"They prefer foreign interests to Church canons," - Patriarch Bartholomew on supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said this in an interview with Ukrinform, commenting at the request of a journalist on the thesis spread among the faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, they say, has "non-canonical", "wrong" autocephaly.
"The problem with these people is that it is difficult for them to recognize reality, or they refuse to recognize it. They are also not aware of what autocephaly means, as well as in the history and canonical practice of granting it," the Patriarch said.
The Ecumenical Patriarch also recalled how the Russian Orthodox Church received its autocephaly.
"The Russian Church, to which they seek to belong, has received its autocephalous and patriarchal status from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Why, then, do they not want to agree with the same canonical justification for autocephaly in the case of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was valid for the Orthodox Church of Russia and other Orthodox Churches to which the Ecumenical Patriarchate granted autocephaly and patriarchal status?", "he asked.
"The intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not uncanonical, in fact, it is uncanonical to call this interference into question. It is obvious that they are not at all interested in the canonical order, since in our case they obviously prefer foreign interests rather than church criteria," the Ecumenical Patriarch added.