It is universally recognized as a basic ecclesiological principle that the ordinations of heretics and schismatics, and especially of those who are deposed and excommunicated, as a “Sacrament,” celebrated by all the Churches, are invalid. This basic principle is inextricably bound with the Orthodox teaching on the Holy Spirit and constitutes an unshakeable foundation of the Apostolic succession of Orthodox bishops. It is our conviction that this principle cannot be ignored.
Since I became Orthodox, one of the big things I have been concerned with is trying to bring people into the Church. It’s harder to bring people into the Church now because it’s harder to explain what Orthodoxy is.
For Russia, the situation involves both a dispute over canonical territory and a protest against the claims of Constantinople to be “first among equals” and have universal authority. The first is jurisdictional, the second a matter of the rule of faith.
I can draw only one conclusion. Sadly enough, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s granting of autocephalous status to the schismatic community of Philaret and Epiphany not only did not heal the existing schism in Ukraine, but on the contrary, aggravated it.
It is with a saddened heart that I, as archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Berlin and Germany (ROCOR), take this opportunity to clarify our diocese’s position on the current developments among the Orthodox.
When and why did the Patriarchate of Constantinople introduce the new calendar? How is it connected with the current Church conflict in Ukraine? We discussed these subjects with Pavel Kuzenkov, Ph.D in Historical Sciences, teacher of the Sretensky Theological Seminary, and expert in Christian chronological systems.
A malicious looking man sitting by the window in the back of the carriages—he looked like a scientist and wore a pair of glasses—suddenly burst out screaming at the tramp, “You, scumbag! You’re panhandling, asking for money! And I don’t have enough money to feed my family.
The apotheosis of this lawlessness was the formation of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” on the basis of structures that had fallen away from the Mother Church, whose autocephaly the Patriarchate of Constantinople single-handedly established by issuing a tomos.
The Archons are Patriarch Bartholomew’s PR arm and fundraisers and few expected anything new from this meeting—the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to intervene in any Church situation anywhere, any time would be asserted again with little real engagement of the serious issues involved in every aspect of the current Church crisis in Ukraine and Constantinople’s role in it.
A festal Liturgy was celebrated at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral with his guests— primates and representatives from ten other Local Churches and the autonomous and self-governing bodies of the Moscow Patriarchate and a host of hierarchs from the Russian Orthodox Church.