ON FIRST DAY OF SYNAXIS PATRIARCH KIRILL STATES CLAIMS ON CONSTANTINOPLE AND RAISES UKRAINIAN QUESTION
RISU, 23 January 2016
Events of the first day of the Synaxis [Assembly] of the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches, which is occurring in Chambesy under the chairmanship of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, have been reported, according to Religia v Ukraine, with reference to Orthodoxia.info.
On the first day of the sessions of the Synaxis, which was held in the Chambesy suburb of Geneva and in which Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Onufrey participated as a member of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, topics of discussion included the agenda and the site for convening the Pan-Orthodox Council, which is scheduled to occur on the Day of Pentecost of 2016.
It was reported that Patriarch of Moscow Kirill expressed comments on the activity of Metropolitan of Pergamum Ioann as the moderator of the preparatory process. He accused him of delay of the process of preparing for the council. The head of the RPTs also noted that if there were to be no texts with substantive decisions, which would be discussed at the council, then there is no sense in conducting the council itself.
In addition, he expressed comments with respect to the site for conducting the council. The Constantinople church of St. Irene does not satisfy Patriarch Kirill, because according to his information there are Arab inscriptions on the doors of the church that mention Allah and are directed against Christians. He suggested holding the council on the Holy Mount Athos.
Constantinople has no intention of accepting this suggestion. The most that it is ready to consider is to conduct the session on Crete. Support for Constantinople in this matter was expressed by the Orthodox churches of Serbia and Cyprus.
The Ukrainian question also was discussed. Patriarch Kirill demanded of Patriarch Bartholomew a repudiation of all existing information about contacts of the Kiev patriarchate with the Phanar. Patriarch Bartholomew refused to do this, declaring that he cannot repudiate such information every time that it is published. (tr. by PDS, posted 25 January 2016)
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