A Way Out of The Orthodox Church's Present Crisis
The original French version of this wide-ranging article appeared on December 15, the day of the Reunification Council in Kyiv. This explains why a few of the details are already dated. Yet the substance of Prof. Arjakovsky’s commentary remains a valuable contribution to our dialogue on the current state of the Orthodox Church. The author offers much to ponder—and much to debate.
Before the passions presently troubling Orthodox Christians spin out of control, in this article I wish to set forth how I see current developments in the Orthodox Church and to offer my proposals for a way out of the crisis. I have written several books which study the older and recent history of the Orthodox Church closely, both in France and around the world, and I have lived a long time in Ukraine and Russia, two countries in conflict today and situated at the epicentre of the present crisis. Also because of the friendship that I feel for Christians in the different Churches in conflict today, I believe that it’s my responsibility as an Orthodox Christian to share my opinion without, of course, claiming any exhaustiveness whatever.
Becoming Aware of the Crisis in the Orthodox Church
To begin, I believe that we must admit that the Orthodox Church has realized for some years that she is passing through a crisis, which is also a call from the Spirit. To be convinced of this it suffices to mention the dozens of subjects of disagreement on the agenda of the pan-Orthodox council at the start of the 1970s. The fourteen Orthodox Churches recognized that they were in need of reform. Thus they entered into a period of thaw which is and will be extremely beneficial to them. That the pan-Orthodox Council of Crete in 2016 was held after a century of preparation attests to this thaw. In particular, the recognition by the fathers of the Council that the borders of the Church of Christ extend beyond those of the Orthodox Church, and that in consequence the ecumenical movement is legitimate, was crucial. But the non-participation of four Churches at this Council showed that the wounds and the distrust are deep. This is why, conscious that the Spirit blows in and on the Churches, we must not make quick decisions in reacting too emotionally to the disappearance of certain elements from the past which we are in the habit of considering stable, even eternal.
Full text: https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2019/01/02/a-way-out-of-the-orthodox-churchs-present-crisis-by-antoine-arjakovsky/