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

“They refuse to find a reasonable solution to cure the schism”

The Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, gave the following interview to Marina Ziosiou of the Greek newspaper “Ethnos of Sunday” about the ecclesiastical issue of autocephaly of Ukraine:

The hierarch points out that the Patriarchate of Moscow rejects any dialogue and states that it is strange that Orthodox Ukrainians do not want to be under the jurisdiction of Kiev. Archbishop Job of Telmessos, Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches gives his own point of view on the issue of autocephaly in Ukraine. “Who threatens the Ecumenical Patriarchate with bloodshed, rebellion and civil war does not serve the good of the Church and her unity, but encourages division and schism,” says the hierarch of Ukrainian origin, while saying that the granting of autocephaly by the Mother Church is proposed not as a “weapon” to declare the war or to divide Orthodoxy, but as a “medicine” to cure a schism that lasts for thirty years. Continue reading

The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Ukraine: The Documents Speak

In the context of the study undertaken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the granting of the ecclesiastical status of autocephaly to Ukraine, various opinions have been formulated—even by representatives of official institutions—expressing misgiving about the canonical prerogative of the Church of Constantinople to proceed with such an act. The principal argument proposed in this regard is that Ukraine “constitutes the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow” and that, consequently, such an act on the part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate would comprise an “intervention” into a foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

Therefore, it has been deemed necessary for the Ecumenical Patriarchate to remind everyone of the historical and canonical truth with regard to the relationship of the Church of Constantinople to the Church of Ukraine as derived from the surviving formal documents, which unfortunately are either disregarded or else deliberately obscured for apparent reasons. Continue reading

Metropolitan Anba Bishoy of Damiette died at 76

Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, Kafr El-Sheikh, Barary, and the Monastery of Saint Demiana of the Coptic Orthodox Chruch died at the age of 76 on 3 October 2018. He was one of the senior and most influential Coptic Orthodox bishops who made extensive contributions in the areas of inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian dialogue as well as in the Ecumenical Movement in general. Long time member of the Central Committee of the WCC, he was also the Co-president of the official bilateral dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental (Pre-Chalcedonian) Orthodox Churches. Continue reading

Meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarch with the Patriarch of Serbia

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, within the framework of his visit to the Metropolis of Neapolis and Stavroupolis, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary celebrations since the end of the First World War, in the afternoon of Saturday 29 September 2018, had a meeting with His Beatitude the Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. The two Patriarchs had a long and fruitful conversation regarding inter-Orthodox matters, in the spirit of mutual understanding and brotherly love. Continue reading

“Ukraine has always been the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”

Following the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 7 September 2018 to send its legates (exarchs) to Ukraine, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Russia has decided on 14 September 2018 to 1) interrupt the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch in its diptychs, 2) interrupt the liturgical concelebration with hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, 3) interrupt their participation in the inter-orthodox episcopal assemblies, inter-christian theological dialogues and other commissions or structures chaired by representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and 4) condemn the initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine as anti-canonical. In response to this decision, the Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, has given the following interview to the Ukrainian media glavcom.ua where he explains that “Ukraine has always been the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”. We publish here the English translation of the interview given in Ukrainian: Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarchate sends Legates to Ukraine

The Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced on 7 September 2018 that within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed as its Exarchs in Kiev His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States, and His Grace Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton from Canada, both of whom are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Synaxis of the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate comes to a close

On Monday evening, September 3, 2018, the sessions of the Synaxis of active Metropolitans and Archbishops of the Ecumenical Throne came to a close. The Synaxis opened on September 1, and was chaired by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Holy Trinity Church of Stavrodromion, Istanbul.

After the keynote address by His All-Holiness, the Synaxis included a discussion of matters concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate and of inter-Orthodox interest. Presentations were offered by Elder Metropolitans John of Pergamon and Demetrios of the Princes’ Islands, as well as Metropolitans Emmanuel of France, Andreas of Arkalochorion, Elpidophoros of Bursa, Amphilochios of Adrianopolis, Bartholomew of Smyrna, and Bishops Kyrillos of Abydos and Makarios of Christopolis. There followed extensive discussion with questions and proposals on the topics by participating hierarchs. Continue reading

His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow at the Phanar

On Friday morning, August 31, 2018, following his communicated desire, His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Reverend Protopriest Nikolai Balashov and the Reverend Presbyter Anatoly Churyakov, interpreter, arrived at the Phanar in order to deliberate with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on matters of inter-Orthodox concern. Continue reading

Synaxis of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to gather in Istanbul

The Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod has announced that following the previous Synaxis of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne, which took place three years ago with great success (2015), the next Synaxis of all Hierarchy of the Venerable Throne “from all the ends of the oikoumene” will convene at the Sacred Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul from September 1-3, 2018.

The purpose of this Synaxis is to inform the Metropolitans and Archbishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of current ecclesial affairs and provide them with an opportunity to exchange ideas, but especially to strengthen the sacred bonds among them and with the Mother Church. Continue reading