Patriarch Bartholomew says he won’t back away from his intention to grant autocephaly to Ukrainian Church
According to fanarion.blogspot.com, on September 23, Patriarch Bartholomew, celebrating the Divine Liturgy in Saint Fokas Orthodox Church, proclaimed that he had sent a message that Ukraine would receive autocephaly as soon as possible, since it is entitled to it.
Taking advantage of the presence of the Czech theologian at the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch said: “The Church of the Czech Republic and Slovakia is the youngest among the rest of the Autocephalous Churches proclaimed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1998.
Now the turn of Ukraine has come, which, I hope, will receive the status of Autocephaly in the near future, despite the existing obstacles, and it will happen, because it is entitled to it.
On the one hand, it is exclusively its right to receive [such] status of Autocephaly. On the other hand, the right to grant [this] status of Autocephaly belongs exclusively to our Ecumenical Patriarchate, as happened with all the new Orthodox Churches, starting from Russia in the XVI century and ending with the Church of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as I said before.”
“We are not frightened by threats. As I recently pointed out in one of my speeches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate neither issues threats nor is it under threat. However, by implementing the sacred canons, the [Universal Ecumenical Patriarchate] consistently continues to make this provision an [Autocephaly], on its part, and also respects the respectable privileges that were granted to it by the Ecumenical Councils. We will not betray these canons and the privileges of the Ecumenical Councils that were granted by these Councils [us] as the First Holy See Church of Constantinople. We respect theses canons and adhere to them, and we will implement them, as in the case of Ukraine, and in any other case where the need arises,” said Bartholomew I.
e Tanslated from Greek by Cerkvarium.org.