The Istanbul-based ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Vartholomaios, who is the first among equals in Orthodox Christendom, lashed out against the Moscow Patriarchate Tuesday over its opposition to the granting of independence to the Ukrainian Church from that of Russia.
In remarks directed against Moscow, Vartholomaios said the “Phanar is always a source of light and hope that doesn’t go out, neither with winds that once blew from the east and west nor with the icy winds blowing from the steppes of the north.”
“The truth about Ukraine will prevail,” he said, and referred to “slanderers.”
The rift between Constantinople and Moscow opened after the newly elected head of the Ukrainian Church received the tomos (decree of independence or autocephaly) in Istanbul in January – ending more than 300 years of Ukrainian subservience to Moscow which began in 1686.
Moscow opposes the move and has threatened a schism with Constantinople.