Istanbul, September 20, 2022
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople received a group of Lithuanian politicians at the Phanar in Istanbul yesterday.
The visit comes as defrocked clerics and government officials are working to force the Church in Lithuania out of the Moscow Patriarchate and into the jurisdiction of Pat. Bartholomew.
The visiting group included Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mantas Adomėnas, Lithuanian ambassador in Ankara Ričardas Degutis, and adviser to the Prime Minister Galina Vascenkaite, reports Romfea.
“They had the opportunity to discuss the ministry of the Mother Church, as well as other matters of mutual interest,” the Greek outlet relates.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė told Pat. Bartholomew in May that the government is prepared to help transfer the Church.
Having learned of the state’s intentions, His Eminence Metropolitan Innokenty of Lithuania sent a letter to the PM, expressing his alarm.
In it, he notes that “It’s known that the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mantas Adomėnas,” who met with Pat. Bartholomew yesterday, “is also working in this direction and recently held a meeting with the fake Archbishop of the OCU, Evstraty (Zorya),” who also spoke to the Lithuanian press about the Church switching to Constantinople.
The Lithuanian Church has sadly had to defrock several clerics in recent months for their ongoing schismatic activity and attempts to arbitrarily change jurisdictions.
At the same time, it’s well known that the Lithuanian faithful stand in favor of maintaining Church unity and against state interference in the life of the Church.