At the heart of the crisis in world Orthodoxy lies the issue of primacy in the universal Church

Today it is already obvious that behind the Ukrainian church conflict there are serious disagreements in understanding the nature of the Church and its structure. At the heart of the current crisis in world Orthodoxy lies a long-term polemic on fundamental issues of theological teaching about the Church, said Bishop Sylvester of Belogorodsk, rector of the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary, in his speech at the congress of monastics in the Pochaev Lavra, writes Pravblog.

Over the past decades, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been actively promoting such a vision of the Church and church order, with which we cannot agree. And this must be clearly understood.

Today, the Patriarch of Constantinople insists on his special status in the ecumenical Church, which stipulates that he has not only the so-called. primacy of honor, but also primacy of power. Patriarch Bartholomew has repeatedly stated that he has the exclusive right to grant tomos on the creation of new autocephalous Churches, to receive appeals from the clerics of all Local Churches and to exercise power over the entire Orthodox diaspora.

With this understanding of primacy, this does not belong to the sphere of human law, but to the law of the Divine. In other words, the special rights of the Patriarch of Constantinople are not of human origin, but of Divine origin.

It is obvious that such a doctrine of primacy in the universal Church in many ways approaches the Catholic understanding of primacy in the church,” said Bishop Sylvester.

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