UOC hierarch: Phanar takes catholicity and primacy wrong

Bishop Victor (Kotsaba). Photo: facebook.com/V.D.Kotsaba

Bp Victor believes that the legalization of the church schism in Ukraine by the Phanar can serve as an example of an erroneous understanding of catholicity and primacy.

On November 11, 2021, the head of the Representation of the UOC to European international organizations, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka spoke about the erroneous understanding by the Patriarchate of Constantinople of the principles of catholicity and primacy in the Church.

During his speech at the International Conference "Catholicity of the Church: Theological, Canonical and Historical Dimensions", Vladyka noted that the concepts of catholicity and primacy "should be considered together since focusing on one or the other concept leads to problems that arise in a practical attempt to turn them into reality".

“The recent events in world Orthodoxy – the legalization of the church schism in Ukraine by the Patriarchate of Constantinople can serve as a vivid example of the erroneousness in the understanding of catholicity and primacy,” Vladyka Viktor emphasized.

He believes that in an attempt to concretize the understanding of primacy and agree on the practical issues that were raised when considering the understanding of catholicity, an integrated approach and joint consideration of both the first and second concepts can be used.

“That is, according to the existing Orthodox tradition, neither catholicity can be understood without deepening into the concept of primacy, nor primacy can exist without catholicity at all levels, at which they are practically interconnected because catholicity and primacy complement and depend on each other,” said the bishop.

He also recalled that "among the 15 Local Orthodox Churches there is no special body responsible for any global decisions of the entire Ecumenical Church". Therefore, "it is necessary that the Churches conciliarly determine the composition, themes and goals of such a body, which would form the agenda".

In the event of the sole appropriation of this power, as happened with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, “discontent from other Local Churches arises and unity in the whole of world Orthodoxy ceases,” resumed Bishop Victor.

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