Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    Russia’s Kirill accuses Bartholomew of “schism” over emergence of Local Church independent of Russia

    The Moscow Patriarchate keeps showing major ignorance of Orthodox ecclesiology. Moreover, such ignorance is consciously or unconsciously demonstrated by Moscow Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev) – the head of the Moscow Patriarchate.

    “We are deeply saddened that today the Patriarch of Constantinople fell into a schism as he took communion with schismatics and recognized self-consecrated individuals who have not been legally ordained as canonical bishops,” the Moscow Patriarchate’s press service quotes Patriarch Kirill as saying.

    As the Spiritual Front of Ukraine has repeatedly stated earlier, commenting on similar statements by other “experts,” this is nothing but “theology of the ignorant.”

    That’s because, when the ROC declares the Ecumenical Patriarch a schismatic, it indirectly does the same to all other churches of the ROC. Moreover, if the ROC’s logic is applied, it is also a schismatic church itself.

    After all, no one but the ROC followed the decision not to mention of Patriarch Bartholomew’s name during services. Thus, if the ROC has “shifted” from the “schismatic” Bartholomew, other Churches have not. Accordingly, as per ROC logic, they are also in communion with the “schismatic” Bartholomew, so they also become schismatic.

    Then, when the Patriarch of Moscow mentions the name of the primates of these Churches, he thus also becomes a schismatic as the one who co-served with the “schismatics.” After all, the mention of the names of the primates during services is a symbol of recognition of legitimacy and prayerful communion between Churches. If Kirill mentions the name of the Serbian patriarch, and he, in turn, mentions Patriarch Bartholomew, who Moscow church claims is a “schismatic,” it means that they are all “schismatics,” if we follow the absurd logic pursued by the Russian church leader, Kirill.

    However, no one in the ROC seems to be disputing Kirill’s statement as not a voice of criticism is heard from the ROC or its Ukrainian branch’s clergy. On the contrary, the information about the “division-sower Bartholomew” is perceived in the ROC and ROCinU as a new norm, which doesn’t hit the ROC itself like a boomerang.

    It seems that in the Moscow church everyone has forgotten that the Church is the one body of Jesus Christ. So far, none of the other Orthodox Churches are ready to ROC-driven split and brand the Ecumenical Patriarch a “schismatic” only because he settled the division in Ukraine, which had unfolded once Ukraine regained independence.

    It should be added that it is the ROC that went on a spree of severing Eucharistic communion with the hierarchs and Churches that supported the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and recognized the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

    But, in order not to become “schismatics” by the standards of the Moscow Patriarchate, the ROC should then stop mentioning all heads of the Local Churches who mention Patriarch Bartholomew.

    Next, the Patriarchate of Alexandria was supposed to initiate an All-Orthodox Council, which would condemn the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Of course, this never happened as none of the Local Churches believes that granting a tomos of autocephaly to the OCU was an uncanonical move. At most, there are individual statements by a Serbian Patriarch and some pro-Russian Cyprus bishops.

    Moreover, the Patriarchate of Alexandria recognized the OCU and supported the Orthodox Church of Constantinople. The meeting in Amman turned out to be a complete fiasco for the ROC, as only the Serbian Primate and a few other hierarchs “fed” by Russia attended. Therefore, Krill’s statement, as already mentioned, is a shot in own knee and a demonstration of own helplessness and ignorance of basic theology and ecclesiology.

    No one will come to Amman 2.0, which even Russian analysts admit, so the ROC has little chance of winning in this situation, because in global Orthodoxy such serious issues as accusations against the Ecumenical Patriarch can’t be resolved too fast, let alone by the ROC Synod.