Monday, January 7, 2019

Patriarch John X's Reply to the Letter from Patriarch Bartholomew

Translated from the Russian version here. I have been able to confirm its authenticity and accurate portrayal of His Beatitude's letter. For the letter this is in response to, see here.

[UPDATE: An official English translation of the full letter is now available here.]

His Beatitude Patriarch of Antioch John X:
It is Unreasonable to End a Schism at the Price of the Unity of the Orthodox World

Responding to Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew's letter regarding his intention to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, His Beatitude Patriarch of Antioch and All the East John X stressed that these events are worrisome not only because of the disunity that they provoke in the Orthodox world, but also because the opinion of the local Orthodox churches was not taken into account in this situation.

"We wish to see the unity of the Orthodox world strengthened and consolidated," said the head of the Antiochian Orthodox Church to Patriarch Bartholomew. "From your letter it appears that you have decided to continue the process of granting autocephaly... Therefore we urge you not to make any decisions about which there is no consensus of the autocephalous Orthodox churches. For it is unreasonable to end a schism at the price of the unity of the Orthodox world."

His Beatitude Patriarch John expressed confidence that "the most beneficial thing for the peace of the Church, for her unity and for the common Orthodox witness in our world today is to suspend and postpone this process until the Ukrainian problem is examined and a pan-Orthodox solution found."

"Therefore, we implore Your All-Holiness to call upon Your brothers, the primates of the Orthodox churches, to study these questions in order to protect our Church from dangers that will not lead to peace and harmony, neither in Ukraine nor in the Orthodox world."

"Our love for your Orthodox Church and for Your Beloved Holiness prompts us to write these words in the hope of seeing the Orthodox world united, especially in your remarkable era, bearing witness to the truth of our Lord Jesus, who is incarnate for the salvation of the world," stressed Patriarch of Antioch and All the East John X.

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