September 18, 2021

"Orthodox Popes" (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

According to the decisions of the First Vatican Council, the Pope is defined as "infallible" when he speaks "ex cathedra", he is then superior to Councils and in fact the Ecumenical Councils, since he decides whether or not the Council decides correctly.

Against this mentality which created many afflictions in Western Christianity, the Reformed Protestants appeared, who not only questioned the infallibility of the Pope, but ended up at the point where everyone is a pope, who can judge everyone else.

Unfortunately, this mentality was also introduced into the Orthodox Church by clergy and theologians, and is expressed as an "Orthodox Papism", when every theologian expresses a papal mentality, when they come to the point of denying the synodal institution of the Church.

Thus, from time to time, as in our days, there are some who have formed an ideological system and based on this they judge everyone and everything, creating a suffocating atmosphere around them, which does not allow anyone to breathe, since they consider everyone else to be heretics.

The "Orthodox Papists" when they meet someone who completely agrees with their views, praise him to the "third heaven" that he is a "traditional" and Orthodox theologian, that he embraces Orthodox truth, that he spiritually supports the faithful, etc. And when this same "traditional" theologian at some point expresses an opinion that is contrary to their own "papal" conceptions, then they accuse him of "mutating", that he "crashed his theological authority" and so on.

So we have the phenomenon, that one day one reads the books of one author and the next day they literally ignite a fire and burn them, because he wrote these books when he was considered, in their opinion, "traditional" and expressed patristic teachings, but now they all are of the antichrist and must be burned.

One laments the mentality of modern "Orthodox Popes", who are reduced to judges of everything, "raising" and "lowering" them on their own "elevator".

It is a pathogenesis, a schizophrenic behavior, a paranoia, a "bipolar syndrome".

I am nostalgic for the communication with saints, who know how to love others with their special character, know how to appreciate or even judge "lovingly", know how to create near them a good atmosphere of meaningful freedom.

However, it is terrible and ultimately diabolical to fight others with a "papist" mentality, which is expressed as an "Orthodox confession". It's really terrible and demonic!

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.