MP DECR head: Phanar reshapes Church ecclesiology according to papist model
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) stated that the attempts to introduce the papist model by Patriarch Bartholomew led to a split in world Orthodoxy
The head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyeva) of Volokolamsk, in an interview with the RIA Novosti, criticized the words of the Phanar head that Orthodox Christians should review their ecclesiology if they do not want to become a federation of Protestant Churches and that Orthodoxy has “the First” with special responsibility and canonical authority.
Metropolitan Hilarion noted that "for centuries Orthodox polemicists, including those of Constantinople and other Eastern patriarchs, opposed papism", but now Patriarch Bartholomew is proposing "to reshape Orthodox ecclesiology according to the papist model".
“We are told: if there is no “First” with special powers, we risk becoming a “federation of Protestant Churches”. That is, either the Catholic model or the Protestant – there is no third way. And so far, our Orthodox Church, on what principle has it been organized? Protestant?"
According to the head of the ROC DECR, “there has never been such a phenomenon in the Orthodox East. The Orthodox Church has always been organized as a family of Local Churches, which did not have a single earthly head. Jesus Christ has always been revered as the Head of the Church on a universal scale, and “the introduction of the papist model into Orthodox ecclesiology” took place, in particular, through the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, in which the ROC has previously participated but now does not participate.
“They tried to adopt a document that provided a theological foundation for the papist model of the Church. After the Council of Crete, the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced its special powers, in particular, declared itself the supreme arbiter in all disputes and conflict situations in the Local Churches, and regardless of the positions of these Churches themselves,” added Metropolitan Hilarion.
An example of the destructive policy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the recent events around the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the reinstatement of the former Metropolitan Filaret (Denisenko) of Kiev bypassing the Russian Orthodox Church, and the creation of a schismatic structure of the OCU. As a result, there was a split in the entire world Orthodoxy.
“And we are also proposed to look for some kind of “compromise”, some kind of “solution to the Ukrainian issue”. Patriarch Bartholomew has already "solved" the Ukrainian issue. What did he get in the end? Previously, he was the first among equals in the family of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches. But now he is not coordinating anything. He is absent in the diptychs of the Russian Orthodox Church. For tens of millions of Orthodox believers in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries of the canonical responsibility of the Russian Church, he became persona non grata. And the schism that has arisen in Ukraine is now resonating through the entire world Orthodoxy,” Vladyka noted.
As previously reported, the head of Phanar announced that he would come to Ukraine in August 2021.