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Constantinople Patriarchy Is Losing Positions In Western Europe


Constantinople Patriarchy Is Losing Positions In Western Europe

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe in the rue Daru in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. RNS photo by Tom Heneghan

Actions of Constantinople in Ukraine, where it supported the creation of the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine, have led to expected consequences. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has started loosing its influence in the Orthodox World.

On September 9, the general assembly of European Russian Orthodox met in Paris to discuss the proposal of Archbishop Johann (Jean Renneteau) to change the jurisdiction from the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Moscow Patriarchate. The event involved 186 delegates from 10 nations. 104 of them (58%) voted in favor of the proposal and 75 against. Two thirds of voters were required for this decision. So it was not made. The proposal was therefore rejected by only 4 votes.

Mainstream media outlets already named this situation a victory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in its standoff with the Moscow Patriarchate started over the Ukrainian case. However, in fact, the vote itself is already a strong signal of Constantinople’s reducing influence. Actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have been undermining the unity of the Orthodox World and it seems that the sitaution is not developing in its favour.

“This two-thirds majority is an old protection dating back to the Soviet era… We now have to see with our lawyers how to get support for that,” Archbishop John of Chariopoulis said after the vote hinting that the transfer is still highly possible.

It should be noted that earlier Archbishop John of Chariopoulis (Renneteau), head of the historic Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe, established in Paris after the 1917 Revolution, rejected the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew (Archontonis) to relieve him of his duties.

Constantinople attempted to dissolve the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe following the approval of Ukrainian autocephaly claiming that it has too much links with the Russians. However, the members of the archdiocese decided in the assembly to maintain their own structure. Multiple clerics and lay people in the Archdiocese are in favour of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The Eastern Orthodox churches claim 250 million to 300 million believers, mostly in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The Moscow Patriarchate is by far the largest while the Ecumenical Patriarchate is among the smallest. Constantinople that struggles to keep its influence across the Orthodox World has become a useful tool for forces interested in the destruction of traditional religious systems in Europe. It as well as supporters of the neoliberal globalist dystopia are currently backing various non-canonical entities in the Balkans and Eastern Europe to achieve own political goals.




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