Patriarch Bartholomew. Photo: RIA Novosti / Sergey Pyatakov
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said that soon will grant autocephaly to Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported.
Such a statement Bartholomew did after Sunday services in the Church of St. Phocas Masaharu in Istanbul, referring to the Consul General of Ukraine in Istanbul Alexander Hamano. Video of the speech of the Patriarch posted on the page of the Patriarchate in the social network Facebook.
Turning first to the Czech theologian present at the Liturgy, Bartholomew said that the Church of Czech lands and Slovakia, the newest member of the Autocephalous Churches, the Patriarchate of Constantinople declared its autocephaly (administrative independence from other churches. — Approx. ed.) in 1998, and now it is “under the love and protection of our Patriarchate.”
“Now it was the turn of Ukraine, which will receive the status of autocephaly, after a short time, I hope, despite the existing counter, and it will, because it is her right,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch.
He added that Kiev has the right to receive such status. In addition, Bartholomew recalled that the autocephaly granted to all new Orthodox Churches — starting with Russia in the XVI century, to the Church of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Patriarch underlined that the Orthodox Church of Constantinople are not afraid of the threats but did not explain what kind of threats there is a speech.
“I recently said in a sermon that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not in danger, is not afraid of threats, but steadily performs according to the Holy canons of their mission,” he continued.
Bartholomew said that these rights were given by the Ecumenical Councils and will be fulfilled “in the case of Ukraine and wherever else need be.”
The situation with autocephaly
Now in Ukraine operates the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is considered a self-governing Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. In addition, on the territory of Ukraine operate unrecognized by the world Orthodox Church structures — “Kyivan Patriarchate” and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
Earlier the UOC-MP has repeatedly reported on cases of harassment of priests and seizures of Orthodox churches.
Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko tries to achieve recognition of non-canonical religious structures and creation on their basis one local Autocephalous Church in Ukraine. Earlier, the Patriarchate of Constantinople “in preparation for the granting of autocephaly” was appointed its Exarch in Kyiv, which caused the indignation of the representatives of the UOC, who called his invasion of the canonical territory of other Local Churches.
The Russian Orthodox Church, in turn, went to the actual “break diplomatic relations” with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In particular, the Synod of the Russian Church decided to cease commemoration of the Patriarch Bartholomew during the Patriarch’s divine services in and out of structures, where preside the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church with Constantinople was in this crisis only once in all its more than thousand-year history.