11 September 2018, 10:37
Constantinople Church's actions in Ukraine show desire to dominate community of Orthodox Churches - Russian priest
Moscow, September 11, Interfax - The actions of the Church of Constantinople have confirmed suspicions that it is seeking to assert neo-Papism and the Greek nationalist idea, according Archpriest Vladimir Smaly, the secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate's Bible Theological Commission.
"It is in light of this nationalist strategy that the recent actions of Fener [Patriarch Bartholomew's residence in Istanbul] look completely logical and calibrated. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, it was Russia and its Church who became, if not the main foe, then a geopolitical rival of the Greek church nationalism. Whereas Moscow perceives the Third Rome theory with a smile, as 'tales of yore,' the Greek imaginary world [sees it] as the symbolical legacy to be destroyed," the priest wrote on Facebook.
The Greek church nationalists barely hide their hatred at any mention of the Third Rome idea, he said.
"They are seeing it as an attempt to subvert their own 'great idea' of restoring the Second Rome, if not as the capital of the Byzantine Empire, then at least ('until and while' as they like to say in Istanbul) as an Orthodox Vatican of sorts," Father Vladimir said.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople already tried to destroy Moscow Patriarchate, having recognized the Renovationist schism, but "for a long time the (geo)political circumstances of the 20th century were not favorable to Constantinople's plans," he said.
"Today the Ukrainian conflict and Russia's complicated international position enable Constantinople to carry out an abrupt and accurate strike. The aim of Constantinople's autocephalous Ukrainian campaign is not Ukraine but 'squeezing' the Moscow Patriarchate out of the community of Orthodox local churches, in which Constantinople wants to play the role of either a Byzantine emperor or an Eastern pope," the priest said.
Fener launched an "accurate and calculated strike," and "if Moscow puts up with Constantinople's actions, it will thus recognize Constantinople's theory and argumentation of the past 100 years," he said.
If the Moscow Patriarchate discontinues communications with Constantinople, it will be declared a schismatic, and relevant action will be taken to solidify this status, the theologist said.