Pan-Orthodox Council was to meet for the first time in more than a thousand years, but the pan-Orthodox did not. Moreover, the absence of representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church - although the largest of the local church, but "equal among equals" - was the principal terms of the same "democracy", which is not to the point understood by the organizers. But what are the differences in the ranks of the Orthodox? It does not state the next time to split?
Sunday ended with a meeting on the island of Crete, which the organizers and participants for several reasons called Pan-Orthodox Council. There are ten of the fourteen local Orthodox Churches took part, while the Antiochian, Bulgarian, Georgian and Russian Orthodox churches have ignored the event.
In Antioch and Jerusalem churches holds a long-standing dispute about the canonical Qatar accessories. This dispute has gone so far that the two local churches tore each other communion. And since the issue in the agenda of Qatar Cretan event is logged, Antiochians trip to Greece refused. Following a "boycott" has joined the Bulgarian, then Georgia and, finally, Russian church, at the insistence of which, by the way, the place of the Cathedral was moved to Crete from Istanbul - Patriarchate took into account the question of a sharp aggravation of Russia-Turkey relations due to downed in the skies over Syria Su-24, which resulted in the deaths of two Russian military. Ignore Cathedral planning and Serbs, but changed their minds at the last moment.
This Council did not consider the question of dogma and canons. Documents submitted for signature, mainly related to the role of Orthodoxy in the world, the relationship of churches with contemporary society and other non-Orthodox denominations. Several theologians of the churches refused to participate in them saw a number of inaccuracies and ambiguities, but to arrange a further meeting to make drastic revisions in the organizing committee, ie the Ecumenical Patriarchate refused. This was the reason that the event took place in the "abridged" formulation.
As a result of the Council delegates made a collective final appeal, which was published on the official website of the Pan-Orthodox Council. Representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate has stated that he is closely acquainted with the content of the document and will soon prepare an official response. Some Russian experts made a little more quickly and have already appreciated the message of the Council as "disturbing". По итогам Собора делегаты выступили с коллективным итоговым обращением, которое было опубликовано на официальном сайте Всеправославного собора. Представители Московского патриархата уже заявили, что внимательно ознакомятся с содержанием документа и в ближайшее время подготовят официальный ответ. Некоторые российские эксперты выступили чуть более оперативно и уже оценили послание Собора как «настораживающее». Так, глава экспертного совета Всемирного русского народного собора Александр Руднев заявил: «Предложение состоявшегося Собора на Крите провозгласить Собор в качестве постоянно действующего регулярного института, сопровождающееся заявлением о том, что «православные поместные церкви – это не конфедерация церквей», выглядит весьма настораживающим, поскольку комбинация этих двух тезисов плохо согласуется с традиционными представлениями о единстве православия на основе симфонии поместных церквей, единодушие которых по принципиально важным вопросам имеет, прежде всего, духовную природу».
Simply put, the expert saw an attempt to create a "supreme organ of the cathedral" of all the local churches, although primates are initially equal to each other. At the same time they have a full canonical authority within its jurisdiction and do not invade someone else's. New as "the cathedral organ" pretend to interfere in those matters that are traditionally solved inside of a church. In secular political science would appreciate it as an encroachment on the powers of local authorities by the illegitimate supranational body.
In total, this message consists of twelve theses that could be interpreted as an allusion to the twelve theses Creed - the main prayers, which determines what the Orthodox Christian faith. It briefly outlines the results of previous documents relating to marriage and family, human rights, the situation of Christians in the Middle East, relations with the Orthodox Church and other religions and science, as well as the condemnation of religious intolerance and fanaticism. And while the Russian Orthodox Church is preparing an official response, it is worth noting that a number of provisions of the message is really far from reality. For example, in the first paragraph of the document states: "The main priority of the Holy and Great Council was the proclamation of the unity of the Orthodox Church." If we recall the controversy Antioch and Jerusalem, to proclaim the unity of Reverend primates clearly premature.
In the same paragraph, below you can find such words, is concerned about the number of Orthodox experts: "The Orthodox Church expresses the unity and catholicity of the Cathedral. Collegiality defines the organization, decision-making and the choice of the way. Orthodox Churches are not Churches Confederation, but the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. " If we consider that the event was not the four local churches, with the principle of catholicity everything turned out, to put it mildly, not ideal.
At the same time representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in announcing the cathedral took place just as the Pan-Orthodox, have done quite a provocative statement on the procedure for the adoption of the final documents. "You come from a democratic country, where each expect that he will vote. Unfortunately, in any democratic country, not all come to vote. Does this mean that the voting passed in a democratic way, valid? "- so Telmissky Archbishop Job said disagreements about the" pan-Orthodox "activities. That is, compared with the political process of the Council, secular electoral procedures, which by definition is incorrect for bishop. All the more so at the Council decisions are taken and enter into force only when the unanimous approval of the representatives of all the local churches. Otherwise, the decision to lose its legitimacy and, by definition, do not have a pan-Orthodox status.
Regarding this statement has already expressed the deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, "I understand that the atmosphere in Crete tense and tedious to talk to reporters ... But in the Church, because there is no democracy, since the first century, and will not. Democracy - a government of the people, and in the power of the Church belongs to God. Any self-respecting democrat would have asked himself the ruler of Job, how long he has been elected, and when his term expires. After all, in terms of democracy, any non-replaceable power - it's bad. And women have to work the bishops do not take - What kind of democracy. "
Meanwhile, it should be understood that the comparison with the political procedures, although flawed, but the policy is really time to start the game. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was necessary to declare that the Council was held, it was a Pan-Orthodox, and it was under him, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the leadership, even if these statements are far from reality.
Hence, by the way, and fears that the Council is scheduled to make a permanent body for all local churches with the same permanent and irremovable chairman - Ecumenical Patriarch. There is already a danger grows, not only for the "catholicity" of the Council, but also for the entire catholicity of the Orthodox Church with the equality of the bishops and the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch only "honor". In fact, Patriarch Bartholomew wants thus indirectly be "the most important patriarch." Or "Eastern Christian Pope", if you want. About these intentions spoke and ultimate approach to the approval of the conciliar documents (ie in the form in which they are submitted for discussion), and the failure to organize a preliminary meeting to address the problems preventing universal participation in the Council of the local churches, and other features of the event regulations.
If the Ecumenical Patriarchate continue its policy of imposing its will upon other Primates and churches, the legitimacy "of the new body of the Church" quickly simplified to zero. Especially in the absence of a "quorum" on the island of Crete, where it was presented "Orthodox minority" - and the number of the lay faithful, and in the number of clergy and episcopate. That is, if you go back to the words of Constantinople Archbishop Job of the comparison of the Council with "democratic elections", the legitimacy of the decisions taken at the Greek island, the more doubts. After all, the representatives of the majority (and absolute) did not agree with the very fact of the Council in the format in which it is proposed to make the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Now we need to wait for the official response from scholars of the Moscow Patriarchate, to talk about the possible consequences of the "Cretan solutions." However, fears of a split between the local churches can comment on at once - will not split. Not least because that the Council did not address the issues of dogma, that is, the foundations of the Orthodox faith. Disagreements on the social, political and organizational questions profoundly secondary to the Orthodox Church. "Must be factions among you," - says the message of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians.
This, however, does not negate the fact that some tension between some effort yavivshimisya and no-shows at the Cathedral of the local churches.