Kalavryta, Greece, July 10, 2018
His Eminence Metropolitan of Kalavryta of the Greek Orthodox Church recently spoke on the topic of 2016’s Council of Crete again, criticizing the council’s decisions, and charging it with bringing irreparable damage to the Orthodox Church, reports Romfea.
According to the hierarch, the council was not pan-Orthodox although it was called thus.
“Four Local Churches refused to participate in it,” Met. Ambrose recalled, referring to the Georgian, Antiochian, Bulgarian, and Russian Churches. “And it wasn’t holy, because its decisions equated Orthodoxy with Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. They were called ‘Churches’ which by their own decision have cut themselves off from the Tree which is called ‘the Church,’ that is, from the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and began to live on their own.”
The Greek hierarch wrote an open letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in May of last year, expressing his conviction that the Cretan Council is a path to schism. At that time he wrote: ““So now there are many Churches? Then why do we confess ‘One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church’ in the Creed? Isn’t this an ecclesiological contradiction, or even a serious dogmatic distortion?”
As Met. Ambrose now explained, when Church leaders speak treacherously on their own behalf, they cause us harm, but it is mitigated because it does not affect the Church as an institution.
“For example, when His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew knelt before the Tomb of our Lord in Jerusalem and prayed together with the Pope of Rome, it inflicted damage to his soul, not to the Church, since we all condemn their joint prayer,” the hierarch explained.
“But when the primates of Orthodoxy summarized the results in Kolymvari, having made traitorous decisions in regard to our holy Orthodoxy, then there was cause for great harm. Very great. It was very great, because it brings confusion to the Orthodox sphere and inevitably leads to a new split between the believers of the Local Orthodox Churches,” His Eminence continued.
Met. Ambrose also emphasized that Roman Catholics are not received by the Creator of the Church—Jesus Christ—into the Church.
“We have Heavenly signs and Divine indications that assure us of this,” the Greek hierarch noted. “For example, the fact that the Holy Fire is given only to the Orthodox patriarch.”
He also pointed to the patriarchal gramota of 1701 and the Orthodox tradition of St. Spyridon who defended the integrity of Orthodoxy from Catholics. “The ‘Holy and Great Council’ in Crete acted contrary to how St. Spyridon behaved with the Papists. In other words: The Council in Kolymvari on Crete caused irreparable harm to our Orthodoxy,” the metropolitan concluded.
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