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Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Response to False, Unsubstantiated, and Slanderous Charges Regarding Ukraine Autocephaly

After journalists’ questions about offensive statements against the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which were allegedly made recently by a member of the Ukrainian autonomous presence of the Patriarchate of Moscow, the head of the Press and Communication Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Nikos Papachristou, said:

Allegations or information from anyone to the effect that the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, allegedly sought and received, or claimed, any form of compensation, financial or other, whether from political or ecclesiastical persons, are false, unsubstantiated and slanderous. At the same time, such allegations are also highly offensive to the Mother Church of Constantinople, from which received their Autocephaly, in analogous and similar processes, even nine local Churches, including Moscow.

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 proper ecclesiological response given by the Ecumenical Patriarchate was and is always based on the eternal tradition of the Church, inspired by the Gospel, with respect for canon laws and free from any political and diplomatic pressure. Indeed, this must be made clear in the light of the accusations and misinformation circulating on the Internet, the well known fake news, which is used against the ordinary rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

It should also be recalled by all concerned parties that on January 6, 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew handed the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, His Beatitude Epiphanios, the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, which was formed by the Unification Synod of December 15, 2018. From that day on, the new Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine is completely self-sufficient and has the absolute freedom to manage its internal affairs through the judgment and decisions of its Holy Synod. Her relationship with the first-throned Church of Constantinople is a relationship between Mother and Daughter, a powerful spiritual link that has been preserved for centuries, from the time of St. Vladimir’s baptism to this day. A relationship that endures no matter how many people, obviously for their own purposes, tried to disrupt it, for the Mother Church of Constantinople always cares, with a sacrificial spirit and self-denial, for all her spiritual children.


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