July 25, 2014

Patriarch Kirill to visit Ecumenical Patriarchate in July

The ANA-MPA news service is reporting that “the new Patriarch of Moscow, Kyrill will be on a formal visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople at Phanar on July 4-6. Patriarch Kyrill and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople will co-officiate in a mass, while the visiting Patriarch is expected to follow the example of his predecessor and visit Aghia Sophia.”

Here’s a good backgrounder on the tensions that have existed between Moscow and Constantinople for years. The report in AsiaNews was a “table setter” for the Pan-Orthodox Synaxis held in October at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. From the article:

The dispute between Moscow and Constantinople has been going on for some time: first in Rhodes (Greece) in 2007, when Moscow announced it would not take part in the pan-Orthodox Synod in 2008; then in Ravenna when Moscow’s representatives walked out of a conference because they objected to the presence of the Estonian Orthodox Church which Moscow does not recognise.

The confrontation began to ebb when Aleksij II decided to take part in the Kiev festivities.

Since his arrival last Friday Bartholomew made it clear that his trip was not meant to reassert his “supremacy” but only “contribute to the unity of the Ukrainian Church . . . and honour the martyrs of the Holotovol famine of 1932-1933, victims of the atheist fury.”

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