Translator: Dr. Iskren Ivanov
The Holy Center of the Orthodoxy, The Mother Church of all Orthodox Christians – The Holy and Great Church of Christ, that has right and obligation to express her First Blessed position, took the historical initiative through the letter sent by His All Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch to the Heads of All Orthodox Churches to coordinate the common efforts regarding the COVID19 Pandemic and considering the Holy Communion Service because there are different practices in every Church even between the different eparchies.
This letter is sent to all Heads of the Orthodox Churches, including to His Holiness Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria as well as to His Beatitude Epiphanius, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.
It is urgent that this letter of the Ecumenical Patriarch be uploaded to the web site of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, originally and translated, as a symbol for all priests and eparchiots that are not seduced by the foreign influence of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian practice of “Christ disinfection” and addition changes in the Holy Communion service.
A letter to all Orthodox Churches
His All Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, in the Mother Church’s desire to have coordination and also unity between the Sister-Churches, sent a letter to all of his Brothers considering the Holy Communion service:
“Your Beatitude, Christ is Risen!
We survived painfully the circumstances that appeared in the life of the Church, because of the latent Coronavirus pandemic. I received news, letters and questions of different character. We, inspired by the spirit of solidarity and cooperation for the Christian’s protection and the common good, decided to serve the Holy Liturgies without the presence of any believers, but as a first-important priority we kept the Faith of our Holy Fathers, that eternally enlightens the Universe. However, after we were praised by the majority of all governmental heads and political officials, we witnessed unthinkable opinions on the Holy Communion services. It is impossible for us to remain speechless and voiceless to such a contradiction. We are not going to stay inactive regarding the states’ prohibitions and legal measures.
We obeyed the actions of the all political and healthcare institutions, and of course, we will still obey, until the moment the very core of our Faith is shattered. The compromises in the Church can go no further than the Cross, but we will never throw It, only because of the loyalty to the government of this world, that questions the Sacrament of the Sacraments in our life – the Holy Communion.
We know from the life of the Church, that it is Holy Tradition that interprets the Evangical and Apostolical legacy in compliance with the Holy Dogmas, which is an integral part of the Church’s life and practices. As we approach to this Sacred experience of the Church, we see and truly believe, that his life in world through the Holy Communion or even the Holy Communion Himself, is a revelation and life of all Sacraments in the Church. God Himself, “Who stands invisibly by us”, “Who offers and Who is offered and spread”, is Given to us through His Holy Body and Holy Blood in the Holy Eucharist, that leads to “the fulfillment of the Heaven’s Kingdom”.
Considering that, we write to the Your Beloved Beatitude, as we completely and consciously declare, that we do not want to step down from the tradition of our Holy Fathers. Considering the circumstances, we wish to hear Your fraternal thoughts and visions in order to parentally face against the non-canonical practices of the Holy Communion service.
With love in Christ and Fraternal kiss, we give a hug of Brotherhood to Your Beatitude, we stand by our beloved brother, co-servant and co-receiver of the Holy Communion from the same Chalice, that we drink for we will never remain thirsty. Amen!”
Ecumenical Patriarchate, June 1, 2020
By the Holy Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod
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