Moscow has condemned Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who gave a tomos to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and united Ukrainian Orthodoxy. Moscow sees this as a major crime as it is losing influence over the souls and minds of Ukrainians. That is why the ROC Synod in Moscow, attended by ROCinU head Onufriy, stated that “Patriarch Bartholomew must no longer speak on behalf of all Orthodoxy.”
This is stated in the decisions of the ROC Synod of the ROC, laid down in Journal 60.
“… Patriarch Bartholomew has lost trust of millions of believers. It is emphasized that, as the majority of Orthodox believers across the world are not in church communion with him, he is no longer entitled to speak on behalf of the whole world Orthodoxy and pose as its leader,” the Moscow Patriarchate said.
It is worth noting that, despite the absence of any canonical or legitimate reasons, Moscow has again decided they can evaluate actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and issue bans.
They also stated that Patriarch Bartholomew, in their opinion, “supported the split in Ukraine” when he organized the Unification Council, which was not attended by Moscow hierarchs. This was aptly described by religious expert Oleksandr Yefremenko. A few days ahead of the event, commenting on a Moscow conference held by the ROC, he said it “Moscow is splitting Orthodoxy, while blaming Constantinople for just that.”
It should be added that it’s not only in Ukraine where the ROC seeks to split Orthodoxy. Now they are eyeing the African continent, where the Orthodox Church of Alexandria operates, which recognized the OCU back in 2019.
Since then, Patriarch Theodore II has been receiving threats from the Moscow Patriarchate claiming that hundreds of priests allegedly approached them, seeking to join the Moscow Patriarchate. Such statements were voiced almost every six months. And now the ROC Synod has officially announced a course for the split – both in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and in the Patriarchate of Alexandria – the second Church in honor after the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
We should not forget that in Cyprus, too, GRU military intelligence and ROC’s agents of influence confuse the minds of local hierarchs. Metropolitan Nikephoros, for instance, has become a “useful idiot” for the ROC, coming to the Moscow conference and branding “schismatics” all those who recognize the OCU.
However, the ROCinU is not afraid to boast of cooperation with hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus, which recognized the OCU, which demonstrates their ignorance in theology that’s of their own logic of the “split-driving” OCU is applied.
The ROC has also been making certain efforts in the Jerusalem direction, generously distributing bribes and building temples there. Similarly, churches are being built in Serbia, funded by Gazprom. So, as of today, it’s only money that plays on the ROC side, not canons, church rules, or truth. Jesus Christ said he is the truth and that those who know the truth shall become free, but can they those who apply bribery and blackmail to their own benefit and toward the division of world Orthodoxy become free disciples of Jesus Christ?
It should be recalled that the ROC is trying to slightly alter church canons. To this end, a conference on “primacy and catholicity” was held on September 16-17. After the conference, the ROC spokesman thanked the ROC “for defending Orthodoxy” and for condemning Bartholomew.
At the same time, according to military and political expert Oleksandr Kovalenko, Russian intelligence has launched a new information attack against the Ecumenical Patriarch, having compared him to Hitler. In turn, theologian Dmitry Gorevoy declared that the Moscow statements about Bartholomew’s intervention in another Church do not correspond to reality.
On September 23, a Synod was held in Moscow where the ROC began preparations for an attack on Patriarch Bartholomew and the OCU. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky), also took part in the event.