Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople no longer has the right to speak on behalf of the entire world Orthodoxy and present himself as its leader, this opinion was expressed by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"By supporting the schism in Ukraine, Patriarch Bartholomew has lost the trust of millions of believers ... in conditions when the majority of the Orthodox believers of the world are not in church communion with him, he no longer has the right to speak on behalf of the entire world Orthodoxy and present himself as its leader," the Synod said in its Resolution (Journal No. 60) of September 23-24, 2021.
This decision was made after the Synod members considered the issue of the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Kiev on August 20-24, 2021. Patriarch Bartholomew visited Kiev at the invitation of the Ukrainian authorities and the leadership of the schismatic so-called "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" (PCU). During the trip, he co-served with the leaders of the Ukrainian schism and expressed his support to them, which caused protests from the archpastors, clergy and believers of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In this regard, the Holy Synod of the Russian Church recognized this visit of Patriarch Bartholomew as " a gross violation of the canons, in particular, the 3rd rule of the Sardician Council and the 13th rule of the Antioch Council."
At the same time, the members of the Synod noted "the purely political nature of the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew, which reveals his dependence on external forces in relation to the Church."
Condemning "the ongoing anti-canonical acts of the Patriarch of Constantinople aimed at destroying the unity of Orthodoxy," the members of the Synod expressed support for Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev and All Ukraine, the archpastors, pastors and the entire fullness of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church "in their standing for the truth, in their loyalty to the canonical unity of the Church."
As the members of the Synod noted,"the responsibility for undermining the unity of the Orthodox Church lies entirely with Patriarch Bartholomew due to his anti-canonical actions."
Photo: Oleg Varov, https://foto.patriarchia.ru/