Communiqué concerning the new Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Ukraine

It is with praise to God, great joy and satisfaction that the Ecumenical Patriarchate announces the successful completion of the work of the Unifying Synod (Sobor)—foundational of the new Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Ukraine—which was convened in Kyiv today, December 15th, 2018. Metropolitan Epiphanios of Pereiaslav and Bila Tserkva was elected as its Primate.

His Beatitude, the newly-elected Primate, contacted His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, expressed his respect and asked the wishes and blessings of the Mother Church for fruition of his primatial ministry, which starts under good auspices.

In this context, it is announced that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew invited His Beatitude Epiphanios to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Phanar on the great feast of Theophany and to deliver to him the Tomos of establishment of the new sister Autocephalous Church.

At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 15th of December, 2018

From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod

Thronal Feast at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

In a festive atmosphere, the Ecumenical Patriarchate honored the memory of its founder, the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called. On 30 November 2018, a Patriarchal and Synodal Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George at Phanar in Istanbul, during which the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew ordained to the rank of deacon the sub-deacon Andrij Krochak of Ukrainian origin, giving him the name of Iakovos .

A delegation of the Church of Rome headed by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity attended the Divine Liturgy. Many Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, clergy, monks and nuns from the City and from Greece were also present, as well as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Mr. Markos Bolaris, representative of the Greek Government, the Ankara Ambassadors of Greece, Mr. Petros Mavroidis, and of Ukraine, Mr. Andrii Sybiha, the General Consuls of Greece, Mr. Georgios Sultanopoulou, of Ukraine, Mr Oleksander Gaman, of Georgia, Mr Ing Kikvadze, and Mr Rostislav Pavlenko, Advisor to the President of Ukraine, diplomats, Archons of the Great Church of Christ and a multitude of believers. The homily was pronounced by Bishop Makarios of Christoupolis. Continue reading

Visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Orthodox Church of Romania

At the invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in Bucharest on 23 November 2018 to participate in the celebrations organized by the Church of Romania on the occasion of the inauguration of its new Cathedral. The Patriarch was accompanied by Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Prousa, the Grand Archimandrite Bessarion and the Grand Archdeacon Theodoros, Mr. Nicholas Papachristou (Director of the Press and Communications Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Mr. Petros Bazagarlos from the Secretariat.

On 24 November, the Ecumenical Patriarch spoke to the Holy Synod of the hierarchy of the Patriarchate of Romania, expressing his hope that “the Romanian Orthodox Church will be involved in preserving church unity and justice”, underlining the close relationship of the two churches as well as the spiritual bounds between them. Concerning the Holy and Great Council, the Ecumenical Patriarch said that “there really was a historical moment in which Orthodoxy passed a faith test on the evangelical truth of the Church as the Body of Christ and the synodal tradition.” Addressing Patriarch Daniel of Romania, he stated: “Your Beatitude’s personal involvement in the historical achievement of the Holy and Great Council, your theological and dogmatic knowledge, as well as your way of honest, intelligent, brilliant and skilled way of participation at every stage, in collaboration with the other Primates, made everything to have a wonderful and invaluable conclusion.”  Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew keynote speaker at World Children’s Day Event

A message in every direction about the need to protect children and preserve childhood was sent by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during a keynote address  dedicated to World Children’s Day, held on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at the initiative of the World Council of Churches , at its Geneva Headquarters, in cooperation with UNICEF. The Ecumenical Patriarch was the keynote speaker of the event, attended by celebrities from around the world, and as a part of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the WCC, to which the Ecumenical Patriarchate has made a decisive contribution.

At this moment, our eyes are turned not to our common past, but toward our common future: our children. It is important to bear in mind that children do not only represent our future, but that they are in fact the present upon which the future is being built,” noted the Ecumenical Patriarch, and at another point in his speech in English inter alia, stressed: “Protecting children from any kind of violence has always been and should remain an essential message of Christianity. Therefore, Christians are called to protect children both in society and within their own communities.” He expressed the satisfaction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the cooperation between UNICEF and the World Council of Churches in this direction. Continue reading

Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue betweeen the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches met in Bose

The Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue betweeen the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, under the co-presidency of Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity, and Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, met from 13 – 17 November 2018, at the Monastery of Bose (Italy).

Present at the meeting were ten Catholic members and nine Orthodox representatives of various Churches. The members of the Committee were generously hosted by the Monastic Community of Bose. At the opening of the meeting, the Founder of the Community, Brother Enzo Bianchi, and the Prior, Brother Luciano Manicardi, welcomed the participants and gave the assurance of the community’s prayers and support for the work of the Committee.

The Committee examined a draft of the text entitled, “Primacy and Synodality in the Second Millennium and Today”, prepared by a mixed sub-commission. The Coordinating Committee will evaluate a revised version of the draft at its next meeting, planned for November 2019.

World Christian Communions convene at Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions took place at the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland on 6-8 November.The annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions brings together representatives from diverse Christian traditions to discuss their work and fellowship together.

Secretaries heard reports from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church, World Council of Churches, Baptist World Alliance, Global Pentecostalism, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Mennonite World Conference, Moravian Church Worldwide Unity Board, Organization of African Independent Churches, Global Christian Forum, World Convention of the Churches of Christ, World Evangelical Alliance, World Methodist Council, Lutheran World Federation, Anglican Communion, The Salvation Army, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Armenian Apostolic Church, and the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists. Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and President Petro Poroshenko Sign Agreement on Cooperation and Coordination

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Excellency President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine reaffirmed their desire to enhance the cooperation between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Nation—within the framework of the process for granting Autocephaly to the unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine—during the President’s visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s headquarters at the Phanar.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew warmly received President Poroshenko, accompanied by Their Excellencies Stepan Kubiv and Gennadiy Zubko, Vice Prime Ministers of his Government; His Excellency Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency Stepan Poltorak, Minister of Defense; and the Honorable Yurij Lutsenko, Prosecutor General, together with a large delegation of his colleagues and His Excellency Andriy Sybiha, Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey. Continue reading

Annual Plenary of the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue

The Annual Plenary of the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue took place on Cyprus on 13–20 October 2018. On this occasion, it issued the following official Communiqué:

In the name of the Triune God, and with the blessing and guidance of our Churches, the International Commission for Anglican–Orthodox Theological Dialogue met in Larnaca, Cyprus from 13 to 20 October 2018 to continue consideration of ecology and end of life issues. The meeting was hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kition on behalf of the Church of Cyprus. The Commission is deeply grateful for His Eminence’s generous and warm hospitality. Continue reading

Announcement of the Holy and Sacred Synod of 11 October 2018

Presided by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018, in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda.

The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed: Continue reading