PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW COVERS UP THE TRUTH
We post this article hoping and praying that the Holy Spirit will open Patriarch Bartholomew’s eyes and transform him into a zealous missionary of the true Church, the Orthodox Church, the Body of Christ, and that the “elite” crowd with whom the Patriarch associates will cast him out of their company for being a faithful witness of Christ.
In the newspaper "the Ark of Orthodoxy" (March 11, 2021) we made a thorough analysis of Patriarch Bartholomew’s talk to a group of Ukrainian Parliament members who were visiting Constantinople. His patriarchal address focused on the scandalous Ukrainian autocephaly issue. Much of what he said is reprehensible. In this article, I will limit my comments to one passage which, I believe, is deceiving to those who do not know the facts about this unprecedented ecclesiological scandal:
“The unity of Orthodoxy is not being tested because the Ecumenical Patriarchate responded to a request of Orthodox Ukrainians. The Tomos of Autocephaly was a responsible act of the Mother Church…”
In my article in Orthodoxos Typos ("The Orthodox Press") entitled “Patriarch with no fear of God, have you no shame?”, I considered another of Patriarch Bartholomew's pretentious misleading statements on this topic. When he was interviewed at that time, he said that the (pseudo) autocephaly he granted to his personal Kieven (pseudo) church, which consists of outcast self-consecrated anathematized schismatics, is similar to other autocephalous churches already in existence. At that time, I pointed out a number of significant differences.
I will now set forth even more incontrovertible facts which show that Orthodox unity is in fact being tested:
- The Ukrainian issue has completely broken the unity between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and half of the Orthodox world, as the Moscow Patriarchate has cut canonical communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- For this same reason, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarch himself, have personally come into a troublesome conflict with the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos.
- For this same reason, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew finds himself in a state of complete ecclesiological separation with the new Patriarch of Serbia, Porfirije, who blamed Patriarch Bartholomew, stressing that the Ukrainian ecclesiastical issue is making world Orthodoxy miserable, and that the actions of Constantinople in Ukraine are not in line with the Tradition of the Church. It has become evident that Holy Canons have been violated. The rifts disuniting Orthodox worldwide continue to widen over the diabolical Ukrainian issue.
- In Greece, there has been much controversy after the the pseudo-recognition of the Ukrainian autocephaly, with a plethora of publications and statements being released by high-level figures against the official Church.
- In the Patriarchate of Alexandria, there is unrest among the hierarchs, and the authority of Patriarch Theodore has been seriously compromised and irreparably damaged from self-contradictions regarding his recognition of the uncanonical pseudo-bishop Epiphany as Metropolitan of Kiev and of all Ukraine (prior to that day, he had recognized Onuphry as the canonical the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine).
- Also in the Church of Cyprus, the Ukrainian problem has generated a great deal of discord between the Archbishop and the Metropolitans.
- Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, an outstanding theologian, proposed convening a Pan-Orthodox Council to heal the Ukrainian issue which has torn apart the unity of the world Orthodoxy. Many others have also asked him to convene such a council.
- The subverting of Canons that allowed the Ukrainian autocephaly has also caused a great deal of confusion on Mt. Athos.
- Moreover, many metropolitans, professors at theological schools, and other theological scholars, and also well-educated clergy, have expressed their opinion that Patriarch Bartholomew's uncanonical and arbitrary action is precisely why multiple schisms were created throughout the Orthodox world and why more schisms will continue to be created.
- In my article "Your Eminence, you are causing alarm in Orthodoxy", we provide evidence that proves there is confusion throughout the Orthodox world. We have not received a reply from the Patriarch himself or from his staff.
- Already, dozens of publications have stressed the fact that the Ukrainian pseudo-autocephaly continues to cause aftershocks throughout Orthodox lands.
- This autocephaly with its pseudo-first hierarch and pseudo-bishop Epiphany, has made the schismatic ecclesiastical situation of Kiev much worse.
- One year later, ten autocephalous Churches still refuse to recognize the ecclesiastical catastrophe formed in Kiev.
- Even if only one autocephalous Church remains which does not recognize this new Kievan formation, there will be a schism in the bosom of Orthodoxy and the abominable patriarchal autocephaly will not have authoritative influence.
- By asserting that the pseudo-autocephaly of his personal pseudo-church has not affected Church unity in any way, it is apparent that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew contradicts himself. In his aforementioned speech, he stated that the situation of a Church schism in Ukraine was “a deep wound for the communion of the entire Orthodox Church”. However, this painful situation has not only not been healed by Patriarch Bartholomew's action, treacherous as it is to the whole church order and Tradition, but it has become worse (this is substantiated); the Patriarch's confession that the Ukrainian problem continues to be “a deep wound for the communion the whole Orthodox Church” is indeed absolutely correct.
The painful conclusion we draw from this is that patriarchal imprudence has caused many bleeding wounds on the holy body of the Orthodox Church.
Finally, it should be noted that there is a case to depose Patriarch Bartholomew, for,
“If a bishop tells a lie and this is proven, that indeed, heretics of his diocese re-entered the Orthodox church or that they re-entered because of him, but to the contrary they re-entered by some other means, let him be deposed.” 1
If for only one such lie, the most severe of all spiritual punishments is stipulated for a Bishop, how much more should Patriarch Bartholomew be punished?
- Met. Panteleimon of Corinth, Key of the holy Canons, p. 481. (Παντελεήμονος Μητρ. Κορίνθου, Κλεὶς τῶν ἱερῶν Κανόνων, σελ. 481.)
Translated by Anthony Hatzidakis
- This article was published in English translation on the website of the Moscow Patriarchate (April 23, 2021), which we edited. On the same website a Russian translation of this article was published.
- The original text for this translation (in Greek) is posted on orthodoxostypos.gr.
- More articles by Fr. John Diotis (in Greek) are online here.