Monday, February 22, 2021

Constantinople continues to make friends

A letter to Met. Michael of Prague (Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia) from the Ecumenical Patriarch. Right now the Ecumenical Patriarchate is making moves that confound me. The continuous push to find some authority out of the Crete meeting even as much of Orthodoxy didn't show up and never ratified the documents even when they were sent to them. The Ukrainian autocephaly issue that remains a very divisive issue. The dissolution without explanation of the church organization in Western Europe. And now this. In a time when irenic overtures might serve to allay some fears of a rising "first without equal" mentality, the below will serve as a proof text to anyone who feels this is all about power and prestige and has very little to do with being the "first in service" to the Body of Christ.

(Orthochristian) - February 1, 2021

No. 124

Your Eminence Metropolitan Michael of Prague, beloved brother in the Holy Spirit and concelebrant of our mediocrity, may the grace and peace of God be with your holiness.

It is with regret that we learned that in your epistle for the new year, Your Eminence referred to the 70th anniversary of the granting of imaginary autocephaly status to your Local Church by the Holy Russian Church (1951). We say “imaginary” because this Sister Church never had and does not have the canonical right, as it itself received its own autocephaly in the 16th century from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as the sole granter of autocephaly, as did all the other later new autocephalous Churches.

If the autocephaly of your Church was canonical and valid, why did your Archbishop Dorotheus feel the need at the end of the last century to request canonical autocephaly from our Mother Constantinople Church for the hierarchy, clergy, and people of the Church of the Czech Republic and Slovakia?

And the Mother Church lovingly responded then, and so you entered into communion with the canonical autocephalous Orthodox Churches, recognized by all, and you received the honor of participating in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete. I mean, this line. Is the idea here that this was done as a kindness and not as his right? Your Church, contrary to our agreements, continues to this day to, under various pretexts, erect impediments and not respond to the natural demand of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to bring the charter of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Republic and Slovakia into accordance with the conditions of the tomos of canonical autocephaly, which cannot remain without unpleasant consequences. How does one not see this as a veiled threat? It's certainly not a thrown away sentence.

Most Sacred Brother,

We offer you a timely reminder that 20 years ago, your Church did not desire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of your non-canonical “autocephaly,” but 10 years ago your Church tried to celebrate the 60th anniversary of your imaginary autocephaly, as we testified in writing to your primate His Beatitude Christopher and to His Eminence Archbishop Nikolai.

We exchanged letters then, sent in copies to Your Eminence, but if we express the dissatisfaction and reproaches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in connection with the inexplicable and unacceptable intention to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the imaginary autocephaly, then anyone can consider your Church unsettled and anti-canonical, being subordinate to the Holy Church of Russia. Your desire to regularly celebrate this negative, obviously non-canonical event, which is insignificant for your Holy Church of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, raises doubts about your honesty and sincerity, at least in relation to the Mother Church of Constantinople.

Learn, finally, the history and canonical rights of our Holy Orthodox Church and don’t provoke us!

May the grace and enlightenment of our Lord, Who was manifest to the world for its salvation, be with Your Holiness.

+ With love in Christ, your brother

Bartholomew of Constantinople


  1. Wow, and I don't say that lightly. The Greek character is such that a kind of rhetorical exaggeration is just par for the course, but this reads almost like a parody. Perhaps a forgery? The source/translation is part of the MP media machine.

    If real, it shows just how divergent the readings of what is and is not "canonical" are. The EP speaks as if "autocephaly" (i.e. what it is, how it works in the post-empire Church, etc.) is a settled, well defined with a clear precedence, etc. Throw this fact into the MP vs. EP almost comic book plot, and you get this Superman vs. Batman feel...

    1. Weirdly, the letter first appeared in Russian teanslation on the very anti-MP site and the Orthochristian people say they contacted a Czech bishop for confirmation, which makes sense as the letter is beyond outlandish and the original source is hit-or-miss in terms of reliability. But there's a consistent history over the past several years of the EP bullying the Czechs pretty agressively, to the point of setting up a parallel jurisdiction.

  2. Why is this to archbishop michael,,,he is not the primate,,,is this a divide and conquer move

    1. It's because it was his New Year's epistle that pissed off Patriarch Bartholomew. But Credo Press also makes a good point - according to the statutes of the Church of Czechia and Slovakia, either the Archbishop of Prague or the Archbishop of Presov can become the primate, but according to the tomos that Constantinople wants to force upon the Church, ONLY the Archbishop of Prague can become the primate. Thus, while Constantinople officially acknowledges Metropolitan Rastislav as the primate, deep down they probably think Abp. Michael is the real primate, because that's how far their heads are up their @sses.

  3. So you are telling me that they love to monkey around,,,for isn't that what primates do? And they want us to consider themselves to be christian and holy people. This is just down right embarrassing,,,,has the phanar no shame? No wonder our youth are deserting us