December 14, 2021

Explanations and Clarifications of Ecclesiastical History and the Deontology of the Ukrainian Issue (Part 13)

...continued from part twelve.

* Only the fact of the mutual kiss between Onufry and Epiphanius, and the smiles from both sides, on an official Ukrainian national holiday, shows that direct channels of communication and mutual communion are maintained. I do not know to what extent the two current local Churches communicate. However, I was surprised by this obvious indication of communion.

Ecclesiastical History has a number of strange examples that are not compatible with the canonicity of the Apostolic Tradition and the Apostolic Succession. They are well known, but it is worth listing a few.

The First Ecumenical Synod restored the Bishops of the Meletian Schism, without re-ordination.

The divine Chrysostom was ordained by Meletios of Antioch, who had been ordained by Arians.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem was ordained by semi-Arians, the then Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine.

Photios the Great lists a number of iconoclasts that the Church restored and accepted, in order to prevent worse tensions in the Ecclesiastical Body.

If the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not intervene in Ukraine, the dual schism would remain, the clergy and the people would wander in a state of limbo not recognized. It is not excluded that many people joined the Uniate faction, which the Orthodox lost, all because Russia never wanted to let Ukraine go on a path of freedom and autocephaly.

* The sense possessed by the international world and in the inter-Orthodox world, the sense possessed by the terrified clergy and many people in the Russian Federation, is the sense of the hegemony of the Russian Church. And this is a legacy of leaders from the past, which, however, is more than cherished by the current administrators of Russian ecclesiastical politics!

* In dialogues and conversations, the daughter Church of Moscow continuously and systematically downgrades the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They systematically avoid calling it the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to convince even themselves that Constantinople is something extinguished and something without a future.

They simply name it as a has-been Local Church, something much more insignificant than the lately autocephalous Czechia. They simply name it as a small Local Church with no numerical power, and now is something secularly despised. This is because people have a secular sense of religiosity, of their ecclesiastical identity, of their ecclesiastical debts, of their ecclesiastical responsibility towards the impartial Judge and against history. They have eroded irreparably. They see and judge according to the criteria of hegemony, intoxicated by the Slavic version of the mystery of salvation (with the double-triple crosses, with their numerous fellow bishops in their official ceremonial representations of the ecclesiastical hegemony). They have secular criteria, they do not deeply believe in the mystery of the divine will.

* Even the Papal Cardinals have the same experience of the firm polemical stance of the Russian Patriarchate against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In Italy, a high profile cardinal (who allows me to withhold my information), confessed his surprise about the role of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Church: "Who is this Hilarion? He blames the Orthodox in every conversation we have!"

I will not dwell on this more. So much evidence proves the essence of the provocation. It is the hegemony of Russia and their polemical tactics against pan-Orthodox unity, in order to establish only the hegemony of Russia.

And what they apply as a practice is the tactics of propaganda, the transfer of problems from the substance of the matter to the outer shell. They do not apologize for the historical ecclesiastical crimes they have promoted and are promoting, they do not apologize as a daughter for their treacherous behavior towards their Mother Church, they do not apologize for their deliberate indifference to Ukraine, they do not apologize for launching a torpedo against pan-Orthodox unity ... instead they devise lists of sins and lists of canonical transgressions surrounding a situation that accurately reflects informally the quality of Russia's institutional leadership. What they accuse of a Ukrainian faction is the magnetic resonance imaging of Russianism. Nothing more and nothing less. And what the well-meaning Holy Brothers attribute to the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a success of Russian propaganda.

It should be noted at the time that this propaganda is carried out in a variety of ways and means, not in us, but in the surrounding Churches… I will not open my mouth regarding who. I will only emphasize that the Bulgarian Patriarchate very wisely came to the point of denouncing the views of one or two or three of its Metropolitans (mainly of one of them), knowing much more than they seem and from what they confess.

Pray, fathers and brothers, that the Lord, who cannot be overcome in war, will lead the ship of Orthodoxy from heaven to the same port of salvation.

Let us respect those who come forward and sacrifice themselves, for the sake of all the Orthodox. And in this the First are proved, because always the First come forward and run forward, for the sake of the rest.

Source: Holy Metropolis of Goumenissa (10/12/2019). Translated by John Sanidopoulos.