Friday, February 1, 2019

Czech Lands & Slovakia head calls for pan-Orthodox council

Metropolitan Rostislav gave very diplomatic and measured answers as he invariably does. The more responses I hear from primates around the world, the move I think we'll see fewer "sides" chosen and more calls for the conciliar process to do what the conciliar process is designed to do: resolve disputes. "Put a pin in it for now" meets "Let us sit down and discuss the matter further."

(ROC) - On 31 January 2019, after the meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia answered several questions from journalists.

– Your Beatitude, I would like to ask you the most burning question – about the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine. I know that this issue was included in the agenda of a session of your Church’s Holy Synod. What decision will be taken – to support or not the newly established “Orthodox church of Ukraine”?

– The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia held its session the day before yesterday, and members of the Synod charged me with a duty to appeal to representatives of all the Local Orthodox Churches with a request to convene a pan-Orthodox meeting over the Ukrainian issue. Until all the developments in the Ukrainian church life are discussed and a conciliar decision is taken, our position will remain unchanged.

I would like to express support to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine. We are neighbours of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Having heard about the persecutions caused by what occurred last December, we have been praying and hoping for the solution to the problem created in the Ukrainian church life by the so-called “unification council” to be found in the near future.

– Do you think it is possible to restore communion between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate? How can the consensus be found?

It is not only possible; it is necessary to restore communion. I believe that without dialogue, meetings and discussion of all the problems related to Ukraine and its church life there can be no progress.

– There is another important aspect. As far as we know, many Ukrainian citizens with their families are moving to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, integrating themselves into local Orthodox communities. How do you receive them? Tell us about it.

– We accept them all. Yet, we are categorical in our attitude to the schism: there is no place for it in the church life. Any schism can only be healed through repentance and return to the canonical Church. We say it also to those coming from Ukraine; if they were somehow connected with the schismatic organizations in their country, we explain to them what the schism is and that they have to guard against it.


  1. I've noted numerous recent remarks made about how only the Patriarch of Constantinople can call a Pan-Orthodox or an Ecumenical Council, but we must remember that Constantinople's prerogatives are based upon the prerogatives of Rome, which defaulted to New-Rome after Old-Rome lapsed into heresy cutting itself off from the Church.

    In this context we should remember that none of the seven Ecumenical Councils were called by Rome, which was still very much Orthodox & the 1st throne in the Church during those times. They were all called by the emperor, and at least 1 was called against the express wishes of the Pope of Rome.

    Give this indisputable historical reality could someone please explain to me how only Constantinople can call a Pan-Orthodox or Ecumenical Council?

  2. All of the sudden everyone wants a council. And if it's called? Will Moscow bother going this time?

    1. At the present time there's actually a reason / need to have a council.

      The purpose of Crete was simply to have a council so we could say that we had a council.

    2. Moscow refused to attend a single council that several other churches refused to attend as well, and everyone accuses Moscow of a dislike of councils :/
      This is just kinda a pet peeve of mine. Because of the issues with the Crete meeting everyone accuses Moscow of refusal to act in a conciliatory fashion, even though Moscow has attended almost all the past Pan-Orthodox Councils in the past 30 years. (ex. Chamb├ęsy-Genev, Sofia, etc.)

    3. Yeah, we totally didn't have any issues or need to meet before this. Obviously...

    4. That's the problem with Crete. None of the important issues were even discussed there nor were they on the agenda. As I said, it was a council for the sake of having a council. Pretty Dilbertesque...

    5. Regarding the topics at Crete, they were removed as to have Moscow attend. Moscow would not attend if certain topics were to be discussed...Ukraine being one of them.

    6. Rome1453, please provide a link or two to substantiate your statement.

    7. "Regarding the topics at Crete, they were removed as to have Moscow attend."

      More accurately, they were removed because there was and is no consensus on the topics of autocephaly, primacy, and the "diaspora" Churches. The EP is trying to make the Councils into democratic bodies, with the inevitable vote-rigging, and Moscow (and others) are prudentially opting out of that game.

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