This particular set of events also has a geopolitical basis, as the reader will discover as they peruse the interview. Any emphasis in bold is added strictly for the ease of comprehension.
The body of the interview follows, with all the text except the Interviewer being the speech of Met. Amfilohije:
Whenever a problem arises in any of the Local Churches between individual bishops, it is alleged that they have the possibility of appealing to Constantinople, and then Constantinople could make its decision on the matter.
“However, do they actually have this right of appeal? Especially in the spirit in which Denisenko applied to it now? The Ecumenical Patriarch validates this with some historical facts, and certain Church canons. For example, the 9th, 17th, and 28th Canons of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, which were written in antiquity, and therefore, which relate to the status of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and its role at that time.
“On what basis then, was this right given? First of all, this right concerns the Metropolises under the canonical administration of the Patriarch of Constantinople. It did not apply to the whole Church. Secondly, this right is based on the canons of the Ecumenical Council, according to which the Ecmenical Patriarch received this status as the Bishop of the City of Byzantium—Constantinople—on the grounds that this city, in which this bishop is located, is the Imperial City—the residence of the emperor and the Imperial Council.
“Now, however, the imperial capital no longer exists. Constantinople ceased to be the imperial capital in 1453. And therefore, this right to which the Patriarch of Constantinople is referring is questionable. The Orthodox Church does not question its status as the first in honor in the Orthodox church, but this does not give him the right to interfere in this way in the life of any other Local Church, including the Russian Orthodox Church.
“The Patriarch is referring here to a certain decision in 1686, in which by economia the right to ordain (appoint) the Metropolitan of Kiev was given to the Patriarch of Moscow, provided that the Metropolitan of Kiev commemorates the Constantinople Patriarch first at the Liturgy.
“However, Kievan Rus’,