DECR MP head recalls words of Phanar-canonized saint about heresy of papism

Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov). Photo:

Back in 1950, the schema-archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) warned of the danger of the "heresy of Constantinople papism," the head of the DECR MP reminded.

In 1950, the schema-archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov), canonized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople two years ago, called Phanar's claims to the special primacy "a heresy of Constantinople papism," said Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations, in his address to the participants in the Conference on Primacy and Catholicity held in Kyiv, which was published on the KDAiS website.

"He predicted that sooner or later this heresy would lead to the split of World Orthodoxy," Metropolitan Hilarion reminded the words of the schema-archimandrite Sophrony. "Alas, the prophecy of the Elder Sophrony has come true, and today we are reaping the bitter fruits of those claims of Constantinople that were still in their infancy during his lifetime."

According to the hierarch, this heresy was born from a misunderstanding of the primacy in Orthodoxy. After the fall of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople was viewed as the first in honor, the first among equals. But over time, Phanar wanted to be the first in power.

"Nowadays, theologians from the Church of Constantinople claim that he (the head of Phanar – Ed.) is ‘the first without equals’, that he can redraw the boundaries of the Local Churches as he sees fit," said the head of the MP DECR. “They claim he can invade the boundaries of the Local Churches, bring order there and arrange his stavropegia; that he is the highest instance of appeal for all the Churches; that he could, with the stroke of a pen, abolish the multi-million Church, which has more than a hundred bishops, more than twelve thousand parishes, more than two hundred and fifty monasteries, and transfer its rights and name to the schismatic structure; that he can declare a self-consecrated bishop a legitimate bishop and ‘reinstate dignity’ of a person, who has never had such dignity or lost it due to falling into a schism."

Threats to the unity of Orthodoxy, arising from the actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople, call for the comprehensive conciliar understanding on the part of hierarchs, clergy, monks and laity, said Metropolitan Hilarion.

As reported by the UOJ, the Primate stated that the idea of the Church of Constantinople about its special status is the root cause of the severe crisis, which the entire World Orthodoxy is encountering today.

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