По поводу письма Вселенского Патриарха Варфоломея, адресованного приснопамятному Патриарху Московскому Алексию второму и которое, было опубликовано в качестве, якобы, «документа» в котором Патриарх Варфоломей признает акт извержения из сана нынешнего митрополита бывшего Киевского Филарета, хотелось бы подчеркнуть следующее:
1. Митрополит Филарет, будучи рукоположен иерархами Московского Патриархата был извержен – справедливо или не справедливо – как и полагается Русской Церковью. Таким образом, когда она, согласно установленному порядку, проинформировала Вселенского Патриарха о своем решении, то он его и признал.
2. Когда было написано это письмо, то к Вселенскому Патриарху не поступала просьба от митрополита Филарета о пересмотре его дела, чтобы Патриарх смог бы дать оценку на канонической основе. Следовательно, он тогда ответил так, как было положено.
3. Одним из сторон украинского церковного вопроса является и апелляция, с которым обратились к Вселенскому Патриарху Филарет, Макарий и те, кого они представляют. Но, с другой стороны, этот вопрос также включает и отмену акта Патриарха Дионисия Четвертого, ошибочная или корыстолюбивая интерпретация которого создала сложную каноническую ситуацию в Украине. Напоминаем, что этот акт давал право Московскому Патриарху поставлять того, кого избирал собор клириков и мирян и который должен был поминать Константинопольского Патриарха. Это необходимое для того времени решение было отменено Патриархом на последнем заседании Св. Синода и естественным образом мы вернулись к положению, существовавшему до Акта 1686 г., т.е. когда киевские митрополиты избирались в храме Св. Георгия в Фанаре (см. случай с киевским митрополитом Сильвестром в 1649 во времена турецкого ига!).
4. Мы могли бы привести сотни примеров апелляционных обращений к Вселенскому Патриарху архиереев и других клириков, даже мирян не только из других поместных церквей, но и древних Престолов. Несомненно, это является зримое доказательство единства! Письмо Вселенского Патриарха от 1992 г. признает судебную компетентность Русской Церкви, но никоем образом не отказывается от своего права принимать апелляции, и он это право применил.
Наконец, мы публикуем письмо Вселенского Патриарха Варфоломея Патриарху Московскому Алексию Второму (11.07.1992), чтобы стало понятно всем, что позиция Вселенского Престола относительно своей зарубежной юрисдикции осталась неизменной. Публикуемое ниже письмо является «памятником» каноничности и одновременно выявляет трагедию, переживаемую Московским Патриархатом, который не может смириться с центральной ролью Вселенского Патриархата в православной ойкумене. Наверно пришло время наконец-то с этим примирится!
Reply from Patriarch Bartholomew to Patriarch Alexis July 11, 1995,
Prot. No. 937 Your Beatitude and Most Holy ALEXIY, Patriarch of Moscow and all
Russia, our Modesty’s most beloved and dear brother in Christ God a
nd concelebrant, embracing Your venerable Beatitude fraternally in the Lord, we greet You exuberantly.
We received Your Beloved and distinguished Beatitude’s lengthy letter
dated May 18, 1995, Protocol No. 1308, and read it with due care during a session of our Holy and Sacred Synod. The tone of this letter and its contents, which do not in the least correspond to the presumed kindred and by definition good relations between our two sister Churches, naturally stirred in all of us here
and certainly in all of the other Orthodox who received it
not only astonishment, but also very deep bitterness and even grave disappointment. The unexpected character of this letter compelled us, out of respect for the peace held between us, not to respond immediately, so that it not be thought that we were hasty or under pressure in judging the curious and
discomforting contents of the letter, or that we were under the effect of the unfavorable sentiments which we justifiably felt. Therefore, after having allowed a reasonable amount of time to pass, we answer you today with calmness by first returning the Paschal greeting of
peace on the occasion of Our Lord’s Resurrection. Then, in the most
official terms and in the language of evangelical sincerity, we are obliged to present the views of the Holy Great Church of Christ in Constantinople on this matter with the hope that in the future we will not need to readdress such troubling concerns. At any rate, Your Beatitude, it is quite evident that in answering you we will not render account on the accusations made against us, whether directly or through insinuation, as though we were guilty. You felt it your right to impute these accusations upon us for having received under our omophorion our brethren who for decades were dispersed here and there in the Diaspora
certainly through no fault of the Mother Church of Constantinople
into various ecclesiastical formations and who with great anguish sought peace and salvation in God. Rather, the Church,
which knows how to exercise “acribeia” and “oikonomia” toward the
salvation of souls, in time responsibly examined these cases in detail as they occurred. Thus, we think that you should have more assiduously avoided any illegitimate oversteppings and judgments. We, therefore, should like to remind you briefly of only a few but very important truths concerning the issue, which, unfortunately, Your beloved Beatitude and the Most Reverend brothers with you either overlooked out of human weakness, or, even worse, because you believed it possible for the issues of those affected to be passed over without protest. First, we must state categorically that we do not recognize the Most Holy Church of Russia as having any authority whatsoever over the Ukrainians in the Diaspora who have come under the omophorion of the Church of Constantinople since they, being abroad, had the right to seek the protected shelter of the Mother Church of Constantinople with which they historically have unbroken bonds and whose rightful jurisdictional authority and obligation it is to bring about their restoration. Second, the often troubled past throughout the history of each individual group concerned here as it relates to the Church
for which, we repeat,
as it is known, the leaders of schisms and irregular situations are not the only ones to blame, and still less to blame are their distant descendants of today
was by no means unknown to the Church of Constantinople due to her inherent ties to all the Orthodox peoples of the Balkans and beyond. Thus, regretfully, but with great forbearance, we can at best characterize the canonical-historical presentation of the problem in your letter as an oversimplification. Third, it is certainly well known to Your Beatitude and your brothers that the recent attempt by the Church of Constantinople to regularize a faction
within the Diaspora’s pending canonical issues —
which ought not to be
was neither without precedence nor was it a hurried or novel action. On the contrary, this recent attempt came about in continuation and as a natural consequence of similar formal acts of the past clearly aimed at unification in the spirit described above. We regret that unfortunately the same cannot be said for the repeated actions undertaken by the Church o f Russia in these very same regions of the Diaspora. The consequences of such actions not only undermines the peace of the Church which has existed between us until now, but also mortally injures pan-Orthodox order and progress; the foremost and most outrageous instance being the totally un
manageable “autocephality” of the Metropolia in America.
Fourth, we must confess with great sadness that throughout the entire seventy years of Soviet tyranny the Mother Church of Constantinople, while painfully observing the uncanonical defiances [sic] or incidents going on here and there, had the impression that such actions were dictated or even imposed by the hegemonic tactics of the atheistic regime. Thus, we co-suffered with you and judged with leniency. Today, however, when the winds of freedom in Christ blow again for all it would be truly sad to think that the long-term and unconsciously
from reckoning the greater endurance the redefining of the jurisdictional boundaries of your Most Holy Church as effected by the vicissitudes of history. However, as you were so timely reminded by our three-man delegation headed by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia with regard to the Estonian ecclesiastical issue, the Church of Constantinople would be able to teach many through its own example of martyrdom. It is well known that during the Ottoman Empire, the Church of Constantinople, after rather immense jurisdictional expansion, found that in these new times she had to strip herself
certainly this was painful and not pleasant
of her racially closest children, the Hellenes, because she did not want to be an impediment to their further progress toward political freedom. The Church realized that true strength is not found in great numbers and worldly well being, but in bearing witness to the will of God through obedience.
Fifth, of course to a certain extent we can comprehend the fears Your Beatitude and your Holy Synod have as to the consequences which the settlement of the Ukrainians in the Diaspora could eventually have had on the general situation in Ukraine, if proper care had not been taken. In this regard we would like to assure you that the induction of the Ukrainian communities into the canonical order of the Orthodox Church by receiving them under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch will, we believe, finally prove to be beneficial for the relationship between the Most Holy Church of Russia and the faithful in Ukraine. This is so because on the one hand those received were obligated to formally declare that they will not seek autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, or event [sic] a part of it, through know[n] methods employed by the
“autocephalists” who operate in every way possible. On the other hand, it
is no longer possible for them to cooperate or to commune with schismatic Ukrainian groups which are out of communion with the Orthodox Church without bearing harm to themselves, provided the Orthodox Church to return to the autonomous status granted her by the Ecumenical Throne in a Patriarchal and Synodal Tome, which unfortunately was forcefully and simultaneously unilaterally abolished when the Soviets deprived the Estonians of political freedom, we are providing a way out of the bitterness borne from the hardships contiguously endured during the tyrranical period.
The development and further regularization in their relations with the Church of Russia would thus become easier psychologically and certainly no one could then deny the Church
of Russia’s contribution to them.
Sixth, after having explained both of these matters
Ukraine and Estonia
we were left with the impression that we had not only fraternally informed the Most Holy Church of Russia of our intention and actions regarding these issues, but that we had also listened to the fears and objections which you expressed to our Patriarchal delegation. Our Holy and Sacred Synod indeed properly weighed all these things with respect to how it would further handle things. For these reasons we must say that your letter came literally as a lightning bold out of the blue sky. We were even astounded that during a recent trip to Geneva Your Beatitude unjustifiably eschewed our Holy Stauropegial Church there by not celebrating the solemn Divine Liturgy on the occasion of your visit and instead you felt the need to go to a heterodox church, which was indeed scandalous not only to the Orthodox, but to others as well.
Seventh, we do not wish, dear brother, to comment on all that His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Switzerland relayed to us in writing concerning similar complaints coming either from Your Beatitude directly or from His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Smolensk and Kalliningrad who was accompanying you. Because when you say, among other things, that for our recent visit to the Vatican the consent of all the
Orthodox was needed, or that we “concelebrated” with the Pope of Rome,
then, certainly, our understanding of each other becomes especially problematic.
Nonetheless, Your Beatitude, as much for ourselves personally as for the most reverend brothers with us, we in no way desire to agitate our fraternal relations. Our relations indeed are indispensable for all of us now more than ever as we are in the midst of a world which is constantly changing and being subjected to a myriad of dangers. Likewise, however, we must state that the rumors regarding a break in our relations or any other kind of threat find no justification whatsoever in our good conscience; in no way, therefore, will we be pressured by any of our brothers. This would be demeaning and unacceptable not only for us, but them as well.
Praying from the depths of our heart that both in peace and good health you will continue the good fight for the restructuring and spiritual edification of the Russian people which, to the joy and spiritual pride of
us all, is being renewed with God’s blessings after their hardships, we
remain with indissoluble love in the Lord and esteem.
Your venerable Beatitude’s Beloved brother in Christ,
+BARTHOLOMEW of Constantinople