Nobody was surprised by the latest anti-ecclesiastical and anti-orthodox paroxysm of the Patriarchate of Moscow, ceasing to commemorate the name of the Prelate of the Second Throne of the Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria. The reason for this action was the recognition by Patriarch Theodore of the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Adding to the ecclesiological tragicomedy is the fact that while they cut ties with Patriarch Theodore, they decided to continue their Eucharistic communion with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Alexandria who didn’t or won’t recognize the Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine.
What one can say and comment besides the fact that these decisions are laughable is that they make those who take these decisions appear ludicrous, these men who supposedly present great and holy stature.
The attempts of Patriarch Kirill and generally of the hierarchs to cause a schism of the Church is not surprising because, unfortunately, after the fall of the Soviet Union they cannot distinguish what the Church is from what the Church is not. They proved one more time that they don’t understand in what the unity of the Church consists, beyond perceptions rooted in a secular approach, creating a Church in the image of a federation with chiseled features and political ambitions.
No year passes without the Patriarchate of Moscow trying to weaken the unity and the life of the Orthodox Church in the World, as it attempted, unsuccessfully, with the Holy and Great Synod held in June of 2016 in Crete.
The one and only aim of the Patriarchate of Moscow is to grab the primacy and the privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to become the ‘Newest’ Rome. Here I used the term Newest Rome and not ‘Third Rome’ as many – including many hierarchs and theologians – use, because there is no Third Rome. There is only the Old Rome and the New Rome, that is, Constantinople.
The Holy Fathers knew better than Kirill and his protege Hilarion when they instituted the Pentarchy of the Orthodox Church as a way of ‘holy order’ for the protection of the unity of the Church.
If that holy order (ιερή τάξη) is violated or abolished, then the total body (το όλον Σώμα) of the Church is put on a divisive track.
The Muscovites are known for the games and propaganda that they promote at any cost aimed at many churches and individuals. But the enigma is why Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem allowed himself to be used by the Russians as a Trojan Horse within the Orthodox Church in their attempt to divide it.
Theophilos in November traveled to Moscow to receive the award named for the late Patriarch Alexios. He met with Putin and Kirill. They talked. They agreed – and the next day he announced that he will convene a Synaxis of the Prelates of the local Orthodox Churches in Jordan. By what right is he going to convene a Synaxis of the Prelates? Doesn’t he know that it is the privilege of the Ecumenical Patriarch?