Constantinople patriarch received in U.S.A.


RIA Novosti, 1 November 2021


Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew declared that the Russian Orthodox Church (RPTs) has treated "its benefactor" ungratefully and he subjected to criticism the reaction of the RPTs to the decision to give autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU), but in the end he declared that he "couldn't care less" about such an attitude.


Bartholomew spoke out about relations with the RPTs at a meeting with the council of the Greek Orthodox archdiocese of America and members of the Order of Archons in New York. A video of his speech has been distributed by the archdiocese.


Bartholomew, who is on a 12-day trip in the U.S.A., described how he was honored by American President Joe Biden, who received him for a whole hour, as did Secretary of State Antony Blinken and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and how he has a friendship with Roman Pope Francis, but Russia treat him ungratefully.


"I have the first see in Orthodoxy, which, as is known, in recent years has been going through a trial by the ignorant conduct of the Russian church with respect to its Mother Church. We are the Mother Church, because we gave them Christianity. We gave them light. We gave them Cyrillic, by which we wished to help them develop their own culture and their own identity. And they began to rebel against their benefactor, as we say in church language," Bartholomew said.


"They were angry with us because we made the Ukrainian church autocephalous. Why shouldn't we do that just as we gave Russia, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Poland, and Romania? It is the exclusive right of the ecumenical patriarch to grant autocephaly," Bartholomew continued.


He said, 40 to 50 million residents of Ukraine wanted to have their own local "if you will, national church, in order not to depend on Moscow."


Bartholomew declared that he did this with a feeling of responsibility.


"They were upset and they broke communion with the ecumenical patriarchate. They removed my name from the diptych and they do not commemorate me," he said.


"I would say, I could not care less," the patriarch said, using an idiomatic expression [from Greek] 'skasila mou' accompanied by a smile and applause of the archons.


"We shall continue to commemorate Patriarch Kirill, like before. When the new primate of Ukraine, Epifany, asked me whether he should commemorate Moscow (patriarchate), I told him: 'yes, commemorate, just like all other primates of autocephalous Orthodox churches," Bartholomew said.


In 2018 in Kiev, on the initiative of the former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was created which included schismatic organizations that earlier had been recognized as such by the Constantinople patriarchate, among others. After the creation of the PTsU, it received from Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew a tomos concerning autocephaly (a charter of independence). After this there began persecution of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTs) on the part of the authorities, radical nationalists, and representatives of the schismatic PTsU. (tr. by PDS, posted 2 November 2021)

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