The Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Press Office and Communications Director, Mr. Nicholas-George Papachristou, has responded to the statements against the Ecumenical Patriarchate that were made by a member of the autonomous presence of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine.
According to the press release, any information or allegations that the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to grand the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, allegedly claimed and received any kind of exchange, economic or otherwise, whether by political or ecclesiastical persons, are absolutely false, groundless and libelous.
At the same time, such allegations are also “highly offensive to the Mother Church of Constantinople, from which nine local Churches received their Autocephaly, with analogous and similar processes, including Moscow”, there continues the press release.
“It is characteristic that the Ecumenical Patriarch, in a recent speech, referring to the granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, pointed out that ‘the right ecclesiological answer given by the Ecumenical Patriarchate was and always is based on the eternal tradition of the Church inspired by the Gospel, with respect to holy canons and free from any political and diplomatic pressure. Indeed, this must be made clear in the light of the categories and misinformation circulating on the Internet, the known fake news, used against the canonical rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’”, it is also stated explicitly.
“It is also reminded to all concerned that on January 6, 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew granted the Tomos of Autocephaly to Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kiev and All Ukraine, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was formed by the Unifying Synod of December 15, 2018. From that day on, the new Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine is completely independent and self-governed and has the absolute freedom to manage its internal affairs according to the judgment and decisions of its Holy Synod. Its relation with the Constantinople Protothrone Church is a mother-daughter relation, a powerful spiritual link that has been preserved for centuries, from the time of St. Vladimir’s baptism to this day. A relation that, even though many have attempted to disturb, for their own purposes, they are doomed to fail, because Mother Church of Constantinople always takes care, with sacrifice and self-renunciation, of all its spiritual children”, concludes the press release of the Press and Communications Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.