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Unprecedented Interference in the Internal Affairs of Two Local Churches

It was revealed on 29 March that last December a letter was sent from the US-controlled Patriarchate of Constantinople to Metropolitan Christopher of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. This forbade him to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the granting of his Church's autocephaly by the Russian Orthodox Church. It appears from this letter that the Phanar does not recognise the act which granted it autocephaly in 1951 as legitimate. According to it, only the autocephaly granted by Constantinople in 1998 should be recognised. The Phanar threatened that any failure to heed this warning would result in the cancellation of the autocephaly granted by it nearly fifty years later and that it would then consider the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia only as autonomous.

Also on 29 March, the Phanar sent a letter to Archbishop Jerome II of Athens in which its Patriarch Bartholomew reproached various bishops of the Church of Greece for speaking out against ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. The Phanar said in its letter that recent statements against the ecumenical movement have reached what appear to them to be ‘unacceptable levels’. Patriarch Bartholomew also demanded that the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece should condemn these tendencies, in accordance with the US-led ideology of the Phanar.

(Translation of press releases from the News Agencies Amen and Romthea).

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