Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew (I) Wants Unity with Rome

 Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

Born as Dimitrios Arhondonis, he has been known as the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I since 1991 


As biblical prophecy indicates, the Orthodox will apparently unify or at least more strongly cooperate with the Catholics of Rome.

Notice portions of a letter posted yesterday at zenit.org (a pro-Vatican news source) from the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I (whose “official title” is His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch):

Today, then, it is our obligation more than ever to reclaim the Christian roots of Europe and the spiritual, sacramental and doctrinal unity that it enjoyed prior to the schism of our two Churches. The re-evangelization of our peoples is “today, more so than ever before, timely and necessary, even within traditional Christian lands,” as we admitted and confessed in common here exactly one year ago.

Thus, we believe that Western and Eastern Europe must cease regarding themselves as foreign to one another. Contact among Christians of the Latin tradition and the Orthodox faith may be rendered most productive for both sides. The feast of the Apostle Andrew, whom we commemorate and celebrate today, constitutes a vocation for all Christians of the world to return to the fullness, youthfulness and purity of the Christian tradition of the early Church…

Today’s celebration is an invitation extended to both our Churches to the unity of the Cross. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ stretched out his arms upon the cross, uniting all that was formerly divided, so also his apostle, in imitation of his Master, stretched out his arms, gathering us all today and calling us to stretch out our arms upon the cross spiritually in order to achieve the unity that we desire.

Elder Rome has the foremost St. Peter as its apostle and patron. New Rome, Constantinople, has the brother of St. Peter, the first-called of the apostles, Andrew. Both invite us to the fraternal unity that they shared with each other and that can only be acquired when the cross becomes our point of reference and experience of approach.

Let us, therefore, beseech these two brothers and greatest of apostles that they may grant peace to the world and lead everyone to unity. http://www.zenit.org/article-21198?l=english.

The Patriarch of Constantinople is generally considered the first among equals within the Eastern Orthodox “sees”. 

The “schism” he is referring to occurred in 1054 A.D.  Basically what he appears to want is to be treated as an equal with Rome while acknowledging it as the “apostolic see with primacy”

Apparently, he and the Orthodox will agree to the inaccurate position that Peter was the primary apostle who established apostolic succession in Rome and hence Rome is entitled to more honor than the other “sees” (Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem) as long as Rome does not now insist upon subservience from the Patriarchs of the other “sees”. 

Does Bartholomew I not realize that Roman Catholic scholars do not believe that his church has apostolic succession?

Notice this from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

In the fifth century we meet with a spurious document attributed to a certain Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre at the end of the third century, according to which the Church of Byzantium was founded by the Apostle St. Andrew, its first bishop being his disciple Stachys (cf. Romans 16:9). The intention of the forger is plain: in this way the Church of Rome is made inferior to that of Constantinople, St. Andrew having been chosen an Apostle by Jesus before his brother St. Peter, the founder of the Roman Church.

The first historically known Bishop of Byzantium is St. Metrophanes (306-314), though the see had perhaps been occupied during the third century. It was at first subject to the metropolitan authority of Heraclea, and remained so, at least canonically, until 381, when the Second Ecumenical Council (can. iii) gave the Bishop of Constantinople the first place after the Bishop of Rome (Vailhé S. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. Constantinople. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus the idea that Constantinople clearly has apostolic succession has been discounted by Catholic scholars and even to a degree by Orthodox scholars (for additional documentation, please see the article Apostolic Succession ).

It should also be noted that Roman Catholic scholars do not believe that Alexandria nor Jerusalem has apostolic succession either–also there are problems with Antioch’s claims as well (for additional documentation, please see the article Apostolic Succession).

The fact is that Rome wants cooperation with the Orthodox so that it can eventually control them.  Notice the following “private prophecy” written by a Catholic saint and mystic known as Abbot Joachim over 800 years ago:

A remarkable Pope will be seated on the pontifical throne, under special protection of the angels. Holy and full of gentleness, he shall undo all wrong, he shall recover the states of the Church, and reunite the exiled temporal powers. As the only Pastor, he shall reunite the Eastern to the Western Church…This holy Pope shall be both pastor and reformer. Through him the East and West shall be in ever lasting concord. The city of Babylon shall then be the head and guide of the world. Rome, weakened in temporal power, shall forever preserve her spiritual dominion, and shall enjoy great peace

(Cited in Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, pp. 31-32).

The Bible warns against becoming part of Babylon (e.g. Revelation 17:5).   Certainly Bartholomew I must have read its warnings.

As I have written many times (and also had published in The Journal: News of the Churches of God) the Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics.  This current movement, which sadly will probably include most of the Orthodox, will not be good. 

But not all the Orthodox have to go along with unity with the Romans. 

Individually, the Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics.

Additional articles of related interest may include:

Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God  Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?

Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”?

Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!

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