Russian Church rep responds to Pompeo: U.S. uses Constantinople to impose its will around the world

Moscow, October 1, 2020

Secretary Pompeo meets with Epiphany Dumenko, the head of Constantinople's schismatics in Ukraine. Photo: Secretary Pompeo meets with Epiphany Dumenko, the head of Constantinople's schismatics in Ukraine. Photo:     

During a press conference in Crete earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several accusations against Russia. Implicitly referring to the ecclesiastical conflict in Ukraine, he accused the Russian state of attempting to co-opt the Orthodox Church.

The U.S. Department of State played an active and decisive role in Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople’s creation of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” in late 2018, which led to a break in Eucharistic Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The Russian Embassy in Athens quickly responded to Secretary Pompeo, stating: “This is not the first time that American officials have tried in their public statements to draw Greece to the anti-Russian front. This kind of anti-Russian hysteria can hardly find a response in the friendly Greek people.”

And in his own response on his Telegram channel, Vladimir Legoida, head of the Russian Church’s Synodal Department for Relations Between the Church, Society, and the Media, noted that the U.S. has been using the Patriarchate of Constantinople to impose its will around the world for decades.

“American diplomacy is frank in its simplicity,” he writes. “Using the Phanar [the Patriarchate of Constantinople—OC] in its own interests since the post-war period, it intends to ‘fight the influence’ of any other states that are unwilling to fulfill the will of the State Department as expressed by the Patriarch of Constantinople.”

“Just look at the interference in the internal affairs of the Church in Ukraine, when the U.S.A., together with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, created a quasi-religious structure in order to conducts its ‘well-intentioned’ political influence, which has brought suffering to thousands of faithful Ukrainians,” he concluded.

In an article entitled, “Pyatt, Pompeo, and Orthodoxy,” Greek journalist and filmmaker Lamprini Thoma expressed the same view.

“It is one thing to be a captive, to be degraded in the hands of the Turks for centuries, and it is another to surrender happily to the hands of the United States, whose obvious goal is to dismantle the unity of Orthodoxy and use it as a weapon against Moscow,” she writes.

“If some had doubts about the fact that the U.S. is hiding behind the recent crisis between the Churches, they will probably now be convinced, precisely because of this characteristic uniqueness of Pompeo, who views Orthodoxy as another weapon of U.S. imperialist games,” she continues.

She also recalls that Geoffrey Pyatt, the current U.S. Ambassador to Greece, who regularly meets with Orthodox authorities, formerly served in Ukraine, during the Maidan crisis which he helped to instigate.

“It is time that we insist … that the unity of Orthodoxy, its survival in the new century, cannot pass through the imperial machine,” in which the U.S. creates a “war of civilizations” between the Western-leaning Greece, as the U.S. sees it, and the enemy Russia.

OrthoChristian has written about the relationship between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and U.S. politics before. The connection is well documented, and the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas has published several articles that offer a first look at the evidence.

See their articles, “Secret 1950 State Dept Memo on Ecumenical Patriarch,” “Athenagoras: The Apostle of America to Orthodoxy,” “Patriarch Athenagoras’ Declarations of Loyalty to America,” “Ousting the Ecumenical Patriarch: the removal of Maximos V according to CIA records,” and “Greek Archbishop to proto-CIA: “Your directions will be executed faithfully.”

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Theodoros 10/2/2020 4:23 pm
To Roger, The Russian Church has made many statements and protests to Turkey regarding Hagia Sophia. These statements include protests from Patriarch Kyril and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolomsk. Bishops from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church have also criticized the Turkish decision. The Church that is being persecuted in Ukraine largely because of Patriarch Bartholomew. In the end, Hagia Sophia is in Turkey and so there was no real way for anyone to prevent its conversion. Orthodox unity on the matter was damaged because of the Ukrainian schism that was instigated by Constantinople. Patriarch Bartholomew has aligned himself (ie compromised himself and his Patriarchate) with Washington. Washington did nothing on Hagia Sophia just as it has done nothing to pressure Turkey to open his seminary on the island of Halki. Harming the Russian Church will be a decision that Constantinople will come to regret as it will regret the decision to put the future of the Church of Constantinople in American hands.
Alex10/2/2020 4:13 pm
Roger, why should (the) Russian Orthodox Church/Russia do anything about Agia Sofia? The Patriarchate of Constantinople has clearly shown that it has no respect for the Russian Orthodox Church or Russia by going into Ukraine and setting up an uncanonical 'church' structure on Russia's canonical territory. A 'church' full of deposed and self-ordained clergymen. The clergymen and laity of this 'church' beat up the canonical clergy and old ladies of the rightful Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and seize their temples and other property. So, I ask you again...why should the Russian Orthodox Church/Russia do anything about Agia Sofia?
Roger10/1/2020 11:52 pm
What is the Russian Orthodox Church/ Russia doing about Agia Sofia recent conversion to a mosque? Is or has the Russian government spoke out or put pressure on the Turkey government to reverse its decision. Thanks
bill cordasco10/1/2020 6:17 pm
This wandering, constantly giggling dispensational millenialist masquerading as Secy. of State has blood on his hands. The Orthodox hierarchy including Patriarch Kirill and the American bishops need to meet with President Trump asap and end this madman’s rampage of evil. The Greek people welcomed Russian marines and sailors with much more warmth than their American counterparts, upon their parade a couple years back. That should clue us in as to how the USA has now offended even a NATO ally.
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