTHOLOMEW should recognize PATRIARCHATE OF UKRAINE K>P CHURCH OUR BELOVED PATRIARCHATE FILARET >THIS WOULD MAKE HIME STRONGER IN THE WORLD ORTHODOX >AND I WOULD MAKE THE MOSCOW KIRIL WEAK AND PUT HIM I HIS PLACE > THANKS PS HE WOULD LOOSE ALL THE CHURCHES IN UKRAINE

  5. WALTER DOLBIN says:

    THE RUSSIAN CHURCH HAS 8000 CHURCHES IN YOU UKRAINE .WHEN THE KP CHURCH PATRIARCHE FILARET IS REGONIZED BY PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW >>> KIRIL WILL LOOSE THEM>>

  6. On the other hand, the “primacy” of Constantinople is, itself, merely an administrative decision of a Council, one made on the basis of the political and economic realities of centuries ago. Likewise, this “primacy” was not a Roman Catholic-style monarchy.

    • Fr Anthony says:

      Bryan, The primacy issue is not simply one of administration. Those sees which were established by apostles were held in great esteem by the early Church. The sees founded by Peter (Antioch, Rome) and Andrew, and Mark, and James were all honored. Rome, especially, as it was the capital of the Roman Empire and the place of martyrdom for Peter and Paul. When Constantine wanted to transfer the Capital of the Empire to a new, Christian City, New Rome, its bishop was equal in rank and second in primacy to that of Rome. Greeks are East Romans! The Russian Church came into being almost a thousand years later! Their Orthodoxy was received from the Greeks.

      Needless to say, there should be mutual respect and forbearance between the two Patriarchates.

  7. Joel Levitt says:

    I believe that perhaps there should be better quiet diplomacy among the Patriarchs. I know they
    all have tough jobs as it is without having internal Orthodox politics to get in the mainstream news
    media to discredit their Orthodox witness to the world. May we all pray for them ALL!

    Joel N. Levitt, 428 Williams Street, Denver, CO 80209

  8. I’m not sure the Ecumenical Patriarchate technically exists anymore, any more than the Bishopric of Rome. “Patriarch” Bartholemew owes his job to Moslem Turks, who are on the verge of eliminating Orthodoxy from their country. Meanwhile, what country has done more for Orthodoxy than Russia? It’s time to recognize the inevitable–that Constantinople is dead, Phanar a puppet, and Moscow the Third Rome which shall never fall!

  9. Fr. Basil Papanikolaou says:

    The real problem is and has been all along a three-letter word, transliterated from the Greek, EGO! Our political leaders have been able to handle it a lot better for our relative peace than our church hierarchy. No matter where you look in our Orthodox Church, egotistical attributes prevail. Period!

    • Jim Rentas says:

      Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy. Everything else is a waste of the time we have here. Pray. And again I say, let us pray to the Lord. He loves us and we need to love Him and one another. Amen!

  10. h, keith mephodie sterzing says:

    Beloved of The Lord,

    Rather than taking a leadership role to strengthen and unify our Orthodox Catholic Church around the world, these allegations appear to be a desperate attempt by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to retain as much control as it can over other Orthodox Catholic churches! China and Japan border Russia and the Russian Church was the first to send Orthodox Catholic missionaries to China and Japan. All the parishes there should be under the Church in Russia until those churches are large enough and strong enough to warrant autocephalous status. The Church in Japan already has autonomous status. The Church in America certainly deserves autocephalous status and that has already been recognized by a number of the other autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Churches. The Ecumenical Patriarchate needs to adopt a more ecumenical view of our Church as a whole and a more realistic one!

    • Keith is right. The letter is an embarrassment unworthy of official channels, anachronistically befuddled and desperate in tone. I cannot believe the Phanar would publish such an unhelpful and undignified screed. Since it is merely reported speech, I will disregard it as scurrilous rumor and inflated scandal, an artifact of a faulty news media apparatus.

      • Marc Deneau says:

        Fr. John, I agree with you about what you say on scurrilous Rumor and inflated scandal. For all those interested, I found an official news release on the Moscow Patriarchate website on the inter-orthodox relations. Click on the link below and you will see that relations between the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Moscow Patriarch are good and far from being tense and on the verge of a schism. I found absolutely no information, on either the Ecumenical Patriarcate website or the Russian Patriarchate website, that mentions any bad relations between the two. Let us, the OCL, be careful on what we post on our website. Let us stay away from sensationalism that can only generate panic/insecurity. Let us stick to the facts and promote/pray for peace and unity in Christ. Let Orthodoxy be a witness to the world!
        Link to Moscow Patriarchate article: https://mospat.ru/en/2013/10/07/news92161/

  11. In the meantime Orthodoxy should be the largest Christian Religion in North America and people here don’t even know who we are.
    Our Patriarchs must do whatever is necessary for Orthodoxy to flourish both here and abroad.
    Every human being deserves Our Holy Orthodox Faith!

  12. “The Russian Church wants to expand into China and Japan” ??????? I hatye to say this, but is somebody smoking something illegal? The Russian Church had missionaries in China in the early 18th century, bnefoire the EP knew China existed! St Nicholas of Japan, a Russian Orthodos missikonary, emabarlked on his mission in the early 20th century, converting many Japanese, whjich was the beginnings of the now existing Japanese Orthodox Church, autonomous under the Russian Church. And the EP wants to kick Russia out of both countries and impose its jursidiction there NOW because … ??? Basicaslly, a) because it says so, and b) to gain currency with Rome as “the Head of the Orthodox Church.” BUT the EP will allow a “United Self Governing American Orthodox Church?” You think so? Amazing! Simpy, amazing!

  13. George Livsey says:

    It is very sad to witness the squabbles over jurisdiction continue as our brothers, sisters and their children die daily in the middle east and yet all our bishops care about is their own “honor”, “territories” and historical prerogatives. Shame on the whole lot. I pray that we laity provide an example that our hierarchs follow instead of fighting like vultures over corpses. This is the “witness” they provide to the whole world? Bhold how they love one another. Truly sad.

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