Archimandrite Kirill (Govorun), an employee of the Catholic University in Los Angeles, said that the rector of the KTA, Bishop Sylvester (Stoychev) of Bilogorodka, is mistaken when he calls the Phanar’s violations of the canons in relation to the UOC “unprecedented.”
As a “proof”, he cited examples of violations of the canons by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which, in his opinion, “cannot be compared with what is attributed to the Phanar.” These are examples when Constantinople abolished the autocephaly of the Bulgarian, Serbian and Georgian Churches.
Well, first of all, it’s good that Govorun admits that Phanar has repeatedly violated canonical norms.
Secondly, willingly or unwillingly, he destroys the myth propagated by the Phanar that the Patriarchate of Constantinople was “exhausted” in order to grant someone autocephaly. As you can see, in fact, the Phanariot Greeks did not want other peoples to receive church independence largely.
Third, what have these examples to do with lord Sylvester’s statement? Moreover, why Govorun decided that they can refute what was said by the rector of the KTA?
What the Phanar did in Ukraine is truly unprecedented, because for the first time in the history of the Church, autocephalous (and, mostly, canonical) status was granted to an unauthorized assembly and a parallel schismatic structure, while the canonical Church was declared non-existent! The same Govorun did not give a single example of this.
Imagine if the Phanar did the same in Bulgaria or Greece, granting autocephaly, say, to the Old Calendarists, and declaring Archbishop Jerome and Patriarch Neophyt titular bishops. It would be such an absurd and wildest step. That would plunge the entire Orthodox world into a trance.
By the way, it doesn’t matter whether he acts on his canonical territory or not. Even if we assume that Ukraine is the canonical territory of the Church of Constantinople (and this is actually not the case), he had no right to legalize schismatics to the detriment of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In fact, Govorun is well aware of why the actions of the Phanariots are absurd and are an example of absolute canonical arbitrariness, but he pretends not to understand this. Because he has long lost his scientific honor and reputation, turning into a banal sophist.