The initiative to hold the so-called "Amman meeting" is not the idea of Patriarch Theophilos, - OCU

The initiative to hold the so-called "Amman meeting" is not the idea of Patriarch Theophilos, - OCU - фото 1
In an interview with Orthodox time, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) of Chernihiv and Nizhyn spoke about "the difficult situation in which Patriarch Theophilus of Jerusalem found himself" and argued that the initiative to hold the so-called "Amman meeting" was not really his idea.

Archbishop Yevstratiy posted a translation of the interview with OrthodoxTime on his Facebook page.

As you know, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem in February again sent a message to the Primates of all Autocephalous Orthodox churches with a proposal to hold a new meeting on the Ukrainian issue.

When asked by OrthodoxTIme why the Patriarch of Jerusalem was found to be involved in making a call to postpone the next meeting in Amman, Archbishop Yevstratiy replied:

"By putting forward such initiatives, Moscow takes advantage of the fact that Russian influence is quite strong in this region. But is this a way to spread the truth? By intimidating others? By bribery? By using pressure? By lying?

We see that Moscow has so far taken measures in those local Churches that have recognized the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine; it is trying to sow discord in each of these Churches. We see this situation in Greece, the Patriarchate of Alexandria and Cyprus.

It is obvious that something similar happened in relation to the Jerusalem Patriarchate. If tomorrow Patriarch Theophilus announced that he had added the name of Metropolitan Epifaniy to the diptychs and recognized the Tomos of autocephaly, some Metropolitans would immediately publicly express their disagreement.

We even know the names of these Metropolitans, those who were educated in Russia, those who constantly cite Russian stance. Some people have not only spiritual relations with Russia but also get all sorts of support from it.

Given the fact that the situation in the Jerusalem Patriarchate itself is balancing between different centers of influence and parties, it is obvious that no one wants to try their luck and get a "bomb" that can explode with unforeseen consequences. Moscow takes advantage of this.

That is why our Church and I understand the very difficult position of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who allegedly took the initiative to hold this meeting. And he himself, like others, knows that the initiative was not his."

Archbishop Yevstratiy added: "The Church canons and traditions of the past and present show that only the Ecumenical Patriarch has the right to make such an initiative, that is, to hold and preside over such a synod (meeting). Moreover, only the Synod, where the Orthodox Church of Ukraine will be equally present, has the right to exist. Equal participation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in all Orthodox meetings is not its right or privilege, but, as it is written in the Tomos, it is its duty. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine will always defend this duty."