Rumours on the the internet suggest that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is in a fragile state. It has been suggested that the situation of Patriarch Bartholomew has been compromised by his close relations with the US political elite, several Greek-American billionaires and the CIA. The intermediary between them all is the Greek-American priest Alexander Karlutsos, who is in charge of financing the Patriarchate from the US. In this way the US political elite strongly influences the Patriarch’s policies. (This would explain the strange (from an Orthodox viewpoint) and divisive policies it tried to promote at the recent failed Orthodox meeting in Crete).
It has also been suggested that the Patriarch entertained close relations with Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish preacher who lives in Pennsylvania and who directed the recent failed coup d’etat with help from the US base in Turkey, which has now transferred its nuclear weapons from there to Romania. Gülen was helped to flee to the US by the same Fr Alexander Karlutsos with CIA assistance and it is widely believed that the whole coup was an attempt by the US to make Gülen Turkish President, after assassinating President Erdogan. The Patriarch met Gülen on several occasions and even called him ‘my friend’. Many observers noted that Patriarch Bartholomew quit Turkey on the eve of the coup and went to Switzerland, which they did not see as a coincidence.
Some say that the Patriarch’s fate now directly depends on how Ankara views the use they can make of the Patriarch’s circle of contacts in the US. However, the Patriarch’s influence in the Orthodox world is fairly weak, as was demonstrated by the failure of the Crete meeting. It has been said: ‘We saw that Patriarch Bartholomew is unable to unite the Orthodox world. Apart from this it has become obvious that his influence does not even touch half (sic – in fact not even 80%) of Orthodox Christians. The reasons for this are his authoritarian style, his stubbornness and enmity towards the Russian Orthodox Church’.
It is difficult to know whether such rumours are true, but they come from multiple sources.