“Dear Loyal Subject of the Turkish Republic, Mr. Bartholomew!”

An Answer to the Invitation to Constantinople’s Ukrainian Robber Council

In the letter below, His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol responds to the invitations being sent out by the Patriarchate of Constantinople to take part in its so-called “unification council” that aims to create a new church in Ukraine. Met. Luke has not hesitated to speak his mind throughout the recent and ongoing ecclesiastical crisis, and this letter is no exception. Whereas His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine chose to return his invitation unanswered to Constantinople, giving us an example of meekness and humility, Met. Luke offers us an example of fiery, righteous zeal—both examples that are good and necessary in the Church.

***

Dear loyal subject of the Turkish Republic, Mr. Bartholomew!
(better known as the “Ecumenical Patriarch”)

We have learned from the mass media that you are sending invitations for the “council of the unrighteous” (Ps. 1:1) through government officials. In this regard, allow me to express to you and your envoys my heartfelt gratitude for the efforts you are making through the Ukrainian state apparatus and the juggling of the norms of canon law to destroy the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the successors to the Church born in the Dnieper font), previously recognized by you as the sole canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine! Thanks for what, you ask? For what you contribute by your actions to our Orthodox flock in entering the Kingdom of God, subjecting it to the discrimination and persecution that it is presently enduring. Unfortunately, you probably don’t know our people’s wise saying: “Love can’t be forced.” Your actions are those of a man blinded by the illusory glow of caesarean authority. By your participation in political projects aimed at splitting the unity of the Church, you’ve already placed your status as the first honored hierarch in Orthodoxy in serious doubt.

You declare today that in your person you represent “the Mother Church” for the Ukrainian people. However, for some reason, you act as the ideological inspirer of a large-scale campaign aimed at inciting hatred towards the UOC, the seizure of its sacred sites, the persecution of its flock, and the undermining of the position of Orthodoxy in Ukraine in favor of the gathering momentum of the Uniate “crusade” on native Orthodox lands! What kind of mother helps torture her child?

Those awaiting the swift advent of the Tomos are not afraid to shout such slogans at their gatherings: “Death to the enemy”; and under the walls of our diocesan administration: “Moscow priests to the gallows, like the communists!” This is how your new pupils treat us and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a whole, being in Eucharistic communion with the See entrusted to you. Terrible things stand behind these slogans: the dominance of political expediency in any important question of Church life, the reign of total persecution against a Church that doesn’t correspond to the general ideological line of the ruling elite, the desecration of holy sites and objects, and the perversion of the canons by longtime opponents of Orthodoxy, who are now actively disguising themselves in the garments of supporters of the autocephalous project being pushed by you.

Are you yourself ready to believe in the “Ukrainian national God,” or is this just an attempt to take our people under your omophorion? Or, quite horribly, do the processes provoked by you have ordinary mercantile interests as their foundation?

In your attempts to subject all the Orthodox Churches to the throne of Constantinople (like the Catholic Church), you forget that it was not a priest but a ceasar who was in power in Byzantium—an empire that hasn’t existed for many centuries already. And one of the reasons it’s gone—and perhaps the main one—is that at that time, some of your predecessors, the Byzantine patriarchs, allowed the faith to become a bargaining chip in the games of big politics. It’s a great pity that you don’t take this into account—or have deliberately forgotten it. After all, more than 500 years ago, it was precisely the betrayal of the Orthodox faith by Constantinople and its departure into the Unia with Rome, and not the geopolitical conditions of those times, that became the driving force behind Orthodoxy gaining independence from Byzantium in the lands of Rus’.

Thank you, Mr. Bartholomew, for aiding in our salvation. The only thing the clergy (whom your throne imagines to be its own for some absurd reason) and flock inquire of you is: What prevented you from hearing us in the spring? What has so clouded your mind that you consider yourself the Patriarch of the entire world? Perhaps your next step will be the assertion that you created this world out of nothing?

With gratitude and hope in God’s admonition for each of us,

LUKE
METROPOLITAN OF ZAPOROZHYE AND MELITOPOL

Translated by Jesse Dominick

The Zaporozhye Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

12/11/2018

See also
“The Patriarch of Constantinople Has No Canonical Right to Convene Any Assembly in Ukraine” “The Patriarch of Constantinople Has No Canonical Right to Convene Any Assembly in Ukraine”
Resolutions of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, December 7, 2018
“The Patriarch of Constantinople Has No Canonical Right to Convene Any Assembly in Ukraine” “The Patriarch of Constantinople Has No Canonical Right to Convene Any Assembly in Ukraine”
Resolutions of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, December 7, 2018
On December 7, 2018, a session of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was held in the residence of the primate of the UOC on the territory of the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra in which the hierarchs addressed the upcoming so-called “unification council” and the Ukrainian state’s increasing interference in the life of and persecution against the Church.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople needs to admit its real status in the Orthodox world The Patriarchate of Constantinople needs to admit its real status in the Orthodox world
Fr. Andrei Tkachev
The Patriarchate of Constantinople needs to admit its real status in the Orthodox world The Patriarchate of Constantinople needs to admit its real status in the Orthodox world
Archpriest Andrei Tkachev
The question is: Where is there room for Christ in all this self-importance?
Constantinople Papism Constantinople Papism
Archpriest Vadim Leonov
Constantinople Papism Constantinople Papism
Archpriest Vadim Leonov
According to Patriarch Bartholomew, he is the President (head) of the Church.This is no longer a canonical question, but a dogmatic one—a formulated heretical teaching, analogous to the Roman Catholic dogma on the presidency of the Roman pope over the whole Church:
Primacy and Identity. A Response to ‘First Without Equals’ and the Tragedy of Deficient Ecclesiology Primacy and Identity. A Response to ‘First Without Equals’ and the Tragedy of Deficient Ecclesiology
Bp. Irenei (Steenberg)
Primacy and Identity. A Response to ‘First Without Equals’ and the Tragedy of Deficient Ecclesiology Primacy and Identity
A Response to ‘First Without Equals’ and the Tragedy of Deficient Ecclesiology
Bishop Irenei (Steenberg)
We are witnessing, at the present moment, a fuller realisation of the disastrous theological and ecclesiological positions outlined in the text below, which were already nascent three years ago (and indeed further back).
ROCOR: Patriarch Bartholomew is not free in his actions; there are forces behind him that are far from Christ’s Church ROCOR: Patriarch Bartholomew is not free in his actions; there are forces behind him that are far from Christ’s Church
Fr. Seraphim Gan
ROCOR: Patriarch Bartholomew is not free in his actions; there are forces behind him that are far from Christ’s Church ROCOR: Patriarch Bartholomew is not free in his actions; there are forces behind him that are far from Christ’s Church
Archpriest Seraphim Gan
Therefore Constantinople’s current actions force us to suspect that His All-Holiness is not free in his actions; that behind him are specific powers are that are very far from Christ’s Church and which are following their own ill-fated aims.
MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism In Orthodoxy: “Repent, And Stop This Insanity”MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism In Orthodoxy: “Repent, And Stop This Insanity” MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism In Orthodoxy: “Repent, And Stop This Insanity”MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism In Orthodoxy: “Repent, And Stop This Insanity”
Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)
MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism In Orthodoxy: “Repent, And Stop This Insanity”MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism In Orthodoxy: “Repent, And Stop This Insanity” MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism In Orthodoxy: “Repent, And Stop This Insanity”
Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)
Once again, the United States and its policies are creating chaos, setting up the murder of innocent people, and disrupting an ancient institution. Only this time, it is direct interference in the affairs not just of a nation state, Ukraine, but of a religious institution, the Orthodox Church. And the effect of this is not just on a local, but worldwide level.
Comments
Ian12/21/2018 3:47 pm
John,

Duels are deadly.

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:7-10)

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal.4:16)
John12/16/2018 3:05 pm
Ian, are you trying to have some sort of scripture duel? Picture it this way. A robber breaks into your house in order to steal everything most dear to you and take your children captive. How would you respond?
Ian12/15/2018 3:55 pm
John,

“…there are contentions among you…every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:11-13)

“The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezek. 18:20)

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (Jn.13:35)

“…if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” (Mat.18:17)
John12/14/2018 8:09 pm
Ian, if a man be not only overtaken in a fault but refuses to listen after repeated humble attempts to bring him to reason, then what does the Gospel tell us to do? Take it to the judge (council).
Ian12/14/2018 7:30 pm
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:14,15)
Jamie Estevez12/12/2018 11:34 am
I declare here publicly and before all that I as an American Convert to Orthodox Christianity (whom was received into The Church in a Cathedral within the Moscow Patriarchate nearly a decade ago) that I will remain loyal to One True Church that holds fast to The One True Faith. I do not say that "I believe" Moscow is right and Constantinople is wrong for I KNOW Moscow is RIGHT and Constantinople is WRONG. That being the case I must walk the walk and let my parish priest (whom I love and respect) know that when our OCA hierarchs are finally forced to declare which side they are on they must choose Moscow because if they side with heretics and Schismatics I cannot remain in communion.
Fr. James Rosselli12/12/2018 7:29 am
Bartholomew is now a danger to all of Orthodoxy. At this point, though, he can be restrained. The Local Churches merely have to suspend communion with Constantinople, as Russia already has, and ask the next in line, Alexandria, to call a Council to definitively state the EP's privileges and limitations.

Surely a Council is needed, for this is as great a threat as has ever faced us. If the Churches permit this to happen, it will be tacit acceptance of a monarchial papacy over us. Orthodoxy, as Orthodoxy, will end.

The gates of hell will not have had to prevail. We will have handed ourselves over.

Maria12/12/2018 3:51 am
Don’t despair Vladyka because Bartholomew’s ambitious plans to claim Ukraine for himself are surely bound to fail.
Momcilo12/12/2018 3:15 am
Christ is in our midst!
At last, a letter to my liking. Phanar got a spanking it was begging to have.
This is the stance the entire Russian Church should take. I don;t think they should be
begging Bartholomew not to proceed and to keep peace etc, etc. This approach makes the Russian
Church look weak. Instead, the Holy Russian Church should take initiative and assert itself as the
true leader and defender of world Orthodoxy as it truly is. Call the Council yourself, anathematise
the heresy of "first without equals", ecumenism, serginism (submission to state), stop the
participation in world council of "churches", and let the witness of Orthodoxy shine forth in today's dark world!
PYCb12/12/2018 3:11 am
Reminds one of Repin's "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks" to the ultimatum of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Ilja_Jefimowitsch_Repin_-_Reply_of_the_Zaporozhian_Cossacks_-_Yorck.jpg
Anthony12/11/2018 11:06 pm
!!!Μητροπολίτης Ζαπορόζι και Μελίτοπολη k. Λουκάς - ΑΞΙΟΣ!!! Indeed the phanar is a very good turk. Remember his ''prayers'' for his country and its mass slaughter of the Kurds!!! https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2018/01/26/patriarch-bartholomew-erdogan-arfin-olive-branch/
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