Patriarch Theodoros II and Metropolitan Onufry. Photo: SPMPatriarch of Alexandria recognized the PCU. What is behind this act and how it will affect the fate of the whole Church. 8 Nov 2019, Alexandria Patriarchate officially recognized by the DNC. It was a big surprise to many believers of not only Ukraine, but also the entire Orthodox world.
Because recently the same Alexandrian Patriarch tawadros II said that in Ukraine there is only one canonical Church – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and only one of the canonical Primate – his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry.
What happened? Why the position of the head of the Patriarchate of Alexandria has suddenly changed so radically, and most importantly – as a simple believer to relate to this?
Approval of split
The fact that the attempt to legalize non-canonical religious structure ptsu to anything good will not result, it was clear from the beginning. Now, after falling away from the Church (and you need to talk about it – without equivocation and diplomacy) of the greater part of Hellas, and now Africa, we have to admit: the split world of Orthodoxy became inevitable, historical and religious fact.
Moreover, after the fall of Alexandria the virus split has removed almost all obstacles to its spread and now its growth rate will be equal to the speed of free falling body under gravity. Ie the closer to the ground, the higher the drop rate.
Lately we hear ambiguous statements from the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos, hear voices in support of the PCU of the Georgian Orthodox Church, surprised the position of some of the Bulgarian bishops and observed a rather strange policy of the Romanian Church. The question that worries many, who’s next? And as frightening as it may sound, the answer is too simple: it does not matter what the Church would fall away from following Christ, it is important who will be with Christ.
The schism in world Orthodoxy became inevitable, historical and religious fact.In this regard, it is worth reminding that the Church is the Body of Christ. The creed clearly indicates Its nature Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. In the Church there is always the grace of the Holy spirit, It has a collegiate structure (because only through it you can overcome the selfishness and lust for power) and She is there Apostolic succession.
The absence of any of these factors makes the community of believers in the organization on the basis of religion, in an ideological party or another, but not in the Church.
Therefore, the “Ukrainian question” it is possible to ascertain not only the fact of the destruction of the Apostolic succession in the environment of dissenters and those who joined with them in fellowship, but the destruction of the principle of unity. The whole situation with ptsu – from beginning to end – an attack specifically on the Catholic Church.
The attack on the catholicity of the Church
The Head Of The Orthodox Church Is Christ. It is an axiom of any Orthodox catechism or textbook on dogmatic theology. Classic catechism of Metropolitan Filaret (Drozdov) States: “to Believe in the Church so piously to honor the true Church of Christ and to obey her doctrine and commandments from a conviction that the indwelling, life-saving acts, teaches and manages the grace pouring forth from the one Eternal head of it, the Lord Jesus Christ”. In other words, the Church throughout history has taught that Its Head is only the Lord Jesus Christ.
Recently, however, phanariotes and their adherents of the Greek-speaking Churches pushed completely wild for the Orthodox consciousness the theory that the head of the earthly Church is the Patriarch of Constantinople.
For example, Metropolitan Spartan Eustace said that today there are “approximately 900 000 000 Orthodox Christians who recognize the Patriarch of Constantinople as the head of Orthodoxy on earth, although in General the Head of our Church, we believe Christ. But on the ground that the Ecumenical Patriarch”. According to him, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and not Christ, is the center of Orthodoxy.
And do not think that this statement is an isolated case. Many bishops of both Greece and Fanara to agree with the words of Metropolitan of Sparta.
Recently, the phanariotes and their adherents of the Greek-speaking Churches pushed completely wild for the Orthodox consciousness the theory that the head of the earthly Church is the Patriarch of Constantinople.So it’s no surprise that the Ukrainian issue is resolved not the Cathedral, but behind the scenes, by secret negotiations, bribery, threats and blackmail. For example, the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church was given the right to recognize or not recognize ptsu his Primate – Archbishop Hieronymus. Patriarch of Alexandria went further and recognized ptsu even without Synodal decisions.
The European cleric of the Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexander Zanemonets wrote on his page on Facebook:“so-and-So Patriarch recognized the new Ukrainian Church, and so-and-so did not recognize… But who will be the first to stop talking about the Church – “it is our internal affair”? Here is whose initiative? Unless questions of this magnitude should not be to the Cathedral, and not by secret negotiations? And so I wanted to see the end time of the pontificate of p. Bartholomew to return to the catholicity of the Church, not the monarchy, widespread”.
There is gross violation of the principle of Unity, not only within individual local Orthodox Churches, but the Church-wide level. Through the destruction of Catholicity in front of our eyes people who have recently been in the Church, tear It into small pieces, which ultimately leads to the transformation of the Church into a political tool.
A few days ago, Patriarch Kirill said:
“Say, maybe some unexpected thing. Why the papacy threat? Of course, because the papacy does not come neither from the word of God or the Tradition of the Church. But I will offer another, completely different argument: the papacy is dangerous because one person affect much easier than a group of people. And the Pope and the Patriarch, who wants to be a dad, be a very attractive target for the powerful, and the outside influence one person can destroy the Church.
When formed a system of conciliar administration of the Church, the apostles understood well that they do. It is impossible that in the context of the Roman Empire, only one person would bear the responsibility for the entire Church – because he could be arrested, he might have been inclined to cooperation, it could scare. However, these dangers disappear when the Church is controlled jointly, of the Cathedral.
Therefore, in our time of need to defend the conciliar administration of the Universal Church. We do not dispute the primacy of honor of the Patriarch of Constantinople, but we do not agree with any attacks on universal power. The Patriarch of Constantinople, residing in the territory of Turkey, personally very vulnerable, so it only remains to pray that the Lord delivered him from the influences that can adversely affect the life of the whole Church.”
Factors of influence: the state Department, ethnophiletism and loss of faith
The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church is completely right: without Unity the Church is only a tool for solving transient problems. The emergence and recognition of ptsu – excellent to volume an illustration.
The schism in Ukraine was created in the early 1990s with the help of state power in the face of a former functionary of the Communist party, and later the first President of Ukraine and anathematising of Metropolitan Philaret.
The same applies to DNC – President Petro Poroshenko of the Ukraine, it was created a new “Church”. However, they have the full support of the US state Department and political forces within Ukraine.
With the help of the same Department have put unprecedented pressure on the primates of the other Autocephalous Churches to recognize ptsu, and this pressure is bearing fruit.
A big role in the pan-Orthodox crisis plays Greek chauvinism. A strange desire to revive the former greatness of the Byzantine Empire leads many Greeks to the actual usurpation of Orthodoxy. For example, in Ukraine, the Greeks have consistently emphasized that the Orthodox faith is their gift to us that we from them received the doctrine of Christ and the apostles.
In the Phanar all the time focus on the maternal character of the Church of Constantinople, and not only for Ukraine but for the whole world.
With the help of the US state Department have put unprecedented pressure on the primates of the local Churches to recognize ptsu, and this pressure is bearing fruit.That is why many Greek bishops perceive the struggle Fanara for ptsu in the context of pan-Orthodox fight of Hellenism against the Slavic world, which leads to unpredictable consequences.
However, all this is external struggles are internal reasons, the main of which – depreciation of faith. Very sad to see how the successors of the apostles connect their aspirations and hopes, with God’s help, and with the help of the state Department or other political structures. Making a bid for power, on the human factor, Orthodox bishops refuse divine Providence, and this will inevitably lead to the decline in all spheres.
The situation with the DNC is not that some bishops recognized the structure, which is not recognized by other bishops, and that this structure is anticanonically, graceless and divisive. It is based on a struggle against the very principle of the Church, ultimately against the Church. This virus, which can take only non-immune faith.
To understand how deeply the virus has infected the Orthodox hierarchy, it is enough to compare their position and the statements of two or three years ago and today. What we do we see? More recently all the bishops and theologians argued their commitment to the canons of the Church, stood guard over the purity of doctrine and claimed that Ukrainian split – graceless institution.
One of the first among this Assembly of bishops was the Patriarch of Alexandria Theodore.
Betrayal: Judas, Theodore and others
After Eucharistic communion with Patriarch Bartholomew, the first Patriarch in the Diptychs, for which each service was read by the Patriarch of Moscow, was the name of his Holiness Patriarch Theodore. His personal position in relation to the Ukrainian dissenters up to the day before had been implacable.
During the Cretan Cathedral, where the primates informally discussed the issue of recognition of the then UOC-KP, Patriarch Theodoros II clearly and unequivocally expressed their support to his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev: “Let him know that the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all we are close to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the leadership of his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry”.
In fact, the same words he said during his visit to Odessa in October 2018: “We, together with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, together with those who want Orthodox unity, <…> stay faithful to the canonical Church”.
In June of 2019, he said: “I believe that a solution can be found. Just let each of us leave personal interests aside and see especially the interest of the Church. <…> I lived in Ukraine, I felt the pain and the split of the Ukrainian Church. But I also know very well the Russian Church, because I have lived in the depths for ten years, and the Patriarchate of Alexandria has her emotional connection”.
Perhaps it is because of these “emotional” bonds act of the Patriarch Theodore in relation to the UOC and perceived in the same light as the act of Judas towards Christ. We again witnessed the betrayal.
It is regrettable that in recent times these betrayals becomes more and more. We may recall the statements of Archimandrite Ephrem Vatopedi. For example, in 2015, he said: “I Appeal to the Ukrainian people and ask that they hold of the canonical Orthodox Church headed by his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry. And I’d love for you pray that we become members of the canonical Church. The whole Athos accepts and recognizes only the canonical Ukrainian Church headed by Metropolitan Onufry”.
In December 2017, he appealed to our people in the framework of the project “Word to the Ukrainians”, where he said the following: “Split cuts like scissors, and the one who had gone into schism, must understand that he is already out of the fold of the Church. We are here on the Holy Mount, is very saddened due to the split of the Ukrainian Church, which makes Filaret. We therefore ask all our brothers who have left the canonical Church, appeal and ask that they are returned to the bosom of the Orthodox canonical Church”. But as you know, in the end, the man who said those words, agreed to be present in Kyiv at the “enthronement” of Sergei Dumenko.
The pressure on monks or what is conscience
Many say, including in our Church that those who agree with the recognition of the PCU pressure, the state Department, the government, the geopolitical situation, internal problems…
Put pressure on the Archbishop Hieronymus, in Archimandrite Ephrem, Theodore to the Patriarch: “the Patriarch Theodore, who is personally against recognition ptsu, was under pressure from the foreign Minister of Greece (through the Agency is funding the Greek state and the Patriarchate of Alexandria). This structure threatened to cut off funding if Theodore does not recognize the DNC. The pressure of Greek diplomats supported by a group of metropolitans of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which threatened to throw the Patriarch”.
And we understand that it is true and they really pressured.
But on the other hand, how can we put pressure on the man who died for the world? How can you put pressure on the one who imitate the martyrs speaks of monasticism as rovnoenergo life?
For example, the words of Archimandrite Emilian, the famous Athonite ascetic and elder: “the Monk is taking on a life of torment, the perception of consciousness of the Martyr, which, of course, enjoys wrestling and is never satisfied with the achieved results”.
How can you put pressure on the man who died for the world? How can you put pressure on the one who imitate the martyrs speaks of monasticism as rovnoenergo life?And St. John Climacus stressed: “Anyone embarking on this good deed, cruel and close, but also easy, must know that they have come to plunge in the fire, if you want to they possessed by the immaterial fire”.
It turns out that all high-sounding words mentioned above, monks are just words that have no meaning, not only for us but for them? It turns out that you can so simply apply some “negotiating tactics” to convince the monks to go against conscience, belief and, most importantly, his Church?
As he said when the famous gangster al Capone, “with arguments and gun, you can do a lot more than with some of the arguments”. It is a pity that these words refer to the people of the Church.
I Will Build My Church…
The Church established by Christ Himself, and no storms and troubles of the outside world cannot destroy It. In history there are many examples when it seemed that the days of the Church of Christ on earth considered heresy, schism, or persecution won.
Suffice it to recall the Arian heresy, which affected virtually the entire territory of the Byzantine Empire. Orthodox Christians then there are very few – the episcopate, clergy, monastics and laity in a huge number have supported the Alexandrian presbyter Arius. But then he spoke against the man who entered the history of the Church with the name Athanasius the Great, first as a deacon, and later as a Bishop. He drove tried to kill, persecuted – but despite this, St. Athanasius the faith and the Church never betrayed. And he eventually won.
We may recall St. Maxim the Confessor, who during the celebration themonothelite heresy was one of the few Orthodox in the whole of the Byzantine Empire that refused to recognize the new heretical teaching. Came to him the bishops and nobles, persuaded him to cease to persist, promised rewards, and titles, which will restore him to the Emperor as soon as he accepts the heresy, saying that together the Church with the Patriarch of Constantinople already professes monotheletism. To this Maximus replied, “Truly all power in the sky is not going to make me do it, for that answer – I do not say God, but my conscience, if for the glory of man, in itself have no existence, I solemnly abdicated from the faith that saves loving her?” For these words of St. Maxim anathematized, cut off hand and tongue, and sent into exile to the Caucasus, where he died shortly thereafter. But the result is Maxim won.
No less damaging was for the Church and the various schisms. For example, in the early 1920-ies of state power in the Soviet Union created the so-called Renovationist Church, which was then supported by the representatives of the same patriarchs, and now of Constantinople and Alexandria. Soon, however, lost the support of the state, the Renovationists were marginalized and disappeared from the historical arena, leaving a shameful memory.
The biggest harm from Tomos and recognition ptsu representatives of various local Orthodox Churches is that by their actions they bring confusion in the minds and souls of neuropeptide in the faith and disgraced the Church in the eyes of the world. This temptation, which looks very similar to gernamny stone, most harm of preaching the gospel. And we remember that Christ said on this occasion.
But to despair and be depressed about what is happening is impossible. Whoever recognized ptsu, no matter how authoritative in the spiritual world this man was, we need to always remain with Christ. People are changeable, weak, susceptible to external influences, and the Truth preached by Christ, is eternal and unchanging.
The Apostle Paul urged Christians to remain faithful to this Truth, even if an angel from heaven would preach something different. The same applies to us. We know that the Church, the children of Which we have the honour to be called, founded by Christ, is His Body and gives the opportunity to inherit the Kingdom of heaven. This is important. But everything else – only the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven (Matt. 6, 30).Konstantin Samluk