Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gave an interview to the Ukrainian news agency TSN.
The Ecumenical Patriarch was asked about the situation in Ukraine, the autocephaly status of the Orthodox Church, the recognition of the new Autocephalous Church, and the role of Moscow.
“We hope that the local Orthodox Churches will soon recognize the Church of Ukraine. We hope that this will happen sooner or later, if there is no political pressure,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said.
Moreover, the Ecumenical Patriarch added, “The first Church to recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine will be the sister Church of Greece.”
Patriarch Bartholomew referred to the exclusive privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as to the Synodal Act of 1686 signed by Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysios IV.
“Our brothers, Ukrainians, were constantly complaining that they wanted an independent Church. We have repeatedly received the same request from the country’s political leadership. Therefore, after many years of prayers and efforts through dialogue, we found the people who deserved to receive the autocephaly status, “said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
However, according to the Ecumenical Patriarch, the autocephaly status in Ukraine is no different from the autocephaly of other local Churches, sending a message to everybody that the new local Church is independent.
Regarding the actions of honorary “Patriarch” Filaret, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his regret, saying that “he had to mentor his spiritual son but chose the wrong way.”