Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew expressed his certainty that, concerning the clergy issue of Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate did «the right thing, the fair thing».
During his speech at the Divine Liturgy in Fener on Friday, which was celebrated in memory of Saint Grigorios Theologos, Mr. Bartholomew mentioned that the Ecumenical Patriarchate restored historical justice by granting the Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.
As he characteristically stated, the people of Ukraine, without being the ones to blame, for 300 years were cast out as outsiders, in relation to other Orthodox Churches. «Why? Why Filaret of Moscow was condemned? Only because he asked for the Autocephaly of his Church. Nothing else. He didn’t deviate from our dogma, nor he betrayed our Orthodox faith, but when Ukraine having 40-50 million people became an independent state, Filaret of Kiev, as a representative of the people’s consciousness, asked the Autocephaly».
Mr. Bartholomew emphasized that it was a very wrong move to ask the Autocephaly from Moscow. «He should have asked it from the Mother Church of Constantinople, which has gifted them with Christianity, baptism, civilization, the Cyrillic alphabet, and which has been the only one to grant them this right and the prerogative of granting them the Autocephaly as well. In any case, he asked it from Moscow, and instead of a response, instead of emancipation, he was dismissed and then excommunicated».
Ecumenical Patriarch added in his speech that Ecumenical Patriarchate restored the order of things, since «we offered again society balance, normality, we embraced affectionately our children there as a true Mother».
He also talked about a systematical misinformation and propaganda, which is coming «from the North» and suggested that people shouldn’t believe what they hear.
Ecumenical Patriarch, at the occasion of Archbishop Helias of Tartos’ presence, of the Autonomous Church of Estonia, mentioned that this Church as well, which is autonomous since 1923, has been repealed during the Soviet regime of Stalin and Moscow embodied it as a province in the Patriarch of Moscow.
When communism collapsed in Baltic countries, the Church of Estonia asked the restoration of its’ prerogative, and Constantinople responded positively to this request, stated Mr. Bartholomew. «Again, at this time Moscow had been displeased and disturbed Communion with us, the same way it did at present time. Fortunately, that disturbance of Communion didn’t last long, and I hope that it won’t last long now, as well».
He finally underlined that «whatever is being said, written or done, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, having a well-known experience and wisdom of centuries, is always doing the right thing, the fair thing».