Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew referred to the granting of the Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine via a message, on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch.
Speaking to the Cypriot channel RIK, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated that “in the context of my responsibility for the stability and unity of Orthodoxy, the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine is included. This happened with the absolute certainty that this is how normal order is restored and that ecclesiastical life in Ukraine is beneficially affected. The questioning of the canonical tradition and the basic ecclesiastical principles in the name of extra-ecclesiastical interests, shakes the foundations of ecclesiastical unity and turns the Orthodox Church into a secular foundation, a confederation where the individual now dominates to the detriment of the whole, to the detriment of the functioning of the whole body of the Church.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch added that the recognition of the Ukrainian Autocephaly by Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and recently just a few days ago, by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, “is an essential contribution to the cause of the unity of Orthodoxy as a practical consequence and expression of its ecclesiology”.
He emphasized that “the Ukrainian autocephaly is a finalized ecclesiastical event and the only ecclesiologically consistent attitude is its recognition by the Orthodox Primate Brothers, as happened with the Autocephaly of all the younger brothers of the Orthodox Churches, from the Church of Russia.
Indifference to the unity of Orthodoxy for the sake of other people’s interests by the Archbishops of the Church of Cyprus
The Ecumenical Patriarch made a special reference in his message to the Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, with whom, as he said, they share common visions.
“At this point I would like to refer to Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus with whom we have common visions and we join in the efforts to highlight the essential contribution of Orthodoxy in dealing with the great contemporary problems”, said the Ecumenical Patriarch.
As he characteristically emphasized, “the denial of dialogue and the barren introversion ostensibly to save the purity of tradition, favor the development of fundamentalist tendencies in the body of Orthodoxy.
This was the message of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church, in the preparation of which our brother, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, bravely contributed.
Unforgettable is the support he offered us during the meetings of the Orthodox Primates and in the case of the Pan-Orthodox unity”.
Referring to the recent decision of the Archbishop of Cyprus for the recognition of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, he stressed that “the disputes over his decision to officially recognize the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church by brothers, Archbishops of the Church of Cyprus, reveal not their sensitivity, the normal order and unity of Orthodoxy, but rather their indifference to them for the sake of other expediencies.
We remind them – fraternally – of the decisive role played by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the years 2005, 2006 at the invitation and request of the Church of Cyprus to settle in accordance with the regular institutions the issue of the succession of the ailing Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostos I and the role of the Patriarchate in other similar cases for the settlement of internal problems of the churches of Bulgaria, Jerusalem and not only”.
The primary coordinating and mediating role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is irreplaceable and absolutely necessary, concluded the Ecumenical Patriarch.