ROC Primate: No Quasi-Papism must be allowed in Orthodoxy

UOJ – 7/11/2019

It is much easier to influence one person than a group of people, this influence being able to destroy the entire Church, says the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

We must defend the conciliar administration of the Ecumenical Church and prevent the emergence of “quasi-papism” in Orthodoxy. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus said this on November 4, 2019, at the end of the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Holy Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin, according to the Primate’s Facebook page.

“Today we are going through certain difficulties – first of all, in relations with Constantinople,” said the Holy Patriarch. “But unlike Constantinople, which violates canonical rules, invades the sphere of a foreign jurisdiction, grants ‘autocephaly’ to those who do not ask for it, insists on other privileges it has never had, our Church does not seek power at the pan-Orthodox level. We only want to preserve canonical order and we cannot allow for any kind of papism, ‘quasi-papism’, to occur in Orthodoxy.”

The Primate of the Russian Church emphasized that papism, which does not emanate either from the Word of God or from the Tradition of the Church, is also dangerous because it is much easier to influence one person than a group of people. In this regard, according to him, “both the pope and the patriarch who wants to become a pope become a very attractive target for the powerful, this external influence on one person being able to eventually destroy the Church.”

“When the system of conciliar administration of the Church was formed, the holy apostles understood well what they were doing,” he added. “It is impossible that in the context of the Roman Empire, only one person would be responsible for the whole Church because he could be arrested, he could be persuaded to collaborate, he could be scared. However, these dangers come to naught when the Church is governed in a catholic, conciliar way.”

Patriarch Kirill emphasized that in our time it is necessary to defend the conciliar administration of the Ecumenical Church.

“We do not dispute the primacy of honor of the Patriarch of Constantinople but we object to any encroachment on universal authority. The Patriarch of Constantinople, who is based in Turkey, is personally very vulnerable, so all that remains is to pray that the Lord will save him from influences which could adversely impact the life of the whole Church,” concluded the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Recall that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus is convinced that the Russian Church is responsible not only for the fate of its children but also for the fate of Orthodox faithful throughout the world.