RIA Novosti reported yesterday that US President Joe Biden received Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, journalists from Biden’s press pool reported.
Bartholomew told reporters after the meeting that he was pleased with her.
“The President is a believer, a man with a vision, and we know that he, with his considerable power, will make a contribution in this wonderful country and around the world with the best leadership and direction,” Bartholomew said. He also called Biden “our president.”
Patriarch Bartholomew told reporters that together with the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and other religious leaders, he is launching an initiative to attract as many believers as possible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Bartholomew previously met with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
In turn, the White House said that the patriarch discussed with the president efforts to combat climate change, “steps to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of religious freedoms and fundamental human rights.”
The majority of the faithful of the Patriarchate of Constantinople live in the United States; more than 500 parishes and 20 monasteries of the Patriarchate are also located in the United States.
Bartholomew accused the Russian Orthodox Church of ingratitude
Bartholomew accused the ROC of ingratitude and said that he would not give in to the “pressure of Moscow” – Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said that he would not give in to the pressure of the ROC in connection with the granting of the tomos of autocephaly to the church in Ukraine, and declared the ungrateful behavior of the Russians, whom the Greeks “Christianized and made civilized. “
Bartholomew, in an interview with the Cypriot newspaper “Politis” on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his tenure on the patriarchal throne, spoke in detail about the church problem that arose with the presentation of the tomos of autocephaly to schismatics in Ukraine.
The Patriarch of Constantinople explained the sharp reaction of the Moscow Patriarchate to autocephaly “by the geopolitical goals of Moscow.” He stated that before making a decision on the Ukrainian church issue, Phanar “with prayer and prudence considered all these parameters of the reaction of the Moscow Patriarchate.” Bartholomew claimed that he made the decision “only and exclusively in the spiritual interests of the people of God.”
“We did not study geopolitical interests from the point of view that is attributed to us, or financial (interests). Geopolitical developments – I will not judge whether this is good or bad – has entered the life of the church, and we see it in all autocephalous churches. created by the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself with sacrifices and hardships, “Bartholomew said.
The head of the Phanar claimed that the Kiev Metropolis was transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate under pressure, and now, in his opinion, he is “restoring justice.”
“The sharp reaction of the Moscow Patriarchate is due to the fact that after centuries the Constantinople mother church is restoring justice in Kiev. My predecessor Dionysius IV was forced to sign this letter of transfer (of the Kiev Metropolis to the Moscow Patriarchate). Prior to that, my predecessor Jeremiah was imprisoned and much more in Moscow to pay tribute to patriarchal values there.And now the humble successor of these respected people is insulted and forced to obey the secular demands of those who, contrary to our canonical and historical arguments, use their economic and secular power and authority against the churches that depend politically from “their weighty word,” he said.
Bartholomew proved that he does not give in to pressure. “I am by the grace of God for 30 years the Ecumenical Patriarch. I am responsible for the rights of this throne. I am responsible for my predecessors, before history, before the people of God, who expects only the truth from Constantinople, far from temporary interests and petty bills,” he said Patriarch of Constantinople.
According to him, from autocephaly in Ukraine he received only “insults, smears, slander, abuse and humiliation.”
“Personal controversy with slander against my humble face, but especially – a libelous campaign against the historical responsibility of the Throne, which made them Christians and why not made them civilized, without changing their language, customs and traditions – this is what causes a feeling of fear and insecurity in others churches, so as not to identify and coordinate with the actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. I am concerned not so much with slander against me, but with attempts to infringe on the rights of Constantinople, “Bartholomew said, adding that he would never surrender.
When asked whether he is taking steps to bridge the gap that has arisen, and how peace will come in Ukraine, if “the structure of the Metropolitan of the Moscow Patriarchate Onuphry still exists illegally,” Bartholomew replied that Metropolitan Onufry “categorically refused” to participate in the “unification council. “On it, two schismatic organizations created one schismatic structure – the so-called” Orthodox Church of Ukraine. “
Earlier it was reported that Bartholomew offered to transfer the tomos of autocephaly to Onuphrius, but he refused to participate in the political intrigues of the Phanar.
“One aspect that may be deliberately hushed up is that the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not break off communion with the Moscow Patriarchate precisely because it does not believe that there is any violation of ecclesiastical order and canon law. This means that our hearts are not closed to brothers. In fact, on the contrary. If Metropolitan Onuphry had agreed to take part in the unification council, to which the mother church invited him together with other archpriest brothers, then, probably, today everything would have been different. This did not happen. They They categorically refused to promote unity and preferred isolation through the division of society and the threat of a split, “Bartholomew said.
According to him, the “brothers” will change their minds over time.
Bartholomew insisted on Constantinople’s right to primacy in Orthodoxy and its “unique responsibilities in the church,” and accused those who tried to hold a conciliatory meeting of Orthodox churches in Amman in 2020 of devilry.
“From this point of view, we here in Phanar were definitely upset by the initiative to hold a” fraternal meeting “in Amman. All this is new demoniacal possession for the teaching of our church and its tradition,” Bartholomew concluded.