03 August 2006, 14:14
Constantinople shows increasing tendency to Orthodox ‘papism’ - Russian priest
Moscow, August 3, Interfax - The Patriarchate of Constantinople’s policy is becoming similar to a ‘papal policy set on Orthodox soil’, Rev. Mikhail Dudko, Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations secretary for church-society relations, has stated.
‘It is very visible. The behavior of Constantinople, including its action with regard to the diocese of Sourozh, is arrogant’, Father Mikhail said on a broadcast by the radio Radonezh.
This was his comment on the decision of Constantinople to accept into its jurisdiction the former head of the diocese of Sourozh, Bishop Basil Osborn, whom the Russian Orthodox Church Synod has suspended.
‘Regrettably, we are not heard by Constantinople today however hard we have tried to knock. The tendency to Orthodox ‘papism’ is clear, and in the case of Bishop Basil it has certainly come out especially vividly’, the priest noted.
He said even if the canons ascribe to Constantinople the title of judge, even if some experts in canon law maintain that appeals can be made to it in case of disputes, ‘in this particular case, even if this interpretation is accepted, something bigger has happened’.
Moreover, Father Mikhail continued, the Patriarch of Constantinople ‘played in its own favour by having sided with Bishop Basil and those who followed him in advance, without looking into or setting forth any arguments’.
The representative of the Russian Church called to begin a serious conversation on how far the claims of the Patriarch of Constantinople go with regard to the Orthodox diaspora, how far particular canons on jurisdiction are applicable in the modern world, ‘which is universally believed to be much different from the era of the Ecumenical Council, and how far they can be modified or interpreted as applied to our time.
Father Mikhail also expressed the conviction that the actions of today’s Patriarch of Constantinople were influenced by the policy of the USA emulated by Constantinople because a considerable part of its faithful, live there, ‘the most influential part of them’ at that, the priest noted.