Patriarch Bartholomew: Without the “First” we are a federation of local administrative church groups

Speaking about the “primacy” of Constantinople, Patriarch Bartholomew said that if the Local Orthodox Churches do not have a “First”, then they are “a federation of local administrative church groups, and not a society, as our ecclesiology says, of local Churches headed by the First”. He said this in an interview given on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his election as Patriarch of Constantinople, writes Orthodox times.

Patriarch Bartholomew called the “primacy” itself a new invention, since it is used with negative connotations and is described as “papacy”, “clearly wanting to irritate and anger some of our brothers”.

“I want to ask: isn’t there a First in every diocese? Isn’t there a First in every Church? – says Bartholomew. “If we do not have the First, then we are a federation of local administrative church groups, and not a society, as our ecclesiology says, of local Churches headed by the First.”

“This federation, the new ecclesiology, shows that some brothers are not following in the footsteps of our fathers,” he added.

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