Skip to comments.MP is against Constantinople’s attempts to intervene in other Orthodox Churches’ affairs
Posted on 11/22/2006 7:31:01 AM PST by kawaii
22 November 2006, 14:54
Moscow Patriarchate is against Constantinoples attempts to intervene in other Orthodox Churches affairs
Moscow, November 22, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church denies that the Patriarchate of Constantinople can intervene in internal affairs of other Churches and urges to prevent division in the Orthodox world.
We deny the Patriarchate of Constantinoples capacity to intervene in the jurisdiction of other Churches. This idea separates us from Rome at present, said the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad at the opening of the annual Radonezh festival of Orthodox films and TV programmes that took place in St. Nicholas church at the Tretyakov Gallery on Wednesday.
The Metropolitan remarked that the Orthodox Church is keeping its unity. The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church are in the eucharistic (liturgical) unity.
This unity must be preserved. One should not react to any provocations because of which this unity may be frustrated, he underscored.
According to Metropolitan Kirill, the world would have looked differently, had Rome and Constantinople not divided in the 11th century.
We should prevent a division in the Orthodox world, the hierarch of the Russian Church underscored.
He remarked that an untraditional perception of the role and importance of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in no way connected with the canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church, began to develop in Constantinople in the early 20th century resulting in the split of Orthodoxy in the Baltic countries, Finland, Poland and within Russian emigration.
We do not think that the Patriarch of Constantinople is invested with powers as far as other local Orthodox Churches are concerned. We think there is no such a centre to which [the Orthodox Churches] can appeal. Only the Pan-Orthodox Council could play the part of this centre, Metropolitan Kirill said.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople has recently taken in its jurisdiction in violation of canonical rights the former administrator of the Sourozh diocese of the Russian Church Bishop Basil (Osborne) and supported schismatic groups in Ukraine.
"Third Rome tells New Rome not to act like Old Rome"
In other news, dog bites man!
i would like to see a pan orthodox response on the uockp...
What's the EP doing that's provoking this reaction? I couldn't understand that last paragraph in the article.
A few years back the Orthodox in Estonia wanted to schism and form their own church, and the EP rubber stamped them.
About a year ago, an MP Bishop asked the MP to move his parish under the EP hoping to focus on non-immigrants. The MP said no, and the EP took the Bishop, though not the parish. To do this the EP is SUPPOSED to get a letter from the MP releasing the Bishop first.
Most recently a church under the EP in the United States (one of a slew of splinter Ukrainian Orthodox churches) invited the head of yet another schismatic church in Ukraine for dinner, and apparently prayer. The head they invited is a former MP bishop who was defrocked, who subsequently started his own church amid vapid nationalist banter. He's also auded to coming into communion with Catholics; its not hard to question the Orthodoxy of said Bishop (Filaret), and thus wonder why a more less canonical EP church would be inviting him as the guest of honor at dinners.
Also the EP has been reguraly intervening in lands which at least for the last 500 years or so have been considered canonically to be under the Russian church, putting schismatic national churches directly under the EP.
Frankly it seems like a sad attempt to increase the EP's control over Orthodoxy, more than 70% is under the Russian church directly or indirectly. And growing with the ROCOR-MP union.
I know virtually nothing about this situation, but as always, take what comes out of Moscow with a grain, or perhaps a pound, of salt (same goes for Constantinople too, by the way).
Here's a link which attempts to explain what's happening. I have no idea if it is accurate but at least it doesn't seem polemical.
"In other news, dog bites man!"
It does get old, doesn't it? The MP really doesn't have any choice but to keep repeating this stuff, though, until the situation changes...
I still say that the primary job of the EP should be to evangelize and convert the people living in his own traditional jurisdictional boundaries. Granted, it would mean that he would have to leave Constantinople and go into exile to do it, but it would show that he is as serious about his own people as the other Patriarchates are about theirs.
Alexandria is evangelizing sub-Saharan Africa, Antioch is working to bring the Melkites et al back into the Orthodox fold, the MP and the other Eastern Europe patriarchates are tending to the spiritual recovery and re-evangelization of their people, (we won't comment on Jerusalem...) JPII was very serious in his efforts to restore Christian belief and practice in Italy and Western Europe -- and I would imagine that BXVI will be, if anything, more aggressive in this regard.
Constantinople's emphasis on retaining control of a few city blocks in Istanbul and on developing a role as the Pope of the East seems to be a glaring exception to my admittedly prejudiced eyes.
Maybe the MP could take a more positive approach and announce that they are going to assist Constantinople in tending to the conversion of Turkey -- would that help? :-)
Just my thoughts -- of course its easy for me to make these recommendations from the safety of the American heartland...
This seems to be the salient part of the wikipedia article.
Is that the deal? If the EP leaves the city he can't come back?
I tend to think you're right Agrarian.
"Constantinople's emphasis on retaining control of a few city blocks in Istanbul and on developing a role as the Pope of the East seems to be a glaring exception to my admittedly prejudiced eyes."
Well, as you know, many of us Greeks tend to agree with you, though I should add that his jurisdiction does extend over most of the "Greek Diaspora". I doubt anyone else would want us! :)
I once suggested to certain hierarchs that the EP ought to move to DC as the new seat of the Empire. My suggestion was not well received...in great measure on account of the self-interest of the hierarchjs present!
The foregoing notwithstanding, as I have said before, beware the embrace of the Russian bear. I am not even remotely convinced that the interests of the ROC and the MP are anymore divorced from those of the Russian state than they have been since Peter the Great.
" This seems to be the salient part of the wikipedia article."
So it would seem and the canons do seem to say what it is claimed they say.
"IF any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop, or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop's consent, select. And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical penalties. And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province. And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried."
"Outlying or rural parishes shall in every province remain subject to the bishops who now have jurisdiction over them, particularly if the bishops have peaceably and continuously governed them for the space of thirty years. But if within thirty years there has been, or is, any dispute concerning them, it is lawful for those who hold themselves aggrieved to bring their cause before the synod of the province. And if any one be wronged by his metropolitan, let the matter be decided by the exarch of the diocese or by the throne of Constantinople, as aforesaid. And if any city has been, or shall hereafter be newly erected by imperial authority, let the order of the ecclesiastical parishes follow the political and municipal example."
As far as the Peter the Great comment you may wish to read this:
Ceaseropapism wasn't as entrenched in the church under Peter the Great as some western sources have aledged...
This ignores the apparent embrace of the UOC-KP though... folks who've said they may commune with Catholics...
"This ignores the apparent embrace of the UOC-KP though... folks who've said they may commune with Catholics..."
I hadn't heard this, but it doesn't surprise me. In Lebanon the Antiochians, the Melkites and the Maronites are doing it too.
Interesting, thanks for the cite. It says "Imperial throne": does that mean the emperor to the exclusion of the patriarch, or is understood they are sort of the same unit here since we're talking about ecclesiastical matters.
I could see someone picking it apart..."no emperor anymore, therefore no appeal!" LOL
"It says "Imperial throne": does that mean the emperor to the exclusion of the patriarch, or is understood they are sort of the same unit here since we're talking about ecclesiastical matters."
Well, the canons say "the Throne of the Imperial City" and "the throne of Constantinople", meaning the Patriarchial throne, but I'll bet the Russians are hanging their hat on exactly your thought.
Did you check out the link to the Holy Trinity Mission Site?
I find it interesting that the Slavs generally have never heard of the allegations popular here in the west that the Tsar ruled the church with an iron fist...
It is a common myth that few, if any, clerics fought the nationalization of their Church, or, so to speak, "stood up" against Peter or his successors. Now, it is not the job of the Church to "stand up" to monarchs unless they publicly preach heresy, which Peter did not. However, the historical acts of St. Mitrophan of Voronezh are instructive and, curiously, universally left out of mainstream works of Russian history, and he appears nowhere in major biographies of Peter.
St. Mitrophan was born in 1623, and, as he reached adulthood, was drawn to a life in the Church as a monastic. He was an extraordinary scholar, and excelled in debate with the Old Ritual in the diocese he was assigned, the newly created diocese of Voronezh, which happened to be dead in the middle of much Old Ritual agitation after the "dual crown" of Peter and Ivan. Once it was clear that Peter was Tsar, he invited the increasingly famous bishop to Petersburg. Upon seeing the palace on his way, the bishop noticed that it was adorned with pagan statues. St. Mitrophan ordered the boat to turn away, and the saint publicly rebuked the Tsar. Peter's response was not to imprison the great man, nor to humiliate him, but to remove the statues in deference to the Church, and in fact, admitting his embarrassment. St. Mitrophan died a natural death in 1703, and his incorrupt relics were unearthed in 1821. Simply, the reason this story is deliberately left out of all accounts of Peter's reign is that it flies in the face of the "scholarly consensus" on the Church, Peter and Russian royalism in general.
"I once suggested to certain hierarchs that the EP ought to move to DC as the new seat of the Empire."
Maybe he could move to Rome and the Pope could appoint him Chief Doorkeepr of St Peter's!
I understand that at one time there was a Latin Patriarch of Constantinople who resided in Rome.
"I understand that at one time there was a Latin Patriarch of Constantinople who resided in Rome."
There was a Latin patriarch of Constantinople installed after the rape of the City by the soldiers of the 4th Crusade. In a gesture of brotherly love, the soldiers of the Pope even set a prostitute on the Patriarchial Throne and bowed to her. In any event, after the fall of the Latins some years later, the "Latin Patriarch" fled to Rome. Whether Rome continued after his death to appoint a successor or successors I don't know. If they did, they stopped a very, very long time ago. By the way, to its credit, Rome formally apologized for the 4th Crusade's sack of the City.
Nothing really new here, except that the MP is fairly healthy again. The EP has not been really helpful to the cause of Orthodox unity since the patriarchate of Meletius (of sorrowful memory), who foisted the New Calendar on the Church, and worse, broke the canonical unity of the Church in North America by establishing the Greek Archdiocese.
(And no, I'm not an Old Calendarist--I just messing with the calendar without complete concensus was a lousy idea. Personally, I like the Coptic proposal to restore the unity of all Christian confessions' calendars by returning to the exact terms mandated by the Council of Nicaea for the Paschalion, and using the most astronomically accurate calendar as the basis the fixed feasts and for the computations of the date of Pascha--that would now be the civil calenda. It would restore the spirit of the decision to adopt the Julian calendar = civil calendar, back in the days of the Empire, because it was the civil calendar.)
I go to a ROCOR parish btw, sort of prefer the Old Calendar myself...
Sorry for the late response, K, but I felt one point needed to be clarified here. The phrase "soldiers of the Pope" implies that the Crusaders acted on His Holiness's behest and his approval. I do not know if that is the meaning you intended, but this was manifestly not the case. Here is what Innocent III wrote to the Marquis of Montferrat and the Counts of Flanders, Blois and St. Pol in June of 1203 after their attack on Zara.
None of you should therefore dare to assume that it is permissible for you to seize or to plunder the land of the Greeks, even though the latter may be disobedient to the Apostolic See, or on the grounds that the Emperor of Constantinople has deposed and even blinded his brother and usurped the imperial throne. For though this same emperor and the men entrusted to his rule may have sinned, both in these and in other matters, it is not for you to judge their faults, nor have you assumed the sign of the cross to punish this injury; rather you specifically pledged your self to the duty of avenging the insult to the cross.After Innocent's orders were defied and the holy city was sacked, here is what His Holiness had to say when he heard the news in a reprimand of his legate:
We were not a little astonished and disturbed to bear that you and our beloved son the Cardinal Priest of the Title of St. Praxida and Legate of the Apostolic See, in fear of the looming perils of the Holy Land, have left the province of Jerusalem (which, at this point is in such great need) and that you have gone by ship to Constantinople. And now we see that what we dreaded has occurred and what we feared has come to pass....
How, indeed, is the Greek church to be brought back into ecclesiastical union and to a devotion for the Apostolic See when she has been beset with so many afflictions and persecutions that she sees in the Latins only an example of perdition and the works of darkness, so that she now, and with reason, detests the Latins more than dogs? As for those who were supposed to be seeking the ends of Jesus Christ, not their own ends, whose swords, which they were supposed to use against the pagans, are now dripping with Christian blood they have spared neither age nor sex. They have committed incest, adultery, and fornication before the eyes of men. They have exposed both matrons and virgins, even those dedicated to God, to the sordid lusts of boys. Not satisfied with breaking open the imperial treasury and plundering the goods of princes and lesser men, they also laid their hands on the treasures of the churches and, what is more serious, on their very possessions. They have even ripped silver plates from the altars and have hacked them to pieces among themselves. They violated the holy places and have carried off crosses and relics....
The same Innocent apparently was the one that set up the Latin Patriarchate. Of that I do not know the history, but it is fair to say that if the Pontiff's words had been heeded in the first place, there would have been no sack.
I'm not a historian, but that's generally my reading as well. I certainly don't want to defend the sack or even Latin bishops or Innocent III, whatever their sins in this might have been. That's all fair game for criticism from either side, frankly.
I'm just making the limited point that the sack was not done with papal approval. Whether or not he responded to it in the best way is another matter.
It is true that Innocent is never on record as doing anything but fiercly opposing the sacking of Christian cities.