Cyril Hovorun: Decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church is the first formal recognition of Constantinople's right to primacy

28 September, 10:10
Orthodox
Cyril Hovorun: Decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church is the first formal recognition of Constantinople's right to primacy - фото 1
The Synod of the Russian Orthodox church abolished what it had not previously recognized, namely, “Bartholomew's right to speak on behalf of the fullness of universal Orthodoxy and represent himself as its leader.” This decision of the Synod will be the first formal recognition of Constantinople's right of primacy in such an interpretation.

Theologian Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun stated this in Telegram.

Three ideas on the Synod, which “abolished” the Ecumenical status of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

First, the harshest reaction on the part of the Russian Orthodox church was not to the annulment of the Charter of 1686, not to the Tomos on autocephaly of the OCU, not to the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew to Kyiv, but to the appointment of two exarchs by Constantinople in September 2018. This paradox demonstrates that the Russian Orthodox Church has no real tools of influence left after that decision.

Second, the Russian Orthodox Church blessed the things because of which it broke off communion with Constantinople and the Churches that supported it – actions in a foreign canonical territory, namely in Africa. This means that if Constantinople was wrong, then the Russian Orthodox Church was wrong, and if the Russian Orthodox church was right, then Constantinople was right. Otherwise, these are classic double standards.

Third and most important, the Synod abolished what it had not previously recognized. Namely, ”the right to speak on behalf of the fulness of universal Orthodoxy and represent himself as its leader." The Russian Orthodox Church has never officially recognized such a right for Constantinople and has always challenged it, focusing on the equality of local churches. This means that when the situation settles – and it will definitely settle because much worse situations have also been settled – then it turns out that this decision of the Synod will be the first formal recognition of Constantinople's right of primacy in such an interpretation. After all, such nuance is important: the right was denied personally to Patriarch Bartholomew, who has this right ex officio. This essentially means recognizing the universal status of the office. In this sense, this decision is strategic and, in the long term, not so unconstructive,” the theologian said.