Constantinople threatens Church conciliarity and unity, Bulgarian metropolitan writes to Greek metropolitans

Vidin, Bulgaria, June 7, 2019

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His Eminence Metropolitan Daniil of Vidin has been perhaps the most outspoken hierarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on the ongoing Ukrainian crisis situation. Along with two other metropolitans, he called for the Synod to call for a pan-Orthodox council, and he was the first Orthodox hierarch to publicly denounce the “unification council” on December 15 by which the Patriarchate of Constantinople and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko created a new schismatic group.

Deeply concerned by Constantinople’s interference in Ukraine, Met. Daniil also took it upon himself to reach out to the hierarchs of the Greek Church, urging them not to capitulate to Constantinople in recognizing the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists with reference to the Constantinople-affiliated

In his letter, dated May 17, Met. Daniil writes that Patriarch Bartholomew is a man who tries by means of violence to usurp power in world Orthodoxy, and calls upon the Greek hierarchs to “raise their voices” against what is happening.

“In this case, the Patriarch of Constantinople is not a father, but a person who tries to usurp power by violence,” Met. Daniil writes. “And these ambitions extend not only to the Holy Metropolis of Kiev, but also to the entire Orthodox Church, because Pat. Bartholomew claims to interference in the internal affairs of every Local Church.”

“If we are true children of our Mother Church, the Orthodox Church, then we must raise our voices against what is happening, because otherwise we will support someone who is using power to usurp rights that belong exclusively to the entire Church,” the Bulgarian hierarch added.

Met. Daniil also writes that Constantinople’s current claims to primacy over the entire Orthodox world have neither canonical nor historical premises:

Today the historical particularities are completely different, because Istanbul is no longer the capital of a Christian state, and the Local Churches do not make up the territory of one state, as it was during the long Byzantine period and then the Ottoman Empire… Several of the modern Local Churches are much better organized than the modern Patriarchate of Constantinople and do not need a ‘stabilizing’ factor for internal Church structure and governance.

His Eminence also warns that Constantinople’s brazen actions will lead to a schism, similar to the Great Schism of 1054.

“It is obvious that these actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople destroy, threaten, and damage the conciliarity and unity of the Orthodox Church. In our opinion, the Orthodox Church is at a crossroads: to show its conciliar wisdom and protect its unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity, or choose the path of Eastern papism, repeating the sad history of 1054,” Met. Daniil writes.

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