Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, “Orthodox unity challenged by the Ukrainian issue”
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

“While the unity of the Orthodox Church is threatened, we have to understand the magnitude of certain prophetic acts. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew responded positively to the expectations of the Ukrainian people in favor of an autocephalous Church. When doing so, he was aware of his historic responsibility in the region, but also of his duty as the guarantor of the unity of the body of the Orthodox Church, as well as his spiritual ministry that goes beyond political issues.

Unfortunately, we saw how the Moscow Patriarchate desperately opposed to the process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Through threats and attacks that will one day be condemned by history, they attempted to weaken the bond of communion that unites all the autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

The Moscow Patriarchate, unfortunately, seems to be hostage to the Russian State interests in the region, even if they claim the opposite. Besides, the ecclesiastical law of the Orthodox Church confirms the historical and canonical legitimacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate jurisdiction over the Kyiv Metropolis. Even with the Synodal Act of 1686, which gave the right to the Moscow Patriarch to ordain Kyiv Metropolitans elected by the clergy, the Constantinople Patriarchate fully kept its jurisdictional powers. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has never ceased to seek a solution through dialogue and cooperation, without threats nor sanctions. Until the last moment, we thought that a way out of the crisis was possible, including at the meeting between the two patriarchs in August 2018 at the Phanar.

From now on, the Moscow Patriarchate has decided to break the communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. But can we talk about a schism? I will say it boldly, I do not think so, even if, taking into account such actions, the Russian Church is separating itself from the body of the Orthodox Church and rejecting the provisions of its own Tomos of autocephaly, which mentions that the Moscow Patriarchate must have the Ecumenical Patriarchate as  its “head”.

I believe it is at least the responsibility of the Moscow Patriarchate to put an end to the verbal and ecclesiastical escalation that threatens the unity of Orthodoxy, although it seems the Russian Church has used its influence to pressure other autocephalous Orthodox Churches to convene a Pan-Orthodox meeting. Let us remember however, that the Russian Church refused to participate in the Holy and Great Council in June 2016 in Crete. It was one of the most important pan-Orthodox events in modern history. I regret the opportunism of the Moscow Patriarchate, which wishes to take advantage of pan-Orthodox meetings to defend its own agenda. Moreover, it must be understood that the granting of autocephaly is not a strictly pan-Orthodox question. Rather, it is the Ecumenical Patriarchate responsibility, as the Mother Church, to give independence to the Orthodox ecclesiastical body in Ukraine. This is the lesson of history. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is the source of the autocephaly of all local Orthodox Churches, with the exception of older Patriarchates founded in the first millennium and of the Church of Cyprus. The autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine will be created very shortly, certainly in the weeks to come.

The ultimate challenge that all Orthodox peoples will have to face is neither political nor geopolitical, it is above all spiritual. Autocephaly aims to put an end to divisions between the Orthodox in Ukraine and not to create new schisms. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is fully aware of this problem and he sees communion as a theological principle at the service of all. This movement is prophetic since it is a moment of truth that concerns all Orthodoxy.

In the case of an attempt to block it, a response must be given, guided by experience and evangelical teachings.”

Source in Greek

Dear readers,

This is one of the five free articles that you can read in their entirety.

To access the unlimited number of full articles, please:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France. She taught English before entering the Cistercian Order. She translated and published articles relevant to her interest in Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She moved to the United States in 2001, converted to Orthodoxy in 2008, and married. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. She continued to publish articles, a Cistercian texts anthology, then finally launched her career in literary translation, while teaching French. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

Orthodoxie.com Newsletter

Don't miss out on important news and updates. Subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletter.

Divider

Popular Posts

January 17 (old calendar) / Janu... Living with the Church 95584

January 17 (old calendar) / January 30 (new) Fast Venerable and Godbearing Father Anthony the Great (356). Ven. Anthony of Dymsk (Novgorod—ca. 1224...

January 30 Living with the Church 95582

January 30  Fast Synaxis of the Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. Hieromartyr Hippol...

17 janvier (ancien calendrier) /... 95580

17 janvier (ancien calendrier) / 30 janvier (nouveau) Jour de jeûne Saint Antoine le Grand, moine en Égypte (356) ; saint Genou, évêque de Cahors (...

30 janvier 95578

30 janvier Jour de jeûne Synaxe des saints Hiérarques Basile le Grand, Grégoire le Théologien et Jean Chrysostome ; saint Hippolyte de Rome, martyr...

The Russian Church denounces pre... From the Web 95586

On January 29, the French daily La Croix published an article signed Pierre Sautreuil on the current situation of the Russian Church in Ukraine. Pl...

“L’Église russe dénonce de... 95573

Le quotidien La Croix a publié et mis en ligne l’article suivant : “L’Église russe dénonce des pressions sur ses paroisses en Ukraine&#...

Soirée de prière pour l’un... 95564

La prochaine soirée de prière, de toutes les paroisses orthodoxes de la région parisienne, pour l’unité de l’Église orthodoxe aura lieu le me...

Communiqué of St. Sergius Instit... Declarations 95538

On January 28, 2019, at the end of its meeting, the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute (Paris) Board of Directors issued the following comm...

OCA Holy Synod of Bishops issued... Declarations 95532

On Monday, January 28, 2019, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA...

Jean-François Colosimo’s letter... France 95525

Sunday, January 27, 2019, Feast of the translation of the relics of St. John Chrysostom. For more than a quarter of a century, since the fall of 19...

Lettre de démission et de consid... 95523

Dimanche 27 janvier 2019, en la fête de la translation des reliques de saint Jean Chrysostome. Cela fait maintenant plus d’un quart de siècle, depu...

“Monastères, les trésors c... 95519

Un documentaire (42:29) diffusé par la chaîne de télévision Arte, intitulé “Monastères, les trésors cachés de la Géorgie”, est en ligne...