Miodrag Lazarevic , Serbia – 19/5/17
In 1054 occurred the event which literally divided the world into Before and After. The Great Schism resulted in the separation of the Christianity into Roman Catholic Church with its center in Rome, and the Eastern Orthodox Church centered in Constantinople.
The split that still finds no resolution is one of the starting points in the confrontation between the West and the East, and one of the causes of fratricidal wars and mutual rejection of people close to each other in spirit.
And today, in the 21st century, the world is on the verge of a new Schism – this time in Orthodoxy itself. The roots of the feud were sprouted where they were not expected just a couple of decades ago – in Ukraine. In this country the Orthodox Church has become the plaything of a two-faced politician who struggles for power and influence.
And undoubtedly now the resolution of this crisis depends on His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.
Will the Archbishop of Constantinople – the New Rome, a highly spiritual person, manage to resist the temptation of power? Will he be able to restrain himself from the temptation of pride?
After all, it will only take him one signature on a document to get a whole country which will glorify his name during the church services, a whole state where everyone will know about him.
In the end, the Ecumenical Patriarch isn’t a saint but only a human with a nature prone to sin. And if he still decides to authorize the foundation of a new church, he will achieve everlasting fame in Ukraine. But at what cost…
This will be the first step on the path of no return, the first step towards the Split of Orthodoxy. This will lead to an open quarrel – not only with the Moscow Patriarchate which represents the largest autocephalous Russian Orthodox Church (to which the Church of Ukraine gravitates), but also with other canonical Local Churches, for example with the Georgian Orthodox Church known for its conservatism.
In addition, such actions will cause discontent of other Orthodox hierarchs who honor the sacred canons.
It is obvious that the creation of such discord between the Orthodox people will only benefit Catholics and Uniates, who will immediately take advantage of the new opportunity to expand the influence of Vatican.
Granting of independence to the new Ukrainian church by the Ecumenical Patriarch will also provide thousands of schismatic priests with the legal right to minister. Thus a dangerous precedent can be formed: from that moment on every clergyman supporting the schism will know that his cause, whatever it is, will not only live on, but sooner or later receive a legitimate recognition in the Orthodox world.
One thing is certain: if Patriarch Bartholomew fails to overcome the demons that lure him away from his path of serving the Church, then it will not do anything good for Christianity.
Please note that the opinions expressed in the above article are solely the author’s and it do not represent those of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE or OCP New Service.