In his sermon on the occasion of the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew touched on Russia’s war against Ukraine. He noted that unity and witnessing love is the main task of the Church today.
This was reported by Orthodox Times.
The patriarch criticized the Russian Orthodox Church and its support for the war in Ukraine. He noted that instead of reconciliation, the Russian Orthodox Church accuses the Church of Constantinople of heresy. Such actions do not correspond to the purpose of the Church.
Patriarch Bartholomew emphasized that the Church should be united and profess love for neighbors. Only by being united in Christ and expressing love to the world does the Church correctly fulfill its mission.
The Primate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate called on Orthodox Christians to rethink their position and find again their true purpose in unity in Christ.
“The mission of each one of us is not only to theorize and isolate, to experience the Transfiguration in our own lives but also to transmit it to our neighbor. This is both the message and the invitation of today’s feast to the Church: in our modern age of rapid transformations of all kinds and of all natures, there is an urgent appeal to the Church to transform the world. However, in order for the Church to succeed in this mission and for our world to experience the true transformation in Christ the Church must also appear “in a new form”, as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. And we are not referring here only to the necessity of the inter-Christian dialogue “for the sake of the unity of all”, but mainly to the stability of Orthodoxy,” said Patriarch Bartholomew.
He continued: “We are witnessing the atrocious and so far endless war in Ukraine, where an Orthodox state is fighting, with the paternal and patriarchal blessings of the official Church, another brotherly Orthodox people. And you understand that I am talking about Patriarch Kirill of Russia, who blesses with both hands this abominable, evil war, instead of condemning it.”
Next, Patriarch Bartholomew touched on the subject of the Russian Orthodox Church’s invasion of the Alexandrian Church.
“We are witnessing the intrusion, against all sense of ecclesiastical legitimacy, of an Orthodox Church, and again the Russian Church, into the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. For almost five years we have been tasting the ingratitude of the unilateral interruption of communion on the part of a daughter Church, not for doctrinal reasons, but clearly for geopolitical reasons, dressed, in fact, recently with the cloak of incoherent and insulting accusations against the Church of Constantinople, accusations of “ecclesiological heresy”! Let those who say these things against our Patriarchate see, as the Gospel says, the beam that is in their eye, and let them leave our own beam, which is much smaller, if there is one at all, in the face of their own beam that has made them unable to see reality,” the patriarch noted.
In conclusion, Bartholomew, he said: “In the above theologically unsound, ecclesiologically unsubstantiated, and canonically unacceptable claims, the Holy Church of Christ, the Church of the Cross, the Church of the Resurrection, and the Church of the Transfiguration continue steadfastly to uphold the word of truth. The love of the Mother Church never falls away!”