Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gave an interview with the Bulgarian news agency BGNES, where he also talked about the Ukrainian issue and the Patriarchate of Moscow.
In his interview, Patriarch Bartholomew referred to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine, stressing that “the Autocephaly restored the unity of the Church in Ukraine and healed the schism.”
“Patriarch Joachim of Moscow (1674-1690) invaded the Metropolis of Kiev, which, as we have said, belonged regularly to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and elected Bishop Gideon as Metropolitan of Kiev. Thus the ecclesiastical system of the Metropolis of Kiev, which had been in operation since 988, changed with a coup, violating the sacred rules in favour of the Patriarchate of Moscow and against the Church of Constantinople,” His All-Holiness added.
Finally, the Ecumenical Patriarch said that the presence of the Patriarchate of Moscow in Ukraine is against the interests and unity of the Ukrainian people.
“Following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the conditions for the Russian presence in Ukraine have become even more difficult. The shocking political events made the presence of the Patriarchate of Moscow in Ukraine undesirable, as it damages the interests of the Ukrainian nation and the unity of the Ukrainian people,” Bartholomew highlighted.
Regarding the regime of Filaret Denyshenko, he said that “Filaret is no longer the Patriarch of Kiev, but the former Metropolitan of Kiev.”