DISINFO: Ecumenical Patriarchate is manipulated by Washington
  • Outlet: sputniknews.gr (archived)*
  • Date of publication: July 24, 2021
  • Article language(s): Greek
  • Reported in: Issue 253
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia, US, Ukraine, Turkey
Orthodox Church Ukraine Sergei Lavrov

DISINFO: Ecumenical Patriarchate is manipulated by Washington


The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul is manipulated by the United States against the ideals of Orthodox Church. More specifically, the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was not a simple decision by Patriarch Bartholomew but he was guided by Washington.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western interference in the affairs of the Orthodox Church.

This claim also attempts to delegitimise the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, one of the pro-Kremlin outlets' ongoing disinformation campaigns against Ukraine, by claiming that the US inappropriately sought to influence the process.

The Constantinople Patriarchate, located in Istanbul, is one of 15 independent, self-governing Orthodox churches. However, the Constantinople Patriarchate, also known as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, enjoys the status of primus inter pares (first among equals) and is regarded by other Orthodox Christians as the representative and spiritual leader of the Orthodox world. The decisions of the Constantinople Patriarchate are made only by the Patriarch and the Holy Synod. The granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was supported by all members of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate after months of careful preparations and considerations. For more information, see here.

See similar disinformation claiming that Ukrainian autocephaly is a US project. See similar recent narratives claiming that the US is trying to divide the Orthodox Church: The US stands behind the pressure upon the Serbian Church of Montenegro, The US government is trying to eradicate Christianity.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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