Thursday, December 24, 2015

Atheno-Constantinopolitan tensions

( - A strain in relations between the Church of Greece and the Patriarchate of Constantinople is growing under the impact of political and other factors, reported an expert in Church circles to RIA-Novosti, commenting on the refusal of Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece to take part in an upcoming meeting in January 2016 in Istanbul, dedicated to the preparation for the Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled for next year.

Earlier some media (including Romfea) reported that Archbishop Ieronymos had declined to be present at the meeting, organized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in January for discussion of preparations for the above-mentioned Council.

At its meeting on December 8, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece decreed that the delegation headed by Metropolitan Elias of Karystia was to represent the archbishop at the forthcoming assembly.

“In the experts’ view, the relationships between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Archbishop of Athens have been characterized by a growing tension,” reported an informed representative of Church circles to RIA-Novosti.

According to the expert, “One of the signs of this tension was the invitation by Patriarch Bartholomew of all the hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and bishops of North Greece, who belong to the Church of Greece and are members of its Synod of Hierarchs, to a meeting that was held late in August-early in September in Istanbul”.

“And the Archbishop of Athens was even not informed about the invitation of these hierarchs,” he added.

According to him, the Archbishop of Athens is also deeply concerned over the actions of representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Athens Metropolitan Amphilochius. According to the information obtained by the agency’s spokesman, this metropolitan started construction of a church and an administrative building without asking for permission of the Archbishop of Athens.

“We also cannot rule out the influence of a political factor. The recent provocative and unauthorized flying of Turkish aircrafts in Greek airspace caused the Greek authorities serious anxiety,” the agency’s spokesman noted.

The decision of the primate of the Church of Greece, he added, can be considered to be “another signal indicating that the proposal of Patriarch Bartholomew to hold a Pan-Orthodox Council in Istanbul in 2016 is likely to face serious impediments to its implementation”.

Among these impediments is the rupture of Eucharistic communion between the Local Orthodox Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem that took place in April 2014.


  1. Territory is consistently the most potent factor involved in contemporary Orthodox breaks in communion. Never mind all the joint prayers, services and ambiguous official statements. An obvious sign that we have placed jurisdictional and juridical matters over and above the Faith that overcomes the world. Lord have mercy!

    Christ is born!

  2. The State Church of Greece and Istanbul have very different visions for Greek Orthodoxy. What this act should be taken as is a sign that this local synod is planning on forcing through Istanbul's agenda no matter whether or not it divides Orthodox Christians. I personally support the brave move made by the Greek state church and only hope that the Russian mother church would get up and walk out of the room with the majority of Orthodox local churches and end the quorom for this Renovationist, EP power grab.

    Many great saints have wrote about this council as a robber council, which will divide Orthodox Christians and cause strife for a generation until it is undone by a future Eighth Ecumenical Council. St. Justin (Popovich) warned of this convocation as a gathering for heresy, schism and apostasy. Let's stop this before we need to get to this point and let the world settle so that a real Orthodox council can be had at a later date.