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Appeal of the “Predany.ru” portal about the rupture of Eucharistic communion between the ROC MP and the Patriarchate of Constantinople

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Appeal of the “Predany.ru” portal about the rupture of Eucharistic communion between the ROC MP and the Patriarchate of Constantinople

As there are many Orthodox Christians among our friends, donators and visitors of the “Tradition” portal, I found it necessary on behalf of the “Tradition” portal to say a few words about events that have confused the Orthodox world recently.

The conflict between the Moscow and Constantinople patriarchies because of the question of the administration of the Church on the territory of Ukraine led first to a rupture of Eucharistic communion at the level of the episcopate, and then to a complete rupture of Eucharistic communion by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

To accept this decision except with pain is impossible. The body of Christ is torn due to unresolved administrative issues that have neither dogmatic nor soteriological significance. This is directly contrary to the call of the Scriptures, "May all be one, as You, the Father in Me, and I in You."

And that's what we would like to say.

– we do not consider that one or the other party is completely and unconditionally right. If a tree is known by its fruits, then the breakdown of Eucharistic communion has been the fruit of a common process — an awful event from any point of view. In any conflict, except for the sudden attack of the villain from the ambush, there are at least two sides, and everyone is responsible. It is possible to differently represent the extent of this responsibility in each specific case, but all answer in any case.

– despite the decision of the Synod, both the Russian and the Church of Constantinople continue to be in eucharistic communion with other Orthodox Local Churches. This means that our unity has not been completely destroyed, and the gap itself looks more like a demonstration of a bad relationship, rather than a real declaration of the opposing side without grace.

– Orthodox, communion in the Russian Orthodox Church, and Orthodox, communion in the Church of Constantinople, equally believe, alike pray, honor some saints and consider the same things as sins and virtues. And now, in a situation of painful, conflict and difficult, the most sensible and correct will focus on prayer, mercy and the struggle with the sins in themselves. Ordinary believers can not directly influence the decisions of the hierarchs, but with any decision of any government you can remain righteous.

– We urge everyone to act without fear and in accordance with his conscience. Someone will choose for himself first of all obedience to the hierarchy, someone – the commandment of unity. Everyone will be judged by God's Mercy, which is more supportive of sincerely mistaken than of the fearful. It is better to be hot or cold than warm (Revelation 3: 15-16).

And the latest.

This whole story makes the question of what the Church is, and where its borders go, extremely important. Right now, one Local Church has forbidden its children to take communion in another Local Church. At the same time, children of both can easily come to the Sacraments in the Georgian or Serbian Church. Some Russian theologians have already announced that from now on the Holy Spirit is not in the Greek Church, and there are no Sacraments either – but if children of other Local Churches continue to receive communion in this Church, and the hierarchs continue to serve with Patriarch Bartholomew, does this mean that these Local Churches now in the split and also not the Church anymore?

In addition, a similar gap between the Russian and Constantinople churches already occurred in 1996 and lasted for several months, and the Antioch and Jerusalem Churches are not in a state of eucharistic communion for several years. All this shows that the very theme of the administrative structure of the Church, the relations of the Local Churches among themselves and the resolution of conflicts between them are currently problematic, canonically not fully worked out and require additional reflection and study.

There are a lot of such questions. And we are ready to listen to the answers and publish the best of them.

With a prayer for unity, Volodya Berhin on behalf of the portal “Tradition”,

where Orthodox people of different jurisdictions work together,

Catholics,

atheists,

as well as people whose beliefs are difficult to characterize otherwise than “Christianity outside a particular church organization”

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