Istanbul, January 3, 2020
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople “sternly” responded to His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem’s letter with a proposal to gather the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches in Jordan to discuss issues of Church unity arising from the Ukrainian Church crisis.
Pat. Theophilos’ letter was recently published online.
Pat. Bartholomew’s response is reported on by the “Light of the Phanar” blog, which is dedicated to promoting the person of the Patriarch and the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Phanariot blog also claims that Pat. Theophilos sent the invitation “at the direction of the Moscow Patriarchate.”
The blog notes that the letter between Greek-speaking primates is, for the first time, written in English. “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew responded to the letter of Theophilos of Jerusalem in Greek and in a stern tone, considering that the Patriarch of Jerusalem is absolutely unqualified to take this kind of action,” the blog writes.
It is expected that Pat. Bartholomew’s response will be published.
Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens also announced that he would not attend a council called by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, believing he has no canonical right to appeal to his brother primates for the sake of Church unity in such a way. Similarly, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus stated he would not even respond to the invitation for the same reason, believing that only Constantinople can convene a council or a Synaxis of Primates.
The Archbishops did not note which canons dictate who can convene a council or Synaxis of Primates.