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Russian Church and the Cathedral of Crete: two approaches to Orthodox unity

As it became known from the statements of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church urged not to consider the Cathedral of Crete as a "Pan-Orthodox Council". In fact, the absence of representatives of the largest Russian Orthodox Church (as well as Antioch, Georgian and Bulgarian churches) does Cathedral in Crete Conference Orthodox minority, which can not take decisions binding on all of the local churches.

Note that in the Russian church until recently sought to smooth over the conflict and resolve differences, however, in the Phanar (the quarter in Istanbul, where the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople - Ed.) Were not ready for a constructive dialogue.

The "Global Hellenism"

Despite widespread in Constantinople Orthodox Church (KPC) belief in their exclusivity and prestige, ideas about its role in contemporary church life among the masses of believers rather ambiguous.

In particular, the proponents of conspiracy approaches emphasize the close ties with the United States PCC and see it as a bearer of American geopolitical interests. Others, however, idealize PCC, seeing it as a special ecclesiastical institution, uphold the principles of the Orthodox universalism.

In Greece itself, but Athos is under the jurisdiction of the PCC and the island territories, but the main pillar of the Patriarchate of Constantinople - it is the Greeks who live in the United States and Canada, and numerous influential diaspora plays an important role in American politics. Suffice it to say that in the twentieth century, once two of its representatives saw themselves as a future US presidents.

He joined the Episcopal Church, but to maintain close ties to the Greek Orthodox community of Spiro Agnew was twice elected vice-president in a pair with Richard Nixon and was preparing to become a master of the White House, but the ambitious plans prevented corruption scandal. Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople and parishioner Michael Dukakis was the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in the elections of the year 1988, when the Soviet Union noted 1000-anniversary of the Baptism of Russia.

In addition, representatives of the Greek Diaspora to work in election campaigns of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, are influential in the media field, and even in Hollywood.

In principle, that of the Greek diaspora in America, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been and remains the banner "Global Hellenism" ideology of national self-assertion, which determines the Greek identity in the United States and Canada.

For its part, the US government is often seen as an important tool Fanar influence on the Orthodox world, and sometimes directly intervene in the affairs of PCC. Widely known, for example, received a US special operation in January 26 1949 years, during which the future Patriarch Athenagoras arrived in Istanbul on a private jet Harry Truman.

Note that the current Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, along with the Dalai Lama, is often called the American media in a series of "outstanding religious figures of our time." This PCC support from the American government is based on a special act passed by the US Congress.

Compromise sought until the last moment

As you can see, the influence of the Patriarchate of Constantinople explained not only by its ancient canonical status of "first among equals" in the Orthodox world. Behind him are powerful forces that are deeply rooted in the political and media elite global West. Because of this, hard and "head-on" confrontation with him is not always productive. Not only the ancient church tradition, but also a healthy pragmatism dictates that PCC is better to try to find common ground, rather than quarrel.

Until the very last moment in the Moscow Patriarchate tried to find a compromise. Since the end of "zero" years began to feel that the relationship between the churches have been "reset". Once again, the preparation for the Pan-Orthodox Council, which is perceived very seriously in the Russian Church, with the understanding of the fact that it is a long and complicated process. In the Church, metering time for thousands of years, as is well known, nothing is done too quickly.

However, immediately after the coup in Ukraine in March 2014 years, the Patriarch of Constantinople suddenly called a meeting of heads of local churches and appointed Pan-Orthodox cathedral on 2016 year, which caused a lot of legitimate questions. The feeling that the PCC is forcing events, leaving yourself open to the question "legalization" schismatic groups in Ukraine under the auspices of Constantinople, literally hung in the air these days.

There were also concerns that these topics discussed later Patriarch Bartholomew during a meeting with US Vice President Joseph Biden, who arrived in person to the residence of the head of KPC.

Of course, it would be simplistic to equate Patriarch Bartholomew and the Ukrainian Rada deputies, were asked to cancel the affiliation of the Kiev metropolis to the Moscow Patriarchate, which occurred in 1686 year with the approval of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is hoped that the PCC will not agree to a direct violation of church canons, but the fact of favorable hearing such appeals destabilize already a heated religious and social situation in Ukraine.

The path to unity, or the path to a split?

The CPC constantly emphasizes that it is on this church that there is a special responsibility for the unity of the Orthodox. Unfortunately, many steps taken by Fanar already in our historical time do not unite, but disunite believers. For example, the "correction" of the church calendar on the initiative of Patriarch Meletius II (1923 year) led to the fact that most of the church holidays and even Christmas various local churches celebrate on different days (Russian, Serbian and Georgian churches did not accept the transition to the so-called "New Julian" "a calendar), and in countries where the calendar reform was approved, there was an" old-style "split.

Today, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in fact, is the same way, insisting on its proposed wording of final documents of the cathedral on Crete, the adoption of which in its present form can also lead to dramatic consequences. Orthodox religious leaders, striving for genuine, rather than the formal unity of the protocol, may not agree with it.

Unfortunately, the concerns of Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian and Georgian churches and monasteries of Mount Athos text of the outcome of the Council documents, KPC said that "the revision already planned conciliar process transcends all institutional framework", and the local churches should "follow the rules ".

After the Phanar in such deliberately calling tone refused the proposed debate, and some local churches have declared an unwillingness to send their delegation to Crete, the Russian Church was in a difficult situation. Under questioning the very spiritual nature of the upcoming event was staged.

It became clear that the Moscow Patriarchate and the PCC are different approaches to the understanding of Orthodox unity and methods of achieving it. That is why the Russian Church could not accept the dictates and refused to follow the run counter to the spirit of Orthodox catholicity "regulations".

A source: RIA News

Author: Alexander Rudakov, head of the Expert Council of the World Russian People's Council

Tags: Religion, Russian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox Church, Research, USA, Ukraine