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Ecumenical Patriarch, Office of PM of Lithuania: https://ministraspirmininkas.lrv.lt

Patriarch Bartholomew “is considered the leader of the 300-million-strong worldwide Orthodox community” See related: “Bartholomew Signs ‘Tomos’ Granting Independence To New Orthodox Church In Ukraine”. January 05, 2019 https://www.rferl.org/a/ukrainian-church-to-get-autonomy-this-weekend-in-istanbul/29692716.html

This is major and helps to preserve the Eastern Orthodox traditions from Russian influence, and seriously undermines the ideological underpinnings of Putin’s regime, which has been trying to control all Orthodox churches, as well as to herd both Roman Catholics and protestants into a KGB-FSB-Putin controlled (Russian) Orthodox Church: “The Russian world is ecclesiastical in its form, but geopolitical in its essence; it is a concept that was put forward in a keynote speech on November 3, 2009, by Patriarch Kirill (Gundyayev) of Moscow which he described as a “common civilisational space” of countries sharing Eastern Orthodoxy, Russian culture and language…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow%2C_third_Rome

It is tragic that Pope Francis hasn’t done much apart from this: “Pope delivers stern warning to leader of Russian Orthodox Church over support for Putin in Ukrainehttps://youtu.be/LOE_dlqey3c Pope Francis, himself, frequently looks like Putin’s altar boy, because of his weakness toward Putin.

The ecumenical patriarch (Greek: Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, romanized: Oikoumenikós Patriárchēs) is the archbishop of Constantinople (Istanbul), New Rome and primus inter pares (first among equals) among the heads of the several autocephalous churches which compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. The ecumenical patriarch is regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide.[1][2][3] The term ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, and it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenical_Patriarch_of_Constantinople

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew accuses Russian Orthodox Church of war crimes in Ukraine YEVHEN KIZILOV — WEDNESDAY, 22 MARCH 2023, 18:45
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said on Wednesday that the Russian Orthodox Church shares responsibility for the crimes of the war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine.

Source: Bartholomew at a conference at the Lithuanian parliament in Vilnius, reports Reuters
Details: The patriarch explained that the Russian authorities use the church as an “instrument for their strategic objectives”.

Quote: “The church and the state leadership in Russia cooperated in the crime of aggression and shared the responsibility for the resulting crimes, like the shocking abduction of the Ukrainian children….”

Our interreligious dialogue has to focus on ways to resist and neutralize the capacity of the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate to undermine unity and to theologically legitimize criminal behaviour.”

More details: Bartholomew added that he is ready to help in Russia’s post-war “spiritual regeneration”.

Note: Kirill Gundyaev, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, blessed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Background: On 17 March, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is suspected of committing a war crime of illegal deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

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Ecumenical Patriarch: Russian Orthodox Church shares blame for Russia’s crimes in Ukraine 22.03.2023 23:04 https://www.ukrinform.net
Russia’s state leadership and the Russian Orthodox Church share responsibility for the crimes committed in Ukraine, particularly the abduction of children.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said this during his visit to Lithuania, Ukrinform reports with reference to Reuters.

“The church and the state leadership in Russia cooperated in the crime of aggression and shared the responsibility for the resulting crimes, like the shocking abduction of the Ukrainian children,” he told a conference held in Lithuania’s parliament.

He called for neutralizing attempts by the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate to undermine the unity of Christians.

“Our interreligious dialogue has to focus on ways to resist and neutralize the capacity of the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate to undermine unity and to theologically legitimize criminal behavior,” Bartholomew said.

At the same time, he expressed hope that “Russian brothers and sisters” would return to the community of shared values.

“It is our common Christian duty to use forces of dialogue to bring back our Russian brothers and sisters to our community of shared values,” he said, stressing the need for “spiritual regeneration” in both Russia and Ukraine.” https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-society/3686151-ecumenical-patriarch-russian-orthodox-church-shares-blame-for-russias-crimes-in-ukraine.html

Prime Minister meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, visiting Lithuania for the first time: Prime Minister meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, visiting Lithuania for the first time

On 21 March, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who is on a visit to Lithuania for the first time at the invitation of the Head of Government.

“We sincerely welcome Your All-Holiness’ first visit to Lithuania and are grateful for the attention you are paying to the Lithuanian Orthodox community and the issues of concern to it,” said Prime Minister Šimonytė.

Ms Šimonytė emphasized that the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to uphold the appeal of five Lithuanian Orthodox priests, to restore their religious status and to accept them into the Mother Church after the decision of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to expel them from the clergy, is an important step ensuring religious freedom in Lithuania.

Lithuania, which has been historically open and tolerant to the diversity of beliefs, will do its utmost to protect and guarantee the freedom of faith, conscience and religion to every citizen and resident of Lithuania, as enshrined in the Constitution, Prime Minister stressed.

Ms Šimonytė stressed that the decision on the return of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Lithuania can only be taken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself – this is a matter for the Church and the faithful. However, she pointed out that the possibility to practice one’s faith without conflict with one’s conscience is important not only for Orthodox Lithuanian citizens, including those of Greek or Ukrainian origin, but also for Ukrainians who have fled the war launched by Russia and for Belarusians who have moved to Lithuania because of the repressions in their home country.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Šimonytė and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which aims to further strengthen and develop cooperation in the areas of mutual interest to facilitate the exercise of the freedom of conscience and religion for the Orthodox believers in Lithuania”. https://ministraspirmininkas.lrv.lt/uploads/ministraspirmininkas/documents/files/Lithuanian_Ecumenical_Patriarchate_agreement_EN%2B20230320%2BLT%2Balternate%2Bfinal(1).docx.pdf

Russia bases its claim on a Swedish-viking king who married a Byzantine princess: “Ivan was the first Russian ruler to style himself “tsar”, albeit not as an official title. Through marriage to Sofia Paleologue, he made the double-headed eagle Russia’s coat of arms and adopted the idea of Moscow as the third Rome. His 43-year reign was the second longest in Russian history, after that of his grandson Ivan IV. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_III_of_Moscow Ivan was part of the Rurik dynasty which were mostly Swedish vikings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rurik_dynasty

Sweden wants to join NATO. Denmark is in NATO, as is Greece. The heir to the Byzantine church just disclaimed the Russian church.

The Patriarchate acts in the capacity of being an intermediary and facilitator between the Orthodox churches and also in relations with other Christians and religions. This role sometimes brings the Patriarchate into conflict with other Orthodox churches, as its role in the church is debated. The question centers around whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate is simply the most honored among the Orthodox churches or whether it has any real authority or prerogatives (πρεσβεία, presveía) that differ from the other autocephalous churches. This dispute is often between Constantinople and Moscow, the largest Orthodox church in terms of population, especially as expressed in the Third Rome theory which places Moscow in the place of Constantinople as the center of world Orthodoxy. Such disputes sometimes result in temporary breaks in full communion, though usually not for very long.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenical_Patriarchate_of_Constantinople