30 August 2021, 16:04
The church historian called the results of Patriarch Bartholomew's visit to Ukraine deplorable
Moscow, August 30, Interfax - Vladislav Petrushko, Professor of the Orthodox St. Tikhon's University for the Humanities, Doctor of Church History, believes that the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Ukraine disappointed all participants of this event.
"The result, unfortunately, is deplorable. We have to state that Patriarch Bartholomew, despite his advanced years, when believers usually sum up the results of their life path, plunged headlong into a political adventure that has already brought him the sad "glory of Herostratus". By his gross interference in the church life of Ukraine, the first in honor among the Orthodox patriarchs actually dishonored both his name and his patriarchal throne of Constantinople," the historian said in an interview with Interfax-Religion.
According to the historian, Patriarch Bartholomew had a special personal interest in this trip to Ukraine - he still hoped to achieve the transfer of at least part of the churches that were promised to him by the previous president Petro Poroshenko as a "fee" for the tomos on autocephaly of the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
"Apparently, something went wrong with this. This, in general, is understandable. I think that even the OCU wouldn't be too happy to give up their churches to Bartholomew, especially since they are so significant in the history of Ukrainian Orthodoxy," Petrushko said.
The historian believes that the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew didn't bring dividends to the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky. "The ovation with which the supporters of the OCU met the mention of Poroshenko as one of the main "creators" of Ukrainian autocephaly at the liturgy at St. Sophia Cathedral testified that Zelensky failed to win over radical nationalists to his side, he is still a stranger to them. But the believers of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church are now unlikely to ever vote for Zelensky after he so cynically ignored their position and sided with the schismatics," the historian said.
However, the most important thing, in his opinion, is that none of the primates of the Local Churches arrived in Kiev together with Patriarch Bartholomew. "It's possible that today, when the political situation is obviously changing, and the Ukrainian case which has become not much more successful for the United States than the Afghan one is increasingly losing its relevance, those few primates who recognized the Ukrainian schismatics (the Churches of Alexandria, Cyprus and Greece) are regret already about their hasty decision to follow Bartholomew's order in this matter," the historian said.
In conclusion, he said that the church crisis in Ukraine has led to a split in the entire Orthodox world, which means that it's time to review critically the 28th rule of the Council of Chalcedon which elevated the See of Constantinople for only one reason - as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. "It's time to finally notice that Byzantium hasn't existed for more than half a thousand years, and the once glorious Constantinople has long since become Istanbul," Petrushko said.
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