EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): Helleniscope has reported on the planning of the Synod of the Ancient Patriarchates, including the Church of Cyprus, to take place before Easter in order to discuss the Schism.  As you will see below, the Patriarchate of Antioch has s far downgraded this planning, calling it a “meeting” while the Constantinople Patriarchate has been trying in the opposite direction, calling it a “synaxis”. At the moment, until the Holy Synod of Antioch convenes nobody is sure whether Antioch will be part of the event. It is likely that both Jerusalem and Antioch will seek guarantees that they will not be locked into a process deciding harsh measures against Moscow…

Below is the report from Orthochristian.com.



Patriarch John of Antioch with Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon of the Patriarchate of ConstantionplePatriarch John of Antioch with Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

It was widely reported and well known that the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria had plans to convene a council of the primates of the “ancient Churches” of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus to deal with the Russian Synod’s decision to establish an African Exarchate.

Some outlets spoke about this as a revival of the ancient Pentarchy, with the Church of Cyprus taking fifth place, which will punish the Russian Church (one Greek hierarch has even explicitly called for the Russian Church to be deprived of its autocephaly).

The groundwork for this was clearly laid by Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria in his “Encyclical to the Holy Clergy and Pious People of Our Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa,” where he implicitly presents a tiered concept of autocephaly, where Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem were always responsible for solving problems in the Church, while Constantinople held a place of primacy in the East. The Church of Cyprus is also mentioned as an ancient Church, though clearly with lower standing than the Patriarchates.

Later Patriarchates, including the Moscow Patriarchate as his letter indicates, are presented as possessing less authority, as practically an aberration, where new states used secular power to achieve autocephaly status for their Churches, granted self-sacrificially by Constantinople.

Metropolitan Gregory of Cameroon of the Patriarchate of Alexandria then began visiting the primates of the ancient Churches to inform them of what has been happening in Africa, and Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon has begun visiting primates to invite them to this gathering of the primates of the ancient Churches-new Pentarchy.

Both hierarchs visited His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch in the past week, and it’s interesting to compare the differences in the Antiochian and Constantinople press releases about these visits.

Though the first Antiochian statement follows the typical pattern: “The hierarchs met in a warm and friendly atmosphere and discussed matters of mutual interest, etc.,” the language seems to imply that Constantinople has already lowered its expectations for this revival of the Pentarchy that will condemn the actions of the Russian Church, with the accompanying canonical sanctions.

Following the visit of Met. Emmanuel on Saturday, February 12, Antioch reported:

His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, received His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, envoy of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, at the patriarchal residence in Balamand. The Elder Metropolitan carried an invitation to participate in the meeting of the four Apostolic Patriarchates, proposed to be held before the Great Lent and Holy Week in Constantinople, to discuss the issues facing the Orthodox Church. The meeting raised the discussion about the historical relations uniting the Churches of Antioch and Constantinople, as well as the overall emerging issues.

There are three interesting points here:

  1. The gathering of primates is simply called a “meeting” here, not a “council” or “synaxis.” While this choice of wording may not mean anything specific, it is more reminiscent of the meeting of the primates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus in April 2019, or the fraternal meeting in Amman in February 2020, both of which were consultative gatherings, rather than councils that would promulgate authoritative decisions.

  2. The proposed meeting will include the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, but not the Church of Cyprus. This could mean that Constantinople and Alexandria are backing down from the tiered system of autocephalous Churches that they have been implicitly presenting.

  3. There is no indication that Pat. John accepted the invitation.

The next day, Constantinople issued its own statement about Met. Emmanuel’s visit to Pat. John:

The two ancient Patriarchates, which have maintained brotherly relations for centuries, reiterated their desire to jointly contribute to the consolidation of Pan-Orthodox unity through another Synaxis of the primates of the senior Patriarchates in the near future.

Here, the stronger term, “Synaxis of the primates” is used, and the wording gives more of an impression that Pat. John accepted the invitation to attend.

And again the next day, Antioch issued another statement, this time about the visit of Metropolitans Gregory of Cameroon and John of Zambia from the Church of Alexandria:

The Metropolitans briefed the Patriarch on the developments that the patriarchate has witnessed after the creation of the African Exarchate by the Russian Church. The gathering also discussed the meeting of the patriarchs of the four apostolic churches proposed to be held by the Patriarchate of Constantinople before the Holy Week.

His Beatitude reiterated to the Alexandrian delegation what he had told the envoy of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Elder Metropolitan of Chalcedon, Emmanuel, that the Holy Antiochian Synod would meet soon to confer the developments in the Orthodox Church and take an appropriate stance on them.

The Antiochian Church speaks again of a “meeting” of the primates of only the four ancient Patriarchates, and here it is emphasized that Pat. John will not make any unilateral decision about whether to attend the gathering, but will leave the matter to the Synod of the Antiochian Patriarchate.

It’s also noteworthy that the statement emphasizes that Pat. John had specifically told Met. Emmanuel that the matter would be left up to the Synod, whereas the Constantinople statement implies that Pat. John already agreed to attend the Patriarchal gathering.

Thus, based on the Antiochian statements, it can be reasonably suggested that Constantinople has lowered its initial expectations for a council of a revived Pentarchy that will bring the hammer down upon the Russian Church. Perhaps they came to understand that even were all the invited Patriarchs to attend, such a council, with its implicit system of tiered autocephalies, would never be accepted by the Church at large.


  1. The “Synod” of Kolymbari was unsuccessful in bringing all the Churches in attendance, because the agenda was biased, ignored many of the real issues that had been promised for discussion since the 1960s, and ultimately not held in good faith.

    Similarly, the reasons for this “gathering” of Ancient Churches is an attempt to turn this into a “rubber stamp” exercise to “punish” Moscow on the one hand, and “legitimize” the Ukrainian Schism via an ancient Canon, that stipulates the authority of the “Ancient Churches” to resolve and declare a Schism…

    Unfortunately, the level of bias here is obvious.
    1) The Patriarch of Alexandria is originally from Crete. He grew up being a loyal subject of Constantinople, because that’s whose jurisdiction Crete belongs to, even today. The obvious perception here is that he appears eager to abuse the authority that he inherited from his Alexandrian predecessors, in order to “repay” his loyalty to Constantinople, his childhood Church.

    2) The Church of Cyprus was “reformed” (reorganized) by Meletios Metaxakis, who created a ton of Schisms on his own (Ecumenism, New Calendar, etc), and one can arguably say that the last 100 years the Church of Cyprus does not necessarily function as nor resemble the same “independent ancient Church” it used to be. Volumes can be written on the specifics of this subject, but this will suffice for now.

    3) Jerusalem is a wild card…no longer financially independent, it is unclear what “deals” are being made behind closed doors…Moscow is also a well-known “angel investor” but this Patriarchate’s vote is still a risk. We should not forget those leaked reports of how the Ukranian President reportedly “sweetened” the deal with tens of millions of “thank you” dollars that were connected to Constantinople’s Ukrainian “tomos” decision….could something similar potentially occur here to “influence” a vote, especially when the “Ukranian Architect” Emmanuel is hard at work behind the scenes? The financial situation of Jerusalem certainly opens the door to such clandestine “offers”…

    4) This leaves Antioch. Generally a very solid, spiritual Patriarch, with a very solid reputation for being loyal to our Faith, and not generally prone to “compromises”. If they were all like him, we wouldn’t be in this predicament, in my opinion. However, Syria has become what it has become these days on the geopolitical spectrum, so it is unclear what pressures have mounted behind closed doors.

  2. Ugh,
    the horrid sight of this sexual deviant
    hiding in priestly robes,
    Met. Emmanuel of Chalcedon – is enough to warn converts not to join Greek Church!

  3. Destroying Greek-Russian relations

    Now, Americans want to use their influence in Greece and Constantinople to destroy relations between the Greek and the Russian world, which remains a strategic, long-term aim of their policy. This is a very important goal per se, parallel to their “Ukrainian” aims.

    The destruction of any relations between Greece and Russia, and also of the image of Greece in Russia and of Russia in Greece, has been one of the most important strategic aims of the British Empire for the last two to three centuries and, also, of the US policy after 1946. They don’t even hide it. Their think tanks call both Greece and Cyprus “Trojan horses” of Moscow.

    This western strategy has become more important and relevant today, for at least two reasons. Greece remains always a debt colony in a “death spiral”, so it may revolt again like it did in 2015 and turn to Russia for help. The question of the international orientation of the country may also be put again on the agenda, in case of EU dissolution.The second reason is that the most absolute control of the Balkans is necessary to wage (or threaten to wage) war against Russia. The most absolute control of Cyprus is necessary for any new, major campaign in the Middle East. Any Russian influence, even a remote one, in those two countries must be neutralized by all means.

    The most serious shock for Orthodoxy since 1453….continue reading if you are interested….https://www.konstantakopoulos.gr/6075/imperialism-geopolitics-and-religion-the-split-between-moscow-and-constantinople

  4. Nothing good can come out of anything involving the heretical and openly satanic, ecumenical Bartholomew. How ironic that his title is ecumenical. I guess that can now be taken two diametrically opposed ways.


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