Without further ado, let us dive into this piece by Alexei Nechaev, entitled
The Ecumenical Patriarch Has Been Accused Of Heresy
And yeah, we’re talking about YOU, Patriarch Bartholomew! Russian Church people complain that Bartholomew has endowed himself with all the powers of a Roman pope. Which is considered heresy in the less autocratic Orthodox world. This horrible event happened on Wednesday, September 6, in the course of the Synaxis held in Stamboul (=Istanbul), the city formerly known as Constantinople.
What is a Synaxis? Funny you should ask. According to Wikipedia, “In Eastern Christianity (the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite), a Synaxis (Greek: Σύναξις; Slavonic: Собор, Sobor) is an assembly for liturgical purposes, generally through the celebration of Vespers, Matins, Little Hours, and the Divine Liturgy.”
The word Synaxis itself means “A Gathering” from the Greek συνάγω meaning “I gather”; it’s the same word as in the Jewish Synagogue. And speaking of Jews, it was noted by perceptive observers that Victoria Nuland was seen lurking around the fringes of the Synaxis, respectfully wearing a head-scarf and passing out cookies. [I made that last bit up.]
Anyhow, at this “gathering” Bartholomew made the big announcement that, from this point on, he is the guy who makes all the key decisions of the overall Orthodox world. And that he, and only he, has the exclusive right to do so. I don’t know what language Bart made his announcement in, I am guessing it was Greek; I just have the Russian. Here is the exact Russian quote, followed by my translation into English:
«Вселенский патриархат несет ответственность за установление церковного и канонического порядка, поскольку только он имеет каноническую привилегию для выполнения этой высшей и исключительной обязанности. Если Вселенский патриархат откажется от своей ответственности и уйдет с межправославной сцены, то поместные церкви будут действовать «как овцы без пастыря»
The Ecumenical Patriarch carries the responsibility for the establishment of Church and canonical order, since only he bears the canonical privilege for the carrying-out of this lofty and exclusive task. If the Ecumenical Patriarch should waver from his responsibility and depart from the Orthodox stage, then the local churches would behave like “sheep without a shepherd”.
END OF TRANSLATION
It goes without saying that Father Bart’s hubris does not sit well with the other Orthodox Patriarchs, especially Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. And it is also clear as daylight that Bart adopted such super-powers under pressure from the secular “powers that be”, in their zeal to split Ukraine away from Russia. Not since Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn has the world seen a more egregious example of religious leaders simply ripping off the mask of piety, to reveal the crass geopolitical realities underneath!
Nechaev writes that one of the main agenda items of this particular Synaxis was the issue of granting tomos to Ukraine. Bartholomew has said, on numerous occasions, that he feels he has the right to decide this question on his own, without input from the Moscow Patriarchate. Bartholomew has stated that he feels Russia “is responsible for the painful situation in the Ukraine.” Not one word of criticism for the EU, nor the U.S., however, who engineered the 2014 coup. Only Russia is to blame. It is crystal clear which team Bart is rooting for in the Donbass war.
In turn, the Moscow Patriarchate is not thrilled with Bartholomew nor his political ambitions. Up until now, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been under the Moscow Patriarchate. Which regards Bartholomew as, not only committing heresy, but also attempting to seize a valuable chunk of religious and actual (=real estate) property that belongs by right (they believe) to the Moscow Patriarchate.
In an interview with VZGLIAD, Archbishop Andrei Novikov of the Moscow Patriarchate, accused Bartholomew of speaking utter heresy. Not to mention that Constantinople, dwelling as it does in the midst of a Muslim nation (=Turkey) represents only 3% of the Orthodox population of the planet. In which case, where the f*** does he get off acting like he is the Boss of All Orthodox people! And yet, as we shall see a few paragraphs down, the Russian Orthodox Church itself regards the Constantinople Autocephaly as the First Among Equals. A bit of a contradiction which will likely be resolved somehow, in the course of this shake-up, possibly even via Schism!
Vladislav Petrushko, a professor of Orthodox Religion, complains out that Bartholomew is straying into areas that are completely out of his purview. Constantinople is, in effect, proclaiming itself to be the Fourth Rome (or is that the Second Rome redux?) and interfering in the internal affairs of the other Autocephalic churches. Boo!
Meanwhile, that same urchin who informed us that the Emperor’s has no clothes, just raised his little hand to point out that modern Constantinople is located in a NATO country. And anybody who doesn’t believe that all this mystical brouh-haha is about NATO expansion, then please take your place as a dunce in the back of the classroom.
Who Is Autocephalic And Who Is Not?
At this current time, Nechaev writes, there exist 15 recognized Autocephalic churches arranged in the following order of importance (as accepted by the official Russian Orthodox Church in their diptych):
- Hellada (Greece)
Of which (and this probably about to change), the Constantinople Autocephaly is considered the first among equals.
Russian autocephaly dates back to 1448, but from the very beginning there was a conflict with Lithuania. Both Moscow and Lithuania (believe it or not) claiming leadership over Eastern Christianity. Then, as now, much was at stake…
[to be continued]