Constantinople Patriarchate has exclusive rights to resolve problems of Orthodox world
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has exclusive rights to resolve problems of the Orthodox world, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew said.
"The Ecumenical Patriarchate bears the responsibility of setting matters in ecclesiastical and canonical order because it alone has the canonical privilege [...] to carry out this supreme and exceptional duty [...]. If the Ecumenical Patriarchate denies its responsibility and removes itself from the inter-Orthodox scene, then the local Churches will proceed 'as sheep without a shepherd'," Patriarch Bartholomew said at the Synaxis (assembly) of active Metropolitans and Archbishops of the Ecumenical Throne in Istanbul.
It was reported that the assembly addressed "matters concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate and of inter-Orthodox interest," including the situation in Ukraine, whose authorities had asked the Ecumenical Patriarch back in April to grant a tomos on setting up a unified local church in that country.
The Moscow Patriarchate categorically opposed this decision, arguing that Constantinople had no canonical reasons to intervene in ecclesiastical matters in Ukraine.