The first attempt at a congregation of the Orthodox Christian Churches after the Schism of 1054, the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete, is fast evolving into a religious “war”.
Spearheaded by the Church of Moscow, and with the support of its satellites, the Church of Bulgaria and the Church of Georgia, there is a danger of thwarting the first major effort to put on a common table the serious issues Orthodoxy is facing.
For a long time now, the Patriarchate of Moscow has been trying to place under his “protection” the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, with the aim of claiming its leadership and its transfer to Moscow, since as they say in Moscow, Russia is the most populous country of Orthodox Christians.
With the fall of socialism and the reopening of the Russian Church, which through all the years of “communist” governance of the country had the full support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, an attempt began to change the status quo of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The scope of the personality of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has irked the leadership of the Russian Church and saw its plans to take on primacy in the Eastern Orthodox Church falling on deaf ears.
It is hard to see as accidental the visit by Russian president Vladimir Putin to Mount Athos a few days before the Pan-Orthodox Council.
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