Patriarch Bartholomew

Patriarch Bartholomew

Primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople Patriarchate
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Short biography

Patriarch Bartholomew I is the Primate of the Church of Constantinople and Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome.

Short biography

Dimitrios Archondonis was born on February 29, 1940, in Agios Theodoros, on the island of Gekceada, in Turkey.

In 1961 he graduated from the Chalki School of Theology and was ordained a deacon, as well as received the ecclesiastical name of Bartholomew.

From 1961 to 1963 he served in the Turkish army.

After his retirement from the army, he received higher education, first at the Pontifical University of Rome and later at the University of Munich. He lectured at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

In 1973 Bartholomew was ordained bishop, first as Metropolitan of Philadelphia, and later as Metropolitan of Chalcedon.

Already in October 1991, Bartholomew was elected to the post of Primate of the Church of Constantinople.

Tomos to Ukraine

The conflict between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Constantinople Orthodox Church led by Patriarch Bartholomew began in 1996 with the restoration of the Apostolic Orthodox Church in Estonia under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople patriarchate. The Russians decided that this would be an "encroachment on the Russian Orthodox Church" and even removed Bartholomew's name from their diptychs for a while.

The conflict continued in 2004 when Patriarch Bartholomew condemned the ROC's idea of creating a so-called "Third Rome" based on Moscow and accused the Kremlin of politicizing religion, which should always stand apart from secular power.

The rift between the Russian Orthodox Church and the ROC, between Patriarch Kyrill and Patriarch Bartholomew, culminated in 2018, when the Constantinople Patriarchate granted Ukraine the right to autocephaly. In retaliation, the Russian Orthodox Church initially limited itself to the methods of 1996 by suspending the mention of Bartholomew in services, but then decided to take tougher action and suspended all Eucharistic communion with the Church of Constantinople.

In early 2019, Patriarch Bartholomew signed a Tomos on autocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

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