Zaporozhye Province, Ukraine, August 11, 2021
The Orthodox faithful of the Zaporozhye Diocese have launched a social-network flash mob to let Patriarch Bartholomew how they feel about his upcoming visit to Ukraine.
“Bartholomew, we didn’t invite you!” a number of Orthodox communities have proclaimed.
The Patriarch will visit Ukraine later this month at the invitation of President Vladimir Zelensky to participate in events for the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence. State and schismatic authorities have declared that Ukrainians are eagerly awaiting his arrival.
However, since the Constantinople primate turned his back on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and set up a parallel structure that routinely lashes out violently against it, he is unwelcome in the eyes of the faithful of the nation’s largest religious confession.
The movement was posted with photos from several parish communities on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s Facebook page, calling on all to join in, with the hashtag #STOP_Bartholomew.
Archpriest Gennady Elin, the head of the Zaporozhye Diocese chancery, explains: “Dear brothers and sisters! It was decided for us that we’re supposedly eagerly awaiting the Turkish citizen ‘Patriarch Bartholomew,’ who was invited on our behalf to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence. Anyone who isn’t waiting for this Istanbul pasha, I ask you to join the flash mob.”
His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye showed his support for the movement on his Telegram channel, stating: “An interesting initiative of our parishioners, when they’re not heard! Please support them!”
The flash mob was reported on by the Orthodox Times yesterday, an outlet financially supported by the same U.S. State Department that helped create the schismatic group in Ukraine, describing the movement as an “anti-ecclesiastical and divisive attack against the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.”
Meanwhile, the Orthodox Times is silent about the actual physical attacks against Orthodox churches, hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and laity by the nationalist supporters of Constantinople’s “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
Pat. Bartholomew himself has never denounced, nor even acknowledged the violence of his group.