Long commentaries by the members and experts of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission (Moscow Patriarchate), who studied the main arguments used by Patriarch Bartholomew in his letter addressed on February 20 to Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, have been published on the Moscow Patriarchate Department For External Church Relations:
“Comments by the Secretariat of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission, on the letter sent by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Archbishop Anastasios of Albania on February 20, 2019, and published by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
On March 9, 2019, the Patriarchate of Constantinople published on their official website, a letter sent by His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, in reply to his letter on the Ukrainian question. The content of Patriarch Bartholomew’s letter justifies the non-canonical granting of a so-called autocephaly to schismatics in Ukraine, by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which directly affects the Russian Church. In order to justify his interference in their matters, Patriarch Bartholomew develops a theory on the exclusive rights of the patriarchs of Constantinople in the Orthodox Church, and devotes his letter to the primate of the Albanian Church to its explanation.
The members and experts of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission studied the main arguments used by Patriarch Bartholomew. Their conclusions are as follows.
- Patriarch Bartholomew affirms that the holy canons have given to the primate of the Constantinople Church “not the privilege, but the sacrifice”, of a kind of “responsibility beyond borders”, whose purpose is “the final resolution of problems arising in local churches, when they are not in a position to solve them themselves”. He also notices mentions that Patriarch Bartholomew’s predecessors on the Constantinople see have been serving “this legacy” of the Church of Constantinople “during all past centuries”.
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