The following letter, from Patriarch Bartholomew to Archbishop Chrysostomos, dated June 9, 2019, clearly expresses the EP’s own self-understanding of his role, rights and responsibilities in world Orthodoxy in such a way that it becomes evident why he would not welcome Archbishop Chrysostom of Cyprus’ mediation in the Ukrainian crisis.
A joyful day has now dawned, in which we celebrate the historic manifestation of the institution of the Church, which is constituted by the Holy Spirit, and we Orthodox brothers, who represent all the local Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, have gathered together in a liturgical assembly, so that we may carry out the duty and responsibility of the one Orthodox Church to the people and to the world today, by convening our Holy and Great Council.
On 29 February 2016, the primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople sent his condolences to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia over the tragic death of the miners in Vorkuta.
"Our Eucharistic Synaxis in the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries forms the basis and principal source of every other activity – whether administrative, pastoral, charitable or other – that essentially comprise an extension of the Divine Liturgy, the liturgy beyond the liturgy or the liturgical ministry, also extending to every detail and dimension of human life."
"Indeed, every Synaxis that gathers us together, as entrusted with by God’s grace and mercy with the leadership of His most holy Church, is sacred. However, this particular Synaxis has a very special character because it is bound to the fundamental ecclesiological principle of the Church’s conciliarity inasmuch as it its primary objective is to prepare the forthcoming convocation, God willing, of the Holy and Great Council of our most holy Orthodox Church."
"Our faith should not be regarded as stagnant or even obsolete. It must not be conveyed as verbose or perhaps artificial. And it cannot be dismissed as merely cerebral or uninspired. Our word must express the hope and joy, the light and life of the risen Lord. It must be renewed and renewing, reviving and refreshing."
So today, after more than two thousand years, once again we experience the truly inconceivable event of the divine incarnation in a world of arrogance, where humanity believes in its own power and wisdom, provoking like another Herod numerous egregious acts throughout the world. As Christians, we feel a renewed sense of our obligation "like new-born babes, longing for the pure spiritual milk, to grow up to salvation" (cf. 1 Peter 2:2), and in complete trust to God's love, wisdom and power, "to submit ourselves and one another and all our life to Christ our God".