It should be borne in mind that the current break in communication between the ROC and the KP is far from being perceived unambiguously by all in the Local Churches. Liberal propaganda is successfully working in many Orthodox countries, for about a hundred years Greek theological schools have been actively introducing the doctrine of the privileges of the CP, in a number of Local Churches there is not enough information about the real course of events …
The Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Anastassy, who refused to recognize the schismatic “OCU” and entered into an open polemic with Patriarch Bartholomew on this issue, is a student of the Greek theological school and believes in a number of privileges of Constantinople, including the monopoly on pan-Orthodox Councils and conferences, which is why he refused to participate in the Amman format.
That is, the perception in the Local Churches is very ambiguous. But for everyone today, the possibility of the division of the Ecumenical Orthodoxy is painful. The full understanding that the division has actually already taken place through the fault of the Constantinople, the awareness of the Phanar’s explicit heretical claims and its aggression against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its clergy and laity, is present today only in the ROC, and in the rest of the Local Churches – only partially.
Today the aggression of the Phanar against the Georgian Church, against the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia (PCCHZS), against the Serbian Church is, as they say now, “hybrid” and camouflaged, as a result of which these Churches themselves also have no unequivocal positions and there are internal disagreements in assessments of the role of Constantinople.
Especially different are the assessments of the nature of the contradictions between the ROC and the Constantinople: does the conflict lie in the plane of canon law or in the plane of theology? Are the Phanar’s actions just a violation of the canons, or the heresy?
That is important that it was the Phanar, at the Synaxis (Council of Bishops) held at the beginning of the month, who defined the subject of the conflict not only as canonical, but also ecclesiological. Ecclesiology is definitely not a purely canon law issue, but a theological, dogmatic one. To quote the definition:
“Ecclesiology; also ecclesiology (from the Greek ἐκκλησία – church and λόγος – knowledge) – a branch of the Christian theology that studies the nature, properties and structure of the Church: as a section of dogmatic theology and as an element of theology of certain Church Fathers”.
Thus, the Phanar, constantly trying to present the ROC as an aggressor, turning the situation upside down, this time outplayed himself: accusing the ROC of “distorting ecclesiology,” “creating a new ecclesiology,” that is, in fact, of heresy, he himself recognized and affirmed precisely the dogmatic character of today’s contradictions. It is not we who divide the Orthodox world, defending the interests of our Church and the purity of the faith, but the Constantinople, in fact, accusing not only the ROC of heresy, but also 3 other Local Churches: Bulgarian, Georgian and Antioch, which did not take part in the Cretan Council. And the criterion of “heretical” is simple: disobedience to the Phanar.
This means that there is a reason for fears of being recorded as heretics in the Phanar and the OCCLS, to which the Phanar issues its ultimatums, and the Serbian Church, the Macedonian issue of which is kept suspended in the Phanar for blackmail, and potentially at the Jerusalem, Polish and Romanian Churches, who participated in Amman, at the Albanian Church, which has not yet recognized the “OCU”…
Therefore, in our opinion, the fact that the Constantinople itself took the first official step towards a dogmatic break will play against it. We need to maximize the understanding of this fact in other Local Churches.