12/14/2018, 12.05
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Bartholomew I: I am also a spiritual father of the Russians

by NAT da Polis

Russian Orthodox believers have doubts about participating in the Masses of the Patriarch of Constantinople, after the excommunication launched by Moscow. For Bartholomew "it is inadmissible to use the interruption of Eucharistic communion as an instrument to impose one's own opinions". Orthodox bishops must take care of all ethnic groups: "Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and so on".

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - "It is unacceptable" to use the rupture of Eucharistic communion "to leverage pressure and coercion, to impose on one's own opinions" states the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I. He is referring to the situation of relations between Constantinople and Moscow, after the promise of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Because of this, the patriarchate of Moscow interrupted communion with Constantinople. Bartholomew has reassured the Russian faithful in Istanbul by saying that "I am also a spiritual father of the Russians".

Yesterday, December 13, the feast of St. Andrew according to the Julian calendar, the ecumenical patriarch participated in the church of the Apostle Andrew in Galata, attended by the Russian and Slavic faithful who live in Istanbul, about 70 people (see photo) .

Bartholomew took the opportunity to talk about the difficult relations between Constantinople and Moscow, caused by the announced grant of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church.

"I find myself among you my dear children - said Bartholomew - aware of your widespread concerns and your dilemmas that surround you. But I want to be honest with you, because we are all a family, as I am your father and you are my spiritual children. This concern and this dilemma, prevalent in the Russian community of our city and more generally, of Turkey, is due to the extreme decision of the Most Holy Church of Russia and of the patriarchate brother of Moscow, to interrupt Eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, your mother Church ".

"Having different and divergent opinions on various problems - underlined Bartholomew - is human and democratic. However, interrupting Eucharistic communion to leverage pressure and coercion, to impose one's own opinions, is unacceptable ".

"I am sure - said the orthodox primate - that soon the sister Church of Russia will review this extreme decision".

He added that "when the sister Church of Russia invites the Russian faithful not to participate in the sacraments" in the churches of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, "it certainly creates problems of conscience". Bartholomew’s invitation is "not to listen to these exhortations and to have no concerns". As "your spiritual Father here in Turkey", is the patriarch of Constantinople

He urged them to attend all the Orthodox churches in Turkey.

Explaining the reasons that generate such situations, he pointed to "national and racial factors [that] are mixed with jurisdictional, purely ecclesiological and normal things of the Church". And he recalled that ethno-filettism was condemned as heresy in the synod held in Constantinople in 1872.

Bartholomew also recalled that - according to the canons of the Orthodox tradition - "every city must have its bishop, who should be the spiritual father of all believers, of all the Orthodox who live in that city, regardless of their race, be it Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and so on ".

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