“OUR DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY IS TO BRING THE NATIONS BACK TO THE TRUTH AND CANONICITY OF THE CHURCH”—ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH

Constantinople: Speaking at the St. George Cathedral in Constantinople on Monday, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed the ongoing issues surrounding the schismatic Ukrainian and Macedonian churches, stating that it is the role of his office to bring those nations back to canonical communion in the Church, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

“The existence of a schism is not an argument in favor of leaving a whole nation outside the bounds of the Church’s truth and canonicity with a pure conscience, denying our responsibility before God and history, but is rather an incentive for finding salvific and unifying solutions,” the patriarch emphasized.

According to Pat. Bartholomew,

When the Mother Church explores the paths of salvation for our brothers from Ukraine and Skopje, it fulfills the apostolic duty. Our duty and responsibility is to bring these nations back to the truth and canonicity of the Church. Therefore, what the Ecumenical Patriarchate has, it has for the benefit of the whole world and offers it to all peoples without exception. Within this framework, inter-Christian dialogue is established, which carries out its work “in love and truth.”

The Ecumenical Patriarchate has previously announced that it would initiate inter-Orthodox discussions on the question of granting a tomos of autocephaly to a Ukrainian Church created out of the two schismatic bodies currently operating there, and that it would also take the Macedonian issueinto consideration as well.

Earlier this month, the Ecumenical Patriarch met with His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, to discuss Ukraine and Macedonia. Abp. Ieronymos has said that the Ukrainian issue is a complicated one, and will require some time to reflect upon.

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