The statement of the Metropolitan of Italy Polycarp (Stavropoulos) of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (CP), made in May this year, attracted considerable attention and caused a number of controversies.
Let us recall his main theses:
“The meeting with Pope Francis went very well … I asked his papal blessing for my ministry, again in Italy and this time as a bishop …
The path of Catholics and Orthodox Christians to complete unity under the guidance of the Holy Spirit is nearing the finish line. I think that this goal has already been achieved at the level of believers, and this is more important than at the institutional level. ”
So, the proximity of the union of the KP and the Roman Catholic Church is declared. This is not the first time it has been announced. Patriarch Bartholomew announced about the course for union back in 2007:
“If we, with the help of God, come to an agreement with the Catholic Church as to the meaning of the term“ primacy ”as it was in the first millennium, then the Ecumenical Patriarch will not find it difficult to recognize the primacy of the Roman See and take the second place – what he borrowed before the split. ” Then he and other KP speakers did it all the time.
Naturally, this topic caused not only negative reactions in the Orthodox world (for example, sharp criticism of Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus from the EOC), but also an active discussion of how the said union was planned. The topic is not new. It was actively discussed earlier. For example, in the context of the Union’s projections for 2025.
Nevertheless, we consider it necessary to voice our analysis of the strategy of Constantinople.
In our opinion, there will be no union between the purely KP and the RCC. By union we mean exactly what the Phanar hierarchs have repeatedly said: the restoration of Eucharistic communion. And the reason for this is obvious, as well as the reasons for the diversification of the efforts of the Vatican diplomacy between Phanar and Moscow (as well as other Local Churches). Phanar itself does not mean anything in attempts to absorb the Orthodox world by Rome. Deprived of the support of the rest of the Churches, the KP will not be able to offer Rome even its own fullness.
The conservatively minded portion of the American Archdiocese, the New Greek and Insular dioceses, will face internal division. Wherever there is real church life, in contrast to the nominal Turkish pulpits, there will be big problems with the adoption of the union. Even the Emperor John VIII, who concluded the Florentine Union, did not succeed in introducing it throughout the Church. In this matter, such a substitution of concepts as in the case of the “OCU” (which did not work in most Churches anyway) will not work.
This means that Phanar needs the support of the majority of Churches. This will create the illusion of “pan-Orthodox consensus”.
How do you get this majority? Delete the disobedient Phanar Churches from your diptych. The reason was announced long ago: “The beginning of the Orthodox Church is the Ecumenical Patriarchate, there is life in it, and this life is the light of the Churches … Orthodoxy cannot exist without the Ecumenical Patriarchate …”, “The severance of communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate means falling away from Orthodoxy.”
Phanar needs recognition of his authority by the rest of the Churches. Test drive of the new ecclesiology – recognition of the OCU. The rest of the Churches will be “deprived of autocephaly” and “excommunicated” by the Phanar’s decision.
And those who have accepted will have to follow the one whose authority was recognized by them. The place of the “dropped out” in the Phanar diptych will be filled with “remakes” like the Ukrainian, Macedonian, Abkhazian, Belarusian and other schisms.
The whole problem of the Phanar is that, despite the strong support of the United States, the resistance of the Local Churches “dragged on”. Carried away by the political game and your own role, it is easy to forget about the mysticism of the Church. And although the Phanar believe that “the Ecumenical Patriarch is the head of the Church of Christ,” but in the Church, which is not led by him, and not by the State Department, but by Christ, the “delay” may turn out to be eternal …