Friday, October 19, 2018

EP is not trading excommunicatory punches with Moscow

(Kyiv Post) - Constantinople remains in communion with the Russian Orthodox Church despite the severance of Eucharistic communion between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Constantinople Patriarchate, the exarchate of Russian parishes in Western Europe said in a statement on Friday.

“Dear brothers and sisters, we inform you that our bishops and exarchs who are in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate remain in full communion with the entire Orthodox Church. We also inform you that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has not severed communion with the Moscow Patriarchate and continues to pray for it in accordance with the order established in the diptych,” the exarchate said.


  1. Here I am going to point out that if you are in fact the trespasser, entering into the canonical territory of another church, then "taking the high road" in this way (whether in appearance or reality) is just the optics your would want ;)

    Given EP's interpretation of its canonical position, why would they not...

  2. Guerrilla vs. Gorilla tactics.

    The EP has nothing to lose by doing this; they already know they're seen poorly. They lose nothing by trying to appear as the "poor downtrodden EP".

    They don't call it byzantine intrigue for nothing!

  3. They are not the trespasser. They are the mature adult in the room. The Ukrainians are tired of being subjected to a church that doesn’t realize it can’t be in back pocket of a dictator bully and still hold credibility with the subjects of the bullying. Putin wages war against the fellow Orthodox Christians and Kirill looks the other way? Threats made by the Moscow church do not reflect the ethos of Orthodoxy, we should PRAY for our “enemies” and an enemy is one who vaues real estate and power above the good of the entire Church and the souls which she keeps under her wing. Their ceaseless public relations machines just spews out threats and virulence as if they are street thugs and not monks intent on peace in the Church. Yes the EPs relative silence speaks volumes...

    1. Prior to a few months ago, the EP recognized that the Russian Church had exclusive jurisdiction on the Ukraine. Patriarch Bartholomew said say himself in a letter after Filaret Denisenko was justly deposed. He promised not to do what he is now doing in the presence of the heads of all the local Churches in 2016 at Chambesy. He is the schismatic in the room, and as St. Ignatius of Antioch said, "No one who follows another into a schism will inherit the Kingdom of God."

    2. Fr. John,

      If you could would you clarify, but you appear to be saying that because the EP changed his mind (for whatever reason) that in of itself makes him a "schismatic".

      Also, what would you do with the millions of Ukrainian who are in fact Orthodox in every sense of the term except "canonically". These folks are part of a people who have been pressed upon nightly by the vulgarities of history, and have now found themselves (yet again) separated from the communion. Are they actually responsible for Denisenko's sins, cast into the outer darkness as you and St. Ignatius would seemingly say? Is it really that simple? Is there no context to this complicated situation? If schism is a "sin against Charity" as St. Basil says, is it really in this situation merely one sided?

      Are you suggesting that the only way back into canonical Orthodoxy for millions of Ukrainians is to "repent", go back under Moscow which for very good (and many not so good) reasons they are never going to do, unless and until they are put forcibly back through the point of the sword?

      Then there is the question of just who gets to decide who in fact is or is not a "schismatic" in the Ukraine or anywhere else. Certainly not ROCOR priests sitting in their safety and luxury in Texas with their easy logic and legalism(s). Certainly not me, sitting in my safety and luxury in New Mexico...

    3. The Patriarchs of several venerable and ancient Sees disagree with +Bartholomew so, depending on which is yours, there's your Church's position on the matter. But in any event, the EP has enlisted on one side in a purely nationalistic struggle which we are told repeatedly is an absolute no-no.

      It's as if the US Antiochians declared that they needed their own Church rather than be under the heel of those awful Lebanese and Syrians, with whom we are occasionally at war, and asked the EP to grant us autocephaly. +John would of course declare that +Bartholomew has no such authority since he is not the Roman pope claiming universal jurisdiction. That's basically what's going on here. This is not to deny that Russia, including her Church's hierarchy, have their own nationalistic motivations for the Ukraine. Some of those motives are good, some are bad, but that's a different debate.

  4. Let us remember that an autonomous Ukranian Orthodox church already exists and is recognized by all the Orthodox world, including the EP until a matter of days before.

  5. The Ecumenical Patriarch has many Russian Orthodox in it's fold (in Asia Minor and elsewhere). Perhaps His All Holiness is thinking about them. What is lost in all this nonsense is the number of people who are affected by this nonsense. Look at all the Orthodox in Ukraine who were outside the Church because their village was on the "wrong side of the line." There are many Russians living and working abroad in the EP's Jurisdictions. Should they be made spiritually homeless because of politics?