Patriarch Bartholomew presents to Albanian Primate evidence of legitimacy of bishop ordinations in OCU
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a letter to Archbishop Anastasios, the Primate of the Albanian Church. In it, he once again emphasizes that he acted according to the ecclesiastical tradition, using the privileges that the Constantinople Patriarchate was vested with by the Ecumenical Councils. He provides historical examples that the Ecumenical Patriarch approved autocephaly and patriarchy, as well as reinstated the exiled bishops, TVA reports citing Tserkvarium.
“Patriarch Bartholomew also reminded that since the throne of Constantinople was the highest appellate instance in the Orthodox Church, he considered requests from former metropolitans of Kyiv Filaret and Makariy of Lviv. Bartholomew also sent to Archbishop Anastasios a copy of an academic and theological study on the validity of the schismatic bishop consecrations, drafted by Metropolitan Vasyl of Smyrna.
As examples of overcoming the split, the Ecumenical Patriarch refers to Meletians and Novatians, Greek-Bulgarian schism and the split between the ROC and the ROCA - all of them were resolved and the schismatics were received in their rank, and no one was ordained anew, their ordination was acknowledged. The Russian Orthodox Church loves to solemnly declare that in no case one can legalize the split, but in 2007, on the initiative of Vladimir Putin, they themselves legalized the split, uniting with the Russian foreign abroad,” the statement reads.
Thus, Patriarch Bartholomew responded to the claims made by representatives of the Local Churches regarding the legitimacy and validity of the ordinations of the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and of His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy.
The publication notes that perhaps after such an exhaustive answer, the process of recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine will intensify, since the main controversial issue – that of the validity of ordination - is resolved.