Hierarch of UOC: One cannot agree to the vision of Phanar-promoted Church

Bishop Sylvester (Stoychev) of Belogorodka. Photo: pravlife.org

At the heart of the current crisis in World Orthodoxy is the issue of primacy in the Ecumenical Church, the rector of the KDAiS believes.

We cannot agree to such a vision of the Church and ecclesiastic order, which is actively promoted by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary (KDAiS), Bishop Sylvester of Belogorodka, said in his report "The situation in World Orthodoxy following the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew in Ukraine and the possible contribution of the monasticism of the UOC for its resolution" at the Congress of Monasticism of the UOC in the Holy Dormition Pochaiv Lavra.

According to the hierarch, today it is already obvious that behind the Ukrainian church conflict there are serious differences in understanding the nature of the Church and its structure.

“At the heart of the current crisis in world Orthodoxy is a long-term controversy on the fundamental issues of theological teaching about the Church. Over the past decades, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been actively promoting such a vision of the Church and ecclesiastic order, with which we cannot agree. And this must be clearly understood,” he stressed.

He added that although the issue of church autocephaly lies on the surface of modern disputes, they are based on the fundamental question of understanding primacy in the Ecumenical Church.

“Today the Patriarch of Constantinople insists on his special status in the Ecumenical Church, which stipulates that he has not only the so-called primacy of honor, but also primacy of power. Patriarch Bartholomew has repeatedly stated that he has the exclusive right to grant tomos on the creation of new autocephalous Churches, that he has the exclusive right to receive appeals from the clerics of all Local Orthodox Churches, and that he has canonical power over the entire Orthodox Diaspora. This doctrine of the primacy of the Constantinople throne is actively developed in the publications by theologians of Greek origin <...>

The above understanding of primacy refers not to human law but to the Divine law. It means the special rights and responsibilities of the Patriarch of Constantinople are not of human origin, but of Divine origin. It is obvious that such a dogma on primacy in the Universal Church in many ways approaches the Catholic vision of primacy. It is important for us to emphasize that the doctrine of primacy, which is actively promoted by the Church of Constantinople, was included in the statutory documents of the so-called. OCU and in the so-called Tomos of Autocephaly,” upheld Bishop Sylvester.

Let us recall that the speeches made at the Congress of Monastics of the UOC, which took place on July 15 at the Pochaiv Lavra, are available in a video format.

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