LAST UPDATE: 19:47
A tough response was given by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and the letter he sent to the primates of the Orthodox Churches for consultation “on preserving unity in the Eucharistic communion of the Orthodox Church.”
In his letter, the Ecumenical Patriarch expresses his surprise that the letter sent by the Patriarch of Jerusalem is for the first time written in English and not in Greek, as is common in the correspondence between them.
“To begin with, we are surprised, not pleasantly, by the fact that for the first time in the centuries-long history of the two Patriarchates, the ‘Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem’ corresponds with the Ecumenical Patriarch in a foreign language and not our mother tongue, as if he has suddenly stopped feeling consanguineous and that he belongs in the same historic and suffering Nation… What has led your Beatitude to sent us this other than honourable circular letter in English instead of following the centuries-old standard correspondence between our Churches?”
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew then reminded Patriarch Theophilos who presides over the Orthodox Primates and who has the right to convene a Pan-Orthodox meeting (Synod).
“It is needless to remind you of the position your Patriarchate holds in the rank of the Dyptichs of the Most Holy Orthodox Church, as well as the fact that, in the canonical order, which has always and until recently been respected by all Orthodox Churches, the Pan-Orthodox Synods of the Primates have been always summoned by the Ecumenical Patriarch, who presides over these Synods. What kind of unity does your initiative want to serve, if the First of the Orthodox Primates in rank is absent from the Synod you propose?”
Finally, after stressing that the Eucharistic communion between the Churches was never interrupted, with the exception of the Church of Moscow, he called on Patriarch Theophilos to recall this non-canonical initiative that serves foreign purposes and undermines the Ecumenical Throne.