06 September 2018, 16:12
Patriarch Bartholomew's speech at Istanbul meeting heretical - Russian theologist
Moscow, September 6, Interfax - The claim by Patriarch Bartholomew at a Synaxis in Istanbul that his Church of Constantinople has exclusive rights to resolve the problems of the Christian Orthodox world was pure heresy, Archpriest Andrey Novikov, a member of the Moscow Patriarchate's Bible Theological Commission, said.
"All these expressions - that without the Patriarchate of Constantinople all other local Churches are sheep without a shepherd, that Constantinople possesses certain exclusivity, that it represents an ethos, or nation, of the Orthodoxy, that it has the special rights of ultimate jurisdiction over the whole Church and ensures its unity - all this repeats the Roman Catholic views on the Pope's role in the Church, and that is already absolute, pure heresy," the priest told Interfax-Religion on Thursday.
Overall, the patriarch's speech was a collection of what was said before by various Constantinople theologists, he said.
"It is a trend which has existed since the Middle Ages, but saw a particular rise in the 20th century, becoming hypertrophic, the so-called Eastern Papism trend," Father Andrey said.
However, whereas previously such musings were expressed as a personal opinion of certain hierarchs, now it was said at the Sinaxis, a gathering of all bishops of Constantinople, and "no one protested," meaning that the patriarch's point of view became ecumenical, the priest said.
The Moscow Patriarchate will find it "very difficult to continue communicating with the people who effectively are trying to impose on the Orthodox Church the Roman Catholic model: it runs counter to the Church as created by Jesus Christ," Father Andrey said.
Except that unlike the Roman Catholic Church, whose postulation about papal infallibility was nevertheless endorsed by the Ecumenical Council, Istanbul "has no need for this: here, it was simply a gathering of Constantinople hierarchs representing 3% of the Orthodox land, proclaiming things supposedly binding on the entire Orthodox world, " the priest said.
"This is simply downright mockery of the entire Church. It is simply no longer possible to tolerate, nor co-exist with it while remaining the united Church," he said.