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Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria Dared to Do the Right Thing

The National Herald Archive

Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Abroad Antonis Diamataris with His Beatitude Theodoros Patriarch of Alexandria. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Analysis

His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria dared and he made the correct decision by recognizing the new Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine Eucharisticaly, first by commemorating Metropolitan Epiphanios’ name in the Diptychs during the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy in Cairo at the Church of the Archangels in Dahir, where Egypt’s largest Arabic-speaking Orthodox community lives, and then through an official letter and announcement.

Patriarch Theodoros followed the example of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece. Theodoros delayed a little to make such a correct ecclesiological decision, but what matters is that he ignored all the threats and intimidations of Patriarch Kyrillos of Moscow and his protege, the cunning Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolask.

Patriarch Theodoros, with his decision, send a message to other “hesitant” Patriarchs and Archbishops of the same descent, blood, and language, that the issue doesn’t have only ecclesiastical parameters but also ethnic dimensions – with the correct connotation of the term – because it involves the prestige and the reach of Hellenism. After all, the visit to the Patriarchate of Alexandria of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Charge of Hellenes Abroad – whose purview includes the Orthodox Churches in Diaspora – Antonis Diamataris, on behalf of the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a leader with pious upbringing and correct positions on issues of supreme importance for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, was of determinative importance. And this truth and reality should be recognized by everybody starting from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew whom the Russians had isolated for eleven months. I think with this we understand each other; we need to say no more…

The paradigm of decisiveness, strength, and ecclesiological ethos that Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria has displayed should be followed without any further delay by the remaining “hesitant” hierarchs, beginning with Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, who should proceed with the recognition immediately because he has embarrassed himself irreparably. Of course, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania should stop the well-known games he learned in his youth at the Zoe pietistic organization, to remind himself that what he is today is a Primate of an Autocephalous Church – a position he owes to the Ecumenical Patriarchate – and the least he can do is to end his hypocritical tactics and show some gratitude to the Mother Church of Constantinople.

I have to admit that the one who surprises me most is Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, whose interventions in the past were balanced and prudent. His word was once direct and manly. Alas if he is afraid of some fundamentalist dissidents, since he is a stout hearted man.

Regarding Patriarch Ioannis of Antioch, I really don’t want to even mention him because he has been a coward but I am sure he will follow at some point the correct course that Archbishop Ieonymos of Athens and All Greece and Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria have paved. Let us not forget that Theodoros is both “Pope and Patriarch” and he proved that he honors his promissory word. Regarding the Muscovite Kyrillos, he is being steadily isolated and a time will come when he and Hilarion with have only each other to commemorate.