Let's start at the end. The Patriarchate of Constantinople is creating the 3rd great schism in Christian history by seizing authority from the ROC (Russian Orthodox Church) and granting Kyiv independence from Russian Orthodox oversight.
Putting this in perspective, the first schism in Christianity happened in 1054 when Orthodox and Catholic churches split. The second was the fallout from the Protestant Reformation which formed the Protestant churches.
This time, the major difference is finding the people behind this are no different politically than those that formulated ISIS-IGIL. This time we can watch it develop in real time. The Islamic State is an ally of Poroshenko's Ukraine and fights for Ukrainian nationalist group Pravy Sektor.
The events going on in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Turkey are today are some of the most important in recent memory and could affect the next thousand years of world history the same way the other schisms did.
Those events were earth-shattering and still shape the world we live in. The creation of a new religion based in total politics as any nationalist religion has to be would have caused Leo Strauss to bend a knee and shout Alleluia! Or it might just cause him to roll over in his grave with a face-palm.
Strauss recognized religion and political philosophy are incompatible. One bows reverently before an almighty God, the other seeks to replace Him or be His equal.
Today, the church support Bartholomew receives comes from Ukrainian nationalist churches in Ukraine, the US, and Canada. The US and Canadian churches were founded by the 1920's and 1930's nationalist church leaders the Ukrainian Kyiv Patriarchate wants to be based in.
The UOC (Ukrainian Orthodox Churches) churches in the US and Canada were historically apostate from the entire Orthodox world and could not gain recognition until the 1990s. They managed this through deals with the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew. Part of that acceptance from him was an agreement to stay out of Ukraine's affairs. This was how they came under Constantinople's wing.
The global Orthodox churches collectively represent 300 million people. But, there are fewer than 3,000 of the Orthodox faithful in Istanbul. Bartholomew has been dubbed the last Bishop of Constantinople because his local churches are disappearing so fast. During his tenure, the local church population dropped by close to 100,000 adherents.What Do Bartholomew's Local Orthodox Churches Say?
The Turkish Orthodox Church is filing a lawsuit against both the Patriarchate of Constantinople and Patriarch Bartholomew. According to the lawsuit, Bartholomew doesn't have the authority to take on what he is doing . "The head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Bartholomew (birth name Dimitrios Arhondonis) is accused of committing crimes punishable under Turkey's Criminal Code: instigation aimed at inciting hatred and hostility; negligence in performing religious duties; and instigation of a country to war," Erenerol said" according to the TASS article.
The Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 limits the powers of the Patriarchy of Constantinople to the administration of worship services for Greeks living in Turkey. Because of this and Turkish law, it was illegal for Patriarch Bartholomew to send exarchs (representatives) from his US and Canadian churches (both political nationalist churches) to pave the way for Kyiv UOC breaking away (autocephaly) from the ROC. He may well be facing a criminal trial.
On top of everything else, even his own home church sees this as a strictly a political move, not ecclesiastical in any sense.
Does Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew recognize he's in the wrong? In an August 1992-letter about the excommunication of Filaret, Bartholomew recognized what he called ROC Patriarch Alexi II's exclusive competence in the matter.
Filaret was a church breaker from the beginning of 1991. He couldn't gain the top position in the ROC so he wants to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church any way he can. Now, instead of recognizing the same authority he upheld in 1992, Bartholomew usurps it to lift the apostate Filaret out of excommunication and make him a Patriarch.
The recent Synod in Minsk the ROC (Russian Orthodox Church) had about granting Ukraine independence from the ROC concluded by breaking relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.