September 26, 2014 (Source: http://www.news.va/en/news)
In an interview for Vatican Radio, Cardinal Koch, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, and their representative at the recently held ecumenist meeting in Amman, Jordan (hosted by the Jerusalem Patriarchate, under Theophilos III), commented on how the resolution of problems within the World Orthodox patriarchates would be solved at the 2016 “Pan-Orthodox Synod”; this would enable the next step in the “Catholic-Orthodox dialogue”. Cardinal Koch noted how the MP representatives, especially Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev), objected to the concept of the Pope’s primacy on a ‘theological level’ but, not on a pragmatic level. He also stated that interaction with the Moscow Patriarchate and its representatives was very productive.
In the interview, which is linked below, along with an article by Vatican Radio, Cardinal Koch was enthusiastic, one would even say jubilant, in his voice about the cooperation on all levels, above all he singles out Constantinople. The article states:
Asked about the planned visit of Pope Francis to Istanbul at the end of November, Cardinal Koch says the visit can help deepen the dialogue with Constantinople, though he says relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate are already very good: “His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew is very open and very helpful for me, because we have some tendencies in the dialogue, also on the Catholic side, to say there’s no possibility of continuing our theological dialogue about primacy, we must have another issue. But the Patriarch always says no, this theological commission must continue this work, so I think the Pope’s visit can be a good help for the continuation of our dialogue.”
Indeed, Vatican Insider has noted how the Jersualem Patriarchate, which was once considered the most obstructionst and “tough on the Catholic Church” of the Eastern Patriarchates has largely come around to the ecumenist agenda.
Cardinal Koch notes how Pope Francis’ upcoming meeting in November with Pat. Bartholomew in Constantinople will help with the ecumenist agenda; noting how Pat. Bartholomew has constantly pushed the issue of the theological discussion of ‘primacy’. We already know how Patriarch Bartholomew is very open about pushing the supremacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate over all World Orthodox bodies (i.e., claiming the ability to remove autocephalous status, and that all to grants, everywhere, of autocephalous and autonomous status must ultimately be made by Constantinople ); describing itself as “First Without Equals“.
All these activities and compromises of the Orthodox Christian teaching, as found expressed by the Holy Scriptures, Fathers, Saints, Councils, Canons, etc, are opposed by the True Orthodox bishops, clergy, monastics and laity which have refused communion with the mainline ‘official’ World Orthodox Patriarchates. The True Orthodox see Rome as in heresy and view the mainline churches of the Patriarchates to have become heretical; the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has responded with violent persecutorial measures on Mt. Athos against Holy Ascension Monastery (Esphigmenou), with monks being beaten, tortured, and killed by the Bartholomew’s police force because they refuse to officially recognize Pat. Bartholomew or his modernist-ecumenist agenda and embrace ‘ecumenical love’. Similar anti-ecumenist True Orthodox bodies have suffered persecution in Russia over their refusal to accept the ecumenical movement. The True Orthodox state they are more than willing to seek the conversion of Roman Catholics and other bodies to Orthodox Christianity, if those bodies (i.e. Roman Catholics, Protestants, as well as the Anti-Chalcedonians and Nestorians) accept the Orthodox Church and Her Teachings (many True Orthodox in the Americas, Western Europe, etc, come from non-Orthodox backgrounds); however, the True Orthodox point out that joint-prayers, services, etc, are against the Tradition of the Church, because it equates heresy with Truth. They have also rebuffed any ecumenical gatherings since, traditionally, Orthodoxy has found it impossible to equate heresy as equal to Truth.
The mainline Patriarchates of World Orthodox consider the True Orthodox to be ‘schismatic’ and, for the past 70 years or so, have generally subjected them to physical violence and other forms of persecution for their refusal to accept ecumenism with the Vatican, Protestants and other non-Orthodox bodies, as well as the traditionalist opposition to modernism.
For more information and to listen to the interview: