Monday, July 11, 2022

    Russia waging “war” against Phanar over U.S. Slavophones

    The autocephaly of Ukraine was a “childish” confrontation considering the conflict that exists between the Phanar and Moscow. The “war” has now risen to another level after the ecclesiastical “infiltration” of the Russians in the USA. Confrontation with ecclesiastical and of course political implications.

    That’s according to Orthodox Times.

    Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, in a straight line with the Kremlin, they say at the Phanar, is trying to create problems also in the canonical territory of the Archdiocese of America, namely the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This is the reason for the so-called “storm of reactions” to the decision of the Archdiocese of America to place Archimandrite Alexander Belia in the position of Vicar of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate.

    I remind you that the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate promoted Alexander Belia to the position of Bishop of Nikopolis. A few days after his promotion, the other leaders of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America sent a letter of protest to Archbishop Elpidophoros. The letter, however, is not signed by the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia (ROCOR) to which Belia belonged until recently. The reason is that ROCOR left the Assembly, as it fully identified with the Moscow Patriarchate both on the issue of the church of Ukraine and the Russian invasion that followed against the country.

    The Archdiocese of America claims that it had for some time initiated all the procedures, in accordance with the ecclesiastical order, for Alexander Belia to join its ranks.

    He had informed the Assembly of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America of his promotion. However, after the release of Alexander Belia from ROCOR with an official “freedom paper from the Bishop of the Russian Church”, the Church decided in cooperation with the Moscow Patriarchate to proceed with his removal.

    He was first ecclesiastically released and then when he was ecclesiastically transferred to the Archdiocese of America… they remembered to depose him. For the lovers of dates, I remind you that in October 2019 Belia was transferred to the Archdiocese of America and in February 2020, the Russian church deposed the Archimandrite.

    Highly Symbolic Action

    The debate is bound to continue. That is why the Russians, with all the communities they influence, are trying to create issues for the Archdiocese of America. Archbishop Elpidophoros made the raise in a move of high symbolism. In a demonstration of the strength and unity of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he invited his two predecessors Dimitrios and Spyridon to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Archdiocese of America. An act of high symbolism and immense importance because it marks the unity and course in the future and the healing of wounds in the Archdiocese of America, as well as the prevention of possible obstacles that may “arise”.

    Patriarch Bartholomew also sent the “number two”, Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, to show that the Phanar is next to Elpidophoros personally and the Archdiocese of America in this struggle. In order not to give the impression that they are vulnerable to hostile actions and ecclesiastical upheavals caused for purely political and geostrategic reasons.