Sunday, December 16, 2018

Jad Ganem: Let the Church Judge

Arabic original here.

Let the Church Judge

Yesterday, the "unifying council" was held at the Church of Saint Sophia in Kiev, which had been called by the Phanar after its experts decided that Ukraine canonically belongs to Constantinople, relying on a unilateral reading of history that ignores that the church in this country has belonged to Moscow for more than 300 years. As a preliminary analysis of this event, this observer concludes:

The legitimate church in Ukraine, apart from two of its bishops, did not participate in this council, which it regarded as a robbers' council.

The council was able to bring together and unite the two schismatic entities-- that is, the one known as the Kiev Patriarchate and what was known as the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church-- into a single entity.

The holding of this council occurred amidst an obvious political presence and with an open admission of the intervention of politicians in ecclesiastical affairs.

The excommunicated "patriarch" Filaret imposed his conditions on Constantinople and was able to impose his loyal disciple as head of the newly-created “church”.

All of this may lead to the following conclusions:

Constantinople, which expected the participation of at least ten bishops from the legitimate church, failed in realizing its goal and thus failed in holding a "uniting council" as it had planned. It appears that all it was able to achieve was to lend legitimacy to schismatics.

The legitimate church in Ukraine appeared as a church standing firm in her witness, deeply rooted in tradition and preserving the ecclesiastical canons, despite the threats and pressure to which her bishops and faithful were subjected.

The majority of autocephalous Orthodox churches appeared incapable of putting the breaks on Constantinople's rushing or of taking the initiative to make sure that the Orthodox Church avoids the schism and feuding that she is experiencing today.

What happened yesterday will have a negative impact on the entire Orthodox Church in the future and on the faithful in Ukraine who will be subject to pressure and struggle between the two parallel churches.

In closing, whether the autocephalous Orthodox churches will accept the decisions of the "unifying council" and whether Constantinople will be able to impose the head of the newly-created church onto the dyptichs are what will determine the correctness of the steps she has taken.

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