“The Phanar’s decision is a blow to the Serbian Church,” says Ukrainian bishop

Kiev, May 12, 2022

Photo: wenews.ge Photo: wenews.ge     

The Constantinople Holy Synod most likely decided to enter into communion with the Macedonian Orthodox church in an attempt to “seize the moment,” to “increase its influence and strengthen its position in the Orthodox world,” believes His Grace Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka.

Bp. Viktor is the Ukrainian Church’s representative to European International Organizations, and has been very active in defending the Church against Constantinople’s interference in the Ukrainian ecclesiastical situation.

His Eminence Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and several representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church have also cast doubt on the move, affirming that the Serbian Orthodox Church has canonical authority in North Macedonia and thus the right to resolve the situation.

The Serbian Church has yet to comment on the situation.

Echoing the thesis put forward by a number of Greek outlets, Bp. Viktor commented yesterday:

Some say that Istanbul decided to “seize the initiative” from the Serbian Church, weakening the position of the latter. Indeed, on May 6, 2022, Bishop Fotije of Zvornik and Tuzla said that the Serbian Church and the so-called “Macedonian Church” have resumed their dialogue after a long break. He called for “praying for the healing of the 1967 schism,” as “the healing of the schism would be for the good of the Church, and for the good of the two fraternal peoples.”

After the Serbian Church resumed resolving the issue of healing the schism on its canonical territory in Macedonia, the Phanariots stabbed it in the back. The acceptance of the “Macedonian Church” into communion took place so quickly that the thought arises that it had not been prepared beforehand, but this step was taken in the Phanar’s banal desire to “seize the moment.”

“There is nothing surprising in this,” Bp. Viktor says, recalling that Constantinople also recognized the Soviet Renovationists in the 1920s, under the excuse of “overcoming the Church schism.” Constantinople also demanded that Patriarch St. Tikhon abdicate the Patriarchal throne for the supposed good of the Church.

He continues:

The Phanar’s decision is a blow to the Serbian Church. One gets the impression that it’s not dictated by a “concern for unity,” which is in no way consistent with the recognition of schismatics without the knowledge and participation of the canonical Church in Macedonia, but was adopted to once again demonstrate readiness to take advantage of an opportunity and in any way increase its influence and strengthen its position in the Orthodox world, even at the expense of the canons of the Church and the elementary rules of fraternal mutual respect.

The Ukrainian hierarch notes that Serbian media writes that Patriarch Bartholomew is dividing Orthodoxy while trying to create the impression Constantinople’s decision was made with the cooperation of the Serbian Church.

“Unfortunately, a practice has already developed recently according to which the Patriarchate of Constantinople almost always acts only in its own interests, regardless of the opinion and position of other Local Churches, which harms the shaky unity of Ecumenical Orthodoxy,” Bp. Viktor concludes.

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Stephanos 5/13/2022 4:00 pm
Blow??? Ecumenical Heresiarch Bart the Turk SPAT in the face of the Serbian Orthodox Church! We must constantly remind ourselves that this same Patriarchate not only promoted and increased schism in the Ukraine; they RECOGNIZED the SOVIET “LIVING CHURCH” and told SAINT Tikhon to resign (just as they did saintly Metropolitan Onouphrios)!!!
Cat5/13/2022 12:04 pm
How strange, it truly appeared that the effort was coordinated. Disappointing, but not surprising.
Alexander Leitner5/12/2022 8:48 pm
Over and over again: Depose Bartholomew!
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