Ο Σεβ. Αρχιεπίσκοπος Τελμησσού κ. Ιώβ (Αρχιερέας του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου) παραχώρησε μια πολύ σημαντική συνέντευξη στην Ουκρανίδα δημοσιογράφο Tetiana DERKACH, στην οποία μεταξύ άλλων ανέλυσε και το θέμα του «Αυτοκεφάλου», το οποίο δεν κατέστη δυνατόν να συμπεριληφθεί στο θεματολόγιο της πρόσφατης Αγίας και Μεγάλης Συνόδου, λόγω διχογνωμιών και φυσικά λόγω της κωλυσιεργείας του Πατριαρχείου της Μόσχας.
Ο Σεβασμιώτατος ανέφερε για το θέμα του «Αυτοκεφάλου» τα εξής:
In the course of preparation of the Pan-Orthodox Council, the issue of autocephaly and its proclamation was raised and discussed. There are texts of the documents that were drawn up. I will tell about the whole process to understand at what point everything stopped. The study began with the allegation that the Ecumenical Patriarchate was considered the only Patriarchate in the Orthodox world, which had the right to grant autocephaly both for historical and canonical reasons. In the history all new autocephalous churches which appeared starting from the XVI century, beginning with the rise of the Russian Orthodox Church until now – are the former territories of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to which it granted autocephaly. And for canonical reasons the Ecumenical Patriarchate holds the first place in the Orthodox world.
While discussing the issue of autocephaly at the Pan-Orthodox level in a spirit of consensus it was stated: “No! Constantinople alone cannot grant the autocephalous status. It should be added that for granting autocephaly there should be consent and request of that Church, a part of which wants to become autocephalous.” Here an actual example shall be provided, if Ukraine wants to obtain autocephaly, then Constantinople alone cannot establish it, a request of the Russian Orthodox Church is required, as Ukraine is currently in the bosom of this Church.
Then, in the framework of preparation for the Pan-Orthodox Council, the Patriarchate of Constantinople displayed willingness to compromise, and agreed that autocephaly can be granted by Constantinople only with the consent and upon request of the Church, to which this part belongs.
Furthermore, we reached the issue of preparation of the Tomos – a document that proclaims the church autocephaly, and which contains all points that a new Church should comply with, all the requirements that it must perform. Again, it was stated that this Tomos should be signed only by the Patriarch of Constantinople. As part of the discussions it was stated: “No! It should be signed by all heads, all heads of the local churches. They have to be in agreement, they should mutually recognize this new church.” Again, the Constantinople Patriarchate made a compromise and said, “OK. The Tomos will be signed by all heads of the local Churches.”
Thus, Constantinople settled for a compromise. We reached the issue of signing the Tomos. From history we know that Tomoses were signed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, who, after putting his signature, writes the word “proclaim”. Thereofore, the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first hierarch, the one presiding at the Synod proclaims autocephaly. Following this, the members of the Synod of the Church of Constantinople affixed their signatures without a word. It is the head who proclaims, others just put their signatures confirming it is an official valid document. Constantinople wanted to adapt the practice and said, “The Patriarch of Constantinople signs the Tomos putting the word “proclaim” and other Primates, as previously the Synod members did, just affix their signatures in the manner established by Orthodox diptychs.” Again, there was discussion, and again a new requirement was made: “No! Other patriarchs also should add the word after his signature.” And Constantinople again agreed to a compromise. It said, “Well, then let us do it like this: the Ecumenical Patriarch signs and puts the word “proclaim” and the other patriarchs sign it and put the wording “collegially proclaim” according to the principle of liturgical worship.” After all, when the Divine Liturgy is performed, it is always the first hierarch who celebrates, whom we deem to be presiding over the service, while others co-celebrate.
And again the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate disagreed — with the word "collegially proclaim.” They wanted every patriarch to put his signature with the word “proclaim”. And here the Ecumenical Patriarchate disagreed. Not because of its dignity or for some political reason. Just because it is illogical and wrong. Only one person can proclaim and others, who are with him, can only collegially proclaim. Everyone cannot proclaim separately. And since that time this issue has been blocked. And since the time when these meetings were held in 2009, if I am not mistaken, it has remained blocked.
In other words, the issue of autocephaly was considered, a compromise text was elaborated, but due to the issue of putting signatures under the Tomos, everything was blocked. So it was decided not to include this issue in the agenda. For Constantinople it means that the issue of autocephaly now regains the status quo it had at the beginning of its consideration, as no conclusion was made for all the ratified compromise versions.