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Ukrainian Challenges for Patriarch Bartholomew

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Author 512736
Message Jelena Rakocevic
  • Before the service in Jerusalem on January 7, the ordination of all guests who took part in it was studied to bar the OCU representatives;

  • The Church of Alexandria remains silent and neutral.

  • Some metropolitans of the Church of Greece have commemorated Epiphanius (as Chrysostom of Dabrobosan and Theoklitos of Florina) but there also are many opponents of the OCU (Metropolitans Ambrosius of Kalavryta, Seraphim of Piraeus, Seraphim of Kythira publicly outlined their positions).

    The relations between Athens and the Fanar are facing the worst period over the past few years and Patriarch Bartholomew has to be careful in negotiations with Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens if he wants to achieve the OCU recognition. Still, the Ecumenical Patriarchate's behavior in Greece is short-sighted: 1) it constantly threatens to revise the status of the New Lands in northern Greece, 2) the Fanar opened its stauropegia in Athens against the Archbishop's will, 3) the patriarchate is attempting to solve the Macedonian Church issue unilaterally. Such attitude is prompting anti-Fanari attitude in the Church of Greece. Many draw an analogy, quite disturbing for Greeks, between the OCU and the uncanonical "Church of Macedonia", which will probably be recognized by Constantinople soon.

    On coming to Athens, the patriarchate's representatives are rumored to speak to the Archbishop haughtily, like to an inferior. It is no wonder that after Fanar's stauropegia was opened in Athens, Ieronymos didn't attend the Council on Crete in 2016 for "personal reasons".

    In spring 2018, Constantinople's delegation came to Athens to inform the Church of Greece of the patriarch's intention to grant the tomos of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The patriarchate is said to have expected the recognition of its decision but the Church of Greece postponed this issue until the October session of the Synod. In October, the matter wasn't discussed. At the Holy Synod in January 2019, the discussion was delayed again. However, the recognition of the OCU can be discussed soon at an extraordinary session on the Macedonian issue.

    Now a delegation headed by Metropolitan Dimitrios of Prince Islands is to visit Athens. The official reason is to discuss the controversial agreement between the government and the Church of Greece that took 10,000 priests off payroll. Another goal may be to exert pressure on Archbishop Ieronymos over the Ukrainian and Macedonian issues. But, to reach success, Constantinople must treat the Church of Greece as an equal partner, not just as another autonomous church of the Patriarchate.

    Written in cooperation with

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    Jelena Rakocevic Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

    I graduated from University of Montenegro in 2013 with a Master in International Relations degree. Currently I live in Podgorica, Montenegro and work for the National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro. My writings were published by Delfi, (more...)
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