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

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to visit the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod has announced that on 31 August 2018, following his express desire, His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will visit the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with his delegation for conversations with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and pertinent offices of the Mother Church on matters of bilateral interest. Continue reading

Metropolitan Maximos of Switzerland new director of the Orthodox Centre of Chambésy

The Very Reverend Archimandrite Maximos Pothos, Chancellor of the Metropolis of Switzerland, has been elected by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 10 July 2018 Metropolitan of Switzerland in replacement of Metropolitan Jeremiah who had been elected on the same day Metropolitan of Ankara. Thus Metropolitan Maximos succeeds Metropolitan Jeremiah as Director of the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, near Geneva, Switzerland.

The ordination of Metropolitan Maximos of Switzerland took place at the see of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Phanar on 22 July and was presided by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. His enthronement as Metropolitan of Switzerland took place on 18 August at the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy. Continue reading