The following is a translated transcript of a Spas (Savior) Orthodox TV channel special edition of their program, “Straight to the essence”. In these extremely disturbing times, people want to hear a familiar, trusted voice of experience and sound theology. Professor Osipov is that voice.
It is likely what I have to say here will be received by some as “Russian disinformation”, but I will dare to make my opinion known to my fellow Orthodox Greeks and others, in hope it will at least make them think more deeply about the potential consequences of what just happened this January in the Phanar.
What is the aim of every council? It is, through the exercise of collective discernment, to attain a common mind. Yet this common mind is not simply the sum total of the convictions of the various participants.
In the Orthodox ascetic tradition, humility is seen as the mother of all virtues. While most of us struggle to even be able to define humility, let alone practice it, His Grace embodied it. As everyone who has ever encountered Bishop Athanasius can attest, His Grace always put others before himself, sometimes even to my chagrin.
Thousands gather expectantly in Kiev’s Independence Square as the rising smoke from burning churches heralds what could be the dawning of a new era. Hearts beat fast and heat rises from the multitude despite the cold. Hundreds of clergy and religious, many of them under house arrest or watching from prisons or hospitals, join the rest of the Orthodox world in anticipation of the answer to the question on everyone’s mind…
In reply to a letter of His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, in which he informed of all his decisions and actions regarding the granting of autocephaly to Ukraine, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia expressed his deep pain, astonishment and indignation over the anti-canonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
It is hard to assess exactly how significant the moral/sexual component of undermining Orthodoxy in Ukraine is, but there is no denying it is a factor. There is a curious consistency between advocacy for non-traditional, post-Christian sexual morality and support for the schismatic pseudo-Church sponsored by Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew.
At the moment, the UOC MP is in the same position as the BOC was then. In our country the schismatics also tried to rob the Church’s identity, to despoil shrines, to usurp property of which they were not entitled. Because we know how they ended, and what their deeds in the faith were.
Only a few days had passed after the council when the information space began shocking everyone with scandalous and absolutely unexpected announcements and publications made by participants of the above event.
The present crisis in the news did not begin today. Its roots began in the nineteenth century—if not earlier, continued into the twentieth century, and are maturing in the twenty-first century with a new fervor into an unprecedented form of authority and authenticity—perhaps trusting that God and His people are not looking.