In November, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Turkey, as well as visited Georgia and Israel. Pompeo said that he considered the Patriarch a “key partner” of the United States.
In recent days, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has held several meetings with the heads of the Middle Eastern and Eastern European states, as well as with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Patriarch Elijah II of Georgia. These meetings actually took place on the eve of the Holy Synod of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, which, most likely, will consider the question of the unauthorized commemoration of Metropolitan Epiphanius (the head of the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine) by Archbishop Chrysostom.
Therefore, it is not difficult to assume that Pompeo’s visits to Turkey and Georgia are directly related to the recognition of the Ukrainain pseudo-church, which was originally created with a direct help from the State Department, Constantinople and the Kiev regime.
The program of Mike Pompeo’s visit to Turkey did not include any meetings with representatives of Turkish authorities. That is, Pompeo was supposed to meet with Erdogan, but the latter suddenly changed his intentions and the head of the State Department was content with only meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew.
US diplomats convince the public that they do not see any political subtext in this, but the fact remains – the Turkish authorities defiantly ignored Pompeo.
The Secretary of State himself said that he was meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew solely to discuss issues of religious freedom in the world.
Later, after the meeting, the State Department said that they discussed with the head of the Phanar issues related to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Diaspora, Orthodox believers in Turkey, Orthodoxy in the world, and the course of inter-Christian dialogue.
The Phanar stressed that during the meeting “an exchange of views took place on the issue of respect for fundamental rights and religious freedom in the world, in strengthening which, as you know, the United States is interested in.”
Turkey, however, appeared confident that the interaction between the State Department and the Phanar should be considered not in religious, but primarily in political terms.
However, in Ankara, and in Turkey as a whole, behind these streamlined statements they saw not only a “religious component”, but also something else.
Thus, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called on the United States to “look in the mirror” before discussing the problems of Turkey in terms of religion.
This advice clearly demonstrated that the Turkish authorities see in Pompeo’s visit not a desire to promote “religious freedoms”, but a desire to use religion for their own purposes.
In particular, the Turkish newspaper “Αydinlik” almost on the day of the meeting of the two “key partners” published an article in which it gave specific (in its opinion) examples of the Phanar’s alleged ties with “FETÖ” – the “Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü (FETÖ )).
According to the Turkish authorities, it was this organization and its head Fethullah Gulen who organized the putsch against Erdogan in 2016.
So, the newspaper published data on the correspondence between the priest of the Phanariot Archdiocese in the USA and the head of the Rumi Forum program Rasit Telbisoglu.
In turn, the journalists say, “Rumi Forum” is one of the most important structures of “FETÖ” in the United States, with its center in Washington.
In another article, the same publication essentially accused Patriarch Bartholomew of being a “spy” of the United States.
An article titled “It seems like the US patriarchy” argues that “Phanar today is much more on the side of the US than Turkey and continues to take action against Turkey on not only religious but also geopolitical issues.”
In other words, Patriarch Bartholomew was once again reminded of his friendship with FETO and was hinted that his “extremely active pro-American activities could end badly. “
In this context, the actions of the Turkish authorities to turn the Hagia Sophia and the Chora monastery into mosques become understandable – the Phanar made it clear that the United States would not be able to protect them.
The US, will likely need to undertake some actions to protect the Phanar, as it is likely that the attempts to further split the world of Orthodoxy are nowhere near over.
This is also likely related to the US Administration being changed, and it is unknown (but rather unlikely) that Mike Pompeo would remain as the US Secretary of State.
However, there is no doubt that the next head of the State Department will continue his work – both because in America they are trying to preserve the continuity of power, and because geopolitical and geostrategic plans in the country are developed for years in advance.
This means that the State Department will continue to promote the issue of recognition of the ‘independent’ Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) by Local Churches of the world. In this regard, the activation of Pompeo is not surprising.
Firstly, he may vacate the posts, which means that at the moment the head of the State Department is trying, at least, to consolidate the “successes” achieved in regard to the split of Orthodoxy, so that his successor does not have to start everything from scratch.
Secondly, the State Department understands that an extremely quick response to the “Cyprus problem” is needed. After all, if the Synod of this Church does take place on November 23rd, it is far from a fact that the necessary decisions for the American-Phanariote alliance will be taken there.
Moreover, if the synodals of Cyprus succeed in upholding the canons of the Church, then the process of “hybrid recognition” of the OCU, at least, risks stopping for many years. If not forever.
If the synodals of Cyprus succeed in upholding the canons of the Church, then the process of “hybrid recognition” of the OCU, at least, risks stopping for many years.
Thirdly, acting under the guise of the concept of “religious freedom”, the State Department is promoting various beneficial projects for itself, among which the OCU is not the last.
Recall that almost immediately after its appearance, the US State Department announced that the creation of the OCU “was a historic event for Ukraine,” and the United States “continues to strongly support Ukraine and believes that freedom of religion should not be impeded from outside.”
Moreover, the recognition of the OCU has a mutual benefit: Phanar strengthens its position in the Orthodox world and actually subjugates the Orthodox Local Churches, and the State Department receives a powerful weapon to implement its plans regarding Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Russia.
In other words, Pompeo’s last voyage in the Middle East testifies to the fact that the United States continues to put pressure on Local Churches to recognize the OCU.
And the longer they fail to do this, the more radical measures they have to resort to – from blackmail by “tomos” to political pressure or direct intimidation. But no matter how much the rope twists, the end will come. In other words, at the moment more and more Orthodox Christians understand that the Ukrainian schism is a purely political project that has nothing to do with faith in God and the Church.
This is the case in Cyprus, as mentioned, as well as in Georgia, which could potentially also pressure Abkhazia, which is obviously not part of Tbilisi’s area of political control.
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