“Today Orthodoxy Can Be a Model for All Christendom”

The Primate of the Polish Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland talks about the complicated period of the formation of the Polish Church, the World Orthodox Youth Forum scheduled for the summer, and overcoming modern challenges by Christians.

Source: RIA-Novosti Source: RIA-Novosti     

Vladyka, Poland is a country with a Catholic majority. Please tell us about the distinctive features of the life of the Orthodox Church in the lands where Orthodox faithful are a minority.

—Orthodoxy appeared in what is now Poland as a result of the mission of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius. Their disciples preached Christ's teaching (the Byzantine rite) among the Vistulans (Wislanie tribe), the Polans (Polianians) and the Lachy. The storms of history in the Polish lands reduced Orthodoxy there and in places even eradicated it. Despite the difficulties and all sorts of persecutions, it has survived to this day. That is why our Holy Church at every Divine Liturgy offers up a special thanksgiving prayer to God for all difficulties and asks Him to preserve the Church till the end of time.

In the interwar period there were over five million believers in Poland, but after the end of World War II only about 500,000–600,000 remained. In 1924, we received autocephaly from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was recognized by all the canonical Churches, including the Russian Church in 1948. At present, our Church lives a full Church life. After the political changes of 1980–1981, we developed a law that determines the relations of the State to the Church and vice versa. The Polish Orthodox Church has legal status and uses in its life everything that proceeds from it—for example, all church property belongs to the Church. Spiritual guidance is regularly given in the army and all other state organizations. The Law of God is taught in schools of all kinds. The youth is united into the Brotherhood of Orthodox Youth, which also has legal rights. Our Church is in the Polish Ecumenical Council and is a member of the World Council of Churches. Our Church also cooperates with the Roman Catholic Church as part of the joint Orthodox-Catholic commission. We have the opportunity to use airtime on television and radio. On the whole, the voice of the Orthodox Church in Poland is heard.

This year the Polish Church is receiving Orthodox youth from all over the world at its summer forum. Why was it decided to hold the forum in Poland? Can you tell us about how work with youth is organized in the Polish Church?

—Our Church gives special attention to the education of the younger generation. We do this at the family, school and Church level. Our youth actively participates in the life of the Church, both socially and internationally. Young people, as I have already said, are united into the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius; they actively participated and still continue to be involved in the Syndesmos international organization. Because this organization’s work has waned, our youth strives to help the organization’s leaders resume its activity at the international level. And that is why they suggested a meeting in Suprasl. Suprasl has a marvelous church, which was completely restored after it had been destroyed by German troops in 1942.

Source: the Suprasl Monastery’s official website Source: the Suprasl Monastery’s official website     

There are many Old Believer communities in Poland. In the Russian Church there is a group of Old Believers called Edinoverie, who re-united with the universal Church while maintaining their services and way of life. Are you considering setting up such a parish in Poland?

—Groups of Old Believers of the Bespopovtsy (i.e., “priestless”) denomination still exist in Poland, but as yet we have no Edinoverie parishes. There was once such a parish in Wojnowo, which remained after the Second World War, but later joined (with its priest Alexander Avayev) the Polish Orthodox Church. Now there is a monastery there. Today several communities of the Bespopovtsy are still active in the North and East of Poland.

Can you name the main challenges that Orthodox Christians face today? How can they be overcome?

—The major challenge of world Orthodoxy today is to find a way to eliminate the Church divisions that it is experiencing now. All kinds of schisms and splits are healed by faith and love. These are the main gifts for the victory over evil. If Orthodoxy uses them, it will show the world that it truly fulfills the call of the apostle: Let all your things be done with charity (1 Cor. 16:14). Today, through love and faithfulness to Christ and its ancestors, Orthodoxy can be a model for all Christendom and all mankind.

Panagiotis7/29/2022 1:48 am
To Orthodox Brother Herman: I agree with you. All Orthodox Christians should be on the same calendar, i.e. the old Orthodox calendar. There should have never been a change to begin with! The Orthodox Christians and Priests at that time did not want to change. So why was there a change back a hundred years ago? Herman answered correctly, I.E. it was the work of the internationalists and the Freemasons! The Freemasons were very active at that time. The Patriarch (Meletius, born Metaxakis) of Constantinople, which is located in Turkey of course, at that time was allegedly a freemason. He was also a complete puppet of the West in my opinion, and a supporter of the ecumenical nonsense movement. He was closely allied with Eleftherios Venizelos (Greek Leader), who was also alleged to be a freemason. Both were born in Crete, which at that time was extremely conservative and still is. Look into the background of Venizelos and you might be surprised to find that he may not be of pure Greek Cretan ethnicity. His paternal ancestors allegedly did not come from Crete, and his original surname was allegedly not Venizelos. Allegedly per one of his cousins at that time, his grandfather was Jewish and from Thessalonica. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, leader of Turkey, was also from Thessalonica, and it was believed by some at that time and even today, that he was allegedly of Donmeh Jewish descent. Ataturk was also allegedly a Freemason, as were allegedly many of the so-called Young Turks. Venizelos and Ataturk were friends, despite the disastrous consequences for Greece of the Greco Turkish War! Maybe now you know why? Many of the original Bolsheviks like Lenin (born Vladimir Ulyanov) and Trotsky (born Lev or Leiba Bronstein) were also alleged to be Freemasons. Maybe you now know why the Bolsheviks supplied weapons and money to Ataturk's secular Turkey? The monster Trotsky was "trained" by the internationalist Alexander Parvus (born Israel Helphand or Gelfand), who later moved to Constantinople, and became the financial and political advisor of The Young Turks!!! My oh my! Put the pieces of the puzzle together my friends. That is something they do not want us to do. Do research for yourself, as this is what the computer internet has enabled us to do . Now the truth can no longer be hidden . It is out there, you just have to put the pieces of the puzzle together. What do you think is happening now with our Orthodox Brothers fighting each other in the Ukraine? Do not believe everything that you read and hear from Western news sources, Western media, Western educational institutions, and so forth. Just my humble opinion.
Herman7/27/2022 6:16 am
One step to end the divisions would be for all Orthodox Churches to return to the Orthodox Calendar, following the example of the Polish Church, which in 2014 did exactly this. Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, OCA, what are you doing? The "new" calendar was introduced 100 years ago by Freemasons, why are you still doing this?
Agata McCutcheon7/26/2022 5:50 pm
May God bless, keep and strengthen our wonderful and holy Metropolitan Sawa! And preserve him for many years, to continue serving our Lord and guide all of us Polish Orthodox into the Kingdom of God!
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required