Patriarch Theodore, the head of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who previously, together with Patriarch Bartholomew, intended to isolate the Russian Orthodox Church, not only found himself in a state of isolation, but even longtime vital allies are beginning to abandon him.
Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa issued a sharp response to the Coptic Patriarch Tavandros II after the latter decided to cede the church of his patriarchate in Cairo to the Russian Church in order to serve the liturgical needs of Russian Orthodoxy, according to a profanar resource Orthodox Times.
In a letter to the Coptic Patriarch, the Patriarch of Alexandria addressed him in a particularly lofty tone and expressed his disappointment with this move, which constituted “direct interference in the serious internal affairs of the Orthodox Church.”
He even adds that this decision “violates my immediate administrative and pastoral jurisdiction as Orthodox Archbishop of Alexandria and as Pope and Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of All Africa in matters relating to purely intra-Orthodox relations.”
He reminds the Coptic Patriarch that the Russian Church, for its own purposes, unilaterally disavows any other Orthodox Church that has recognized the autocephaly granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
“However, the Russian Church not only did not stop at verbal renunciation, but also went further, illegally encroaching on our spiritual jurisdiction, seeking to bribe the clergy and parishes in Africa, out of vengeful motives and selfish goals,” the Patriarch of Alexandria noted.
He warns the Coptic Patriarch that such a stance hinders any further attempts at cooperation between them and directly threatens relations between the churches.
“The fact that you ignored the Pan-Orthodox Church of Alexandria on the issue of its relations with another Orthodox Church under its jurisdiction is a serious reservation and an act of ingratitude towards our Patriarchate, which, in difficult times, supported the Coptic Church, as many years ago, when a Coptic pseudo-patriarch from America appeared,” says Patriarch Theodore.
Let me remind you that recently the Coptic Church provided the head of the African Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Leonid, with a church in Cairo. Naturally, Theodore of Alexandria, whose chair is also in Cairo, took this as a painful blow and a declaration that the Copts prefer to have relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, and not with representatives of the Alexandrian Patriarchate, who, according to representatives of the Coptic Church, often instead of preaching the Gospel promote the ideology of racism.
Thus the Patriarchate of Alexandria lost the support of the largest Christian church in Egypt, but the Russian Orthodox Church just found it.
In fact, such a threat to the Coptic Church is, to say the least, ridiculous. The fact is that the number of believers of the Coptic Church in Egypt is about 20 million, and the number of believers of the Alexandrian Patriarchate in Egypt is only about 350,000 believers. The influence of the head of the Coptic Church and the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt is simply not comparable. Therefore, the threat to break off relations is hysteria and self-flagellation.
In fact, it looks like we are witnessing the decline of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. And it all started with betrayalto which Patriarch Theodore went, deciding to please the Americans and following the lead of blackmail, recognize the schismatics in Ukraine. It is noteworthy that just a few months before that, he swore all the saints that won’t do it.
PS Some clerics of the Patriarchate of Constantinople point out that Theodore has, in fact, announced the severance of relations with the Copts, as a settled matter. Well, we wish him success in this matter. One does not have to be a prophet to understand that such a state of affairs will lead to an even greater growth of the African Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church and an even greater crisis in the Patriarchate of Alexandria, from which many clerics have already left.