A new episode took place in the “civil war” that has been simmering for years in the ranks of the Orthodox Church, starring the patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow. The first shot was fired by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who launched a scathing attack on the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

“It should be impossible for all the Churches not to condemn violence and war. The Russian Church disappointed us. I would not want the Church of Russia and Brother Patriarch Kirill to be such a tragic exception. I do not know how he can justify it in his conscience,” Bartholomew said characteristically, in an interview with Greek state broadcaster ERT.

“I would expect Brother Cyril to rise to the occasion at this crucial, historic moment. If necessary, he should sacrifice his throne to say to Putin: ‘Mr. President, I can not agree with you, I resign.'”

The “schism” of 2018

It should be noted that Kirill firmly supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine, having in fact adopted all of Putin’s arguments. He has also been indifferent to the call of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in order to “intervene and mediate” to end the war.

As is well known, the altercations between the two Orthodox Patriarchates have been heated for s long time. However, four years ago they ended in rupture, on the occasion of the recognition by Bartholomew of the independent and “autocephalous” Orthodox Church founded in Ukraine, which no longer belongs to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate and Kirill. It is no secret that Moscow would like the Ecumenical Patriarchate to relocate from Turkey, a Muslim country, to Moscow.

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