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Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Patriarch abolished the pan-Orthodox Council in Crete

Than to the Orthodox world repercussions the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church to ignore a pan-Orthodox Council, which will be held in the second half of June in Crete? The decision not to go to Crete was made an emergency meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which discussed a similar failure of the Serbian, Bulgarian, Georgian and Antiochian churches. Does this move the beginning of the split in the Orthodox world and the reason for their boycott of the event, to which all the Orthodox churches of the world was preparing for more than 60 years? This “MK” said the religious scholar Sergei Chapnin.

photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Patriarch Kirill

– The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church justified its decision as follows: if the Council no 4 of the Church, then he is not legitimate. And what is the sense to go back to our Patriarch with the delegation. Is there deceit in this explanation? Maybe the ROC initially did not want to participate in the Cathedral and just found an excuse?

From the very beginning were discussions on the format of the Cathedral. According to tradition, it should be observed by all the Orthodox bishops. There are about seven hundred, and more than half (384 Bishop) represent the ROC. But the organizers decided that decision making will involve a total of 14 votes (number of delegations from churches that is recognized by Constantinople). I think this is one of the main errors, which was criticized by many scholars, including Greek and Russian.

I would not talk about the sly position of the ROC. The Patriarch adheres to a pretty simple position: if there is a Cathedral, it should be adopted. And make it only with consensus of all the Orthodox Autocephalous churches.

But in order to make the documents — they must be meticulously prepared, and until may it seemed to many that they are really good. Because until then, seriously no one read. And suddenly, when he began a detailed study, it was found that in these documents there is not only confusion, but also serious contradictions that for a month or few weeks before the Cathedral not to allow.

– What are the pain points that appear in the documents of the Cathedral?

– The main document about the attitude of the Orthodox churches with the rest of the Christian world, and it also contains a master problem. In the last half century, a rapidly developing ecumenism — the movement of Christian unity. It left a deep imprint on the key document of the Cathedral. However, from the point of view of the traditions of the Orthodox Church — just it is the one true. And all the rest — those who fell away from it, that is, heretics and schismatics. Meanwhile, in the outcome document of the word “heretics”, but there is a call to interact with them.

– Maybe this is the weakness of the Orthodox Church instead to make friends with those same Catholics, it seeks to call them heretics? And maybe if the Cathedral was left of this tradition, it would have made a huge and very useful breakthrough in relations with the brothers in the faith?

The paradox is that many Orthodox churches are friends with the Catholics. Patriarch Kirill meets with the Pope. It was without exaggeration a historical event. But again: how to interpret it from the point of view of Orthodox tradition? Met Cyril: with the head of the largest Church of Christendom or a heretic? After all, many of those who blame Cyril for this meeting and say that he has betrayed Orthodoxy, as was found with the heretic that was forbidden by Orthodox canons. These positions (traditionalism and ecumenism emanating from the realities of the modern global world) today is absolutely impossible to reconcile.

– And, therefore, to adopt unanimously a document on cooperation between the two churches is impossible, too… what’s the point to collect the Cathedral?..

– Absolutely. The only answer to this question may be a different approach to the Cathedral: so chief, when are you going Orthodox bishops from different countries of the world, was not a document, and the fact of the meeting and the opportunity to sincerely discuss the issues facing all churches. But in this format, many primates not yet ready.

– Without the Russian Orthodox Church a pan-Orthodox Council will be held, or it loses its meaning?

– Of course, a pan-Orthodox Council will not be held. It loses its status because 5 of the 14 local churches, including the Russian Orthodox Church as the largest in Crete would not come. But nine is more than five, but they still will be in Crete. So there still will be a high-level meeting. Not the Cathedral — the so meeting. And I think that in this situation the Patriarch still visit Crete. Not as a participant of the meeting and for the negotiations that precede the meeting.

– Is it possible in the foreseeable future the full Council with the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church and all other Orthodox churches without exception?

– If the main for the Cathedral will continue the adoption of documents no, it is postponed at least for a few years. If it is realized by the value of the meeting, sharing a conversation, it can take place much earlier.

– Father Vsevolod Chaplin in an interview with “MK” suggested that a pan-Orthodox Council to promote the Church of Constantinople, which wants to have supremacy over the Orthodox world and Western circles who are interested in how to be able to manipulate Orthodox Christians through the Church. Do you agree?

– It seems to me that father Vsevolod plays in an Orthodox fundamentalist, he became interested in conspiracy theories and mythology. However, he is well aware that the Orthodox world is arranged so that unambiguous leadership to grab it impossible. Indeed, there is a Church Canon that says that first among equals is the Patriarch of Constantinople. It is treated with due respect, but each more or less strong Church, especially the Orthodox Church, it can always ignore it if you need it. To dictate what other churches for it is absolutely unreal, it’s scary. The Patriarch of Constantinople has the primacy of honor, not a primacy of power, and will never be able to get it.

– Another conspiracy question. It was Russia that insisted on the transfer of the pan-Orthodox Council of Constantinople to Crete. This was done for us. Obviously, after that ROC was already uncomfortable to refuse to participate in the Cathedral. But she was able to negotiate with our dear Serbian, Bulgarian and Georgian churches, so they went into denial. And then ROC got the opportunity to come, referring to them already, for lack of a quorum…

– Yes, as the version it has a right to exist, but today in its favor there is absolutely no evidence.

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