The Heresy of Constantinople's Neo-Papism in Light of Orthodox Trinitarian Theology

"Patriarch Bartholomew has unilaterally made a deliberate decision which calls for a separation. Instead of healing the schism, he is going to aggravate it even more. . . . This desire for predominance is a destructive presence on earth. It is symptomatic of a falling away . . . "

Hieromonks Kirill & Methodius

Editor's Note: Hieromonks Kirill & Methodius are twin brothers, they both serve St. Seraphim of Vyritsa Children’s Mission, and they both have doctorates in theology.

Along with Hieromonk Varnava, they have written this theological response to the recent actions perpetrated by the Patriarch of Constantinople. 

English Translation by Daria Pletneva


Christ is the Head of the Orthodox Catholic Church

In our day we are being challenged with the aggravation of the internal ecclesiastical problem, which may be designated as the “self-institution” of the Constantinople Patriarchate, the would-be head of the Orthodox Catholic Church. In fact, this has been a decades-long issue rooted in Church history. Evidently, it is associated with man’s inexhaustible inclination to the sin of pride, which sometimes may grow worse if one is granted the authority of being a priest.

The terrible experience of Judas — who shared the Last Supper as well as many other meals with Christ — is a vivid example to all ages and nations. According to the testimony of many holy fathers, the sin of pride is at the root of every fall. And this sin causes enormous harm to the Church body, to all God’s people, actually headed by the Humblest and Meekest Jesus Christ our Lord.

Many great saints of antiquity — specifically including primates in the See of Constantinople — would denounce the current theological speculation of the Constantinople Patriarchate, which identifies the Constantinople Patriarch as the "head of all the Orthodox". Truly, any Patriarch is the “Primate” rather than the “head” of the Church. In accordance with the Holy Scriptures, saints Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom would declare that we have only one head of the Church, and that is Christ.[1] “We make up one Church, which is harmoniously represented by the members of one Head” - the Lord Jesus Christ.[2]

The Twentieth Century Idea of Neo-Papism

Archimandrite Sophrony

It was in the twentieth century, in the Church of Constantinople, that the idea of Eastern neo-papism was revived. As early as 1950, almost 70 years ago, Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) warned against the dangerous trends gaining strength in the Constantinople Patriarchate.

“At present, in the depths of our Holy Church, lies a great danger of perverting the dogmatic teachings concerning Her, and therefore the danger of perverting Her being, because dogmatic thinking is organically connected with the whole course of inner spiritual life. Any minor change in dogmatic thinking would inevitably incur changes in the corresponding mode of one’s spiritual being. And vice versa: evading the truth of inner spiritual life would produce change in dogmatic thinking. The violation of dogmatic truth would inevitably lead to evading the possibility of true knowledge of God, the fullness of which is granted to the Church ... Any particular distortion would certainly affect the whole. If we distort Church doctrine now, and thus ... the mode of Her being, then how could She serve Her sons and provide the way to the Truth? You would ask, in which way is this distortion visible now? The answer is: in Constantinople’s neo-papism, which is quickly trying to move from the theoretical phase into the practical one.” [3]

Archimandrite Sophrony stresses that papist tendencies in the fallen world are quite common. Unfortunately, “they are characteristic not only of ancient Rome, but also of the East, of Byzantium, which was the place where they frequently spread. Mercifully, God still guards over the Eastern Church, and these tendencies have faded away without disturbing the deep peace of the Church.” [4]

The long-standing dispute — over the possibility of granting the title "Ecumenical" to the Primate of the Church in Constantinople — may prove to be the flammable "spark", produced by the sin of pride. The term “Ecumenical” was originally used in reference to the entirety of the Roman Empire (both before and after the captial was moved to the city of Constantinople). Completely groundless are the weak attempts to apply this term to the Primate of a single Local Church (in Constantinople), at the expense of all others.

At this point, A. V. Kartashev cites "the testimony of Anastasius the Librarian (9th century), who also happened to be the pope’s representative in Constantinople," that in Byzantium the term "Ecumenical" was used in reference to the Patriarchs of Constantinople, due to the narrowing definition of the term to mean “Eastern imperial, all-Greek, all-Byzantine.” [5] However, according to Kartashev, who pointed to the unjustified usage of such “narrowing”, the practice of conferring on the Patriarchs the title “Ecumenical” is directly linked to “the tendency of exaltation.” [6] It is not by chance that he cites the historical evidence of St.Gregory the Great’s disagreement — even indignation — with the adoption and approval of such a practice in the East. After all, the Gospel itself identifies the universe precisely with the whole world, where it should be preached: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ)” (Matt. 24:14). In this verse, the Greek word “οἰκουμένῃ” (oecumene) is where we get the word “ecumenical” (universal), and it is used in reference to all of planet earth — the entire world — and not in reference to the boundaries of a particular country (regardless of whether the country is supportive of the Orthodox Church, regardless of whether the country seeks to have its activties consecrated by the prayers and sacraments of the Church).

Patristic writings use the term "universal" to designate the whole world

Patristic works primarily use the term "universal" (ecumenical) not in the narrow sense of the "Byzantine" world, but in reference to the entire world of humanity. Thus, St. Cyril of Jerusalem comments in his Catechetical lectures that “Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the universe,”[7] while the primordial Adam brought about “universal death” by his sin.[8] The councils, which are called and recognized by the Church as “Ecumenical”, were also by no means a purely “Byzantine” phenomenon, as they bore and continue to bear the importance of precisely global significance, being the highest authority on the human side of our Church!

The word “Ecumenical” corresponds to the fullness of the Orthodox Catholic Church. (Catholicity is one of the features of Christ’s One Church.) This title describes an essential characteristic of all the local churches together, considered as a single, unified whole. The term “Ecumenical” cannot properly be applied to one isolated local church. Consequently, when a single local church adopts this title, it is usurping something which belongs to all churches together. Indeed, the Roman Catholics did this very thing, usurping the universal Church’s title of “Catholic”, and applying it solely to their own local church.

For a period of time, the term “Ecumenical” was illicitly used as a mere title for the Primates of the local church in Constantinople. Initially, this was only an honorary title, not accompanied with false pretenses. But in our day, some have begun to assume that the title is meaningful, supposedly giving the right of authority, power, and primacy to its owners.

 

The Dogma of the Holy Trinity as the Foundation of the Church Doctrine

Archimandrite Sophrony’s article "The Unity of the Church in the Image of the Unity of the Holy Trinity" was intended to oppose such trends. It is based on the idea that the doctrine of the Church is based on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity — Orthodox Triadology is the basis of Orthodox Ecclesiology. Archimandrite’s primary idea is that “The catholic component of the Orthodox Church is its existence in the image of the Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity.”[9] The author highlights the triadological aspect, because of the division and damage to the Church which neo-papism causes.

Fr. Sophrony argues, “The fullness of Church’s dogmatic life is never interrupted or diminished in essence. However, in different historical epochs, one or another aspect of a single, organically-integral, dogmatic teaching of the Church becomes the focus of attention. This happens because of the imminent danger of losing the truth in its whole, as a result of neglecting something in the particular.” [10]

The loss of dogmatic vision — the surrender of positions — printed out in the historical pathway of the Church, far from the perfection to which She is called, would take place as soon as love dries up. We have lost love, and this is the cause of our divisions and non-Christian aspirations to prevail over our brothers,” [11] “therefore we are unable to fully comprehend our universal consubstantiality and equality.” [12]

A little bit earlier than Archimandrite Sophrony, the Athonian ascetic and theologian hieroschemamonk Theodosius Karulsky († 1937) would comment concerning the modern realities of church life:

“The catholic truth should be defined not by means of the current and unfortunately blurred ‘modern thinking of the whole church’ the clarity whereof ‘we miss so much’, but according to “the Tradition of the whole church”, which should be consistent with the ancient Church.” [13]

Church Tradition rather than “the common opinion” should become a criterion of truth for the complex issues of the present.

That is, Church Tradition rather than “the common”or politically imposed opinion should become a criterion of truth for any complex issues of our time. In V.N. Lossky’s view, this ensures “the catholic authenticity to be actualized”[14] in the minds of Christians, who desperately need paradoxical catholic church thinking, due to the depletion of love predicted by the Gospel.

St. Sergius of Radonezh taught our ancestors that “contemplation of the Holy Trinity overcomes the odious enmity of this world”. Overcoming discord and disintegration may be realized only in the Church. In the light of Trinitarian dogma, a proper vision of the Church allows us to think, live, and preserve the church’s unity in the image of the Triune Existence.

Archimandrite Sophrony argues that the incomprehensible perfection of Trinitarian Existence points to “the assertion of equality of divinity, equality of kingship, equality of power… equality of absoluteness of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.” [15] And just as there is no “shadow of subjection or subordination”[16] within the Triune Existence, so the relations between the Local Churches, called to display the image of the Triune Existence, should exclude any domination in relation to each other.

The dogma of the Holy Trinity testifies to perfect love, “excluding any kind of predominance of one Person over others. Therefore, the Church rejects “all kinds of subordination and professes in regard to the Holy Trinity, “There is nothing more, and nothing less (within It): but the three hypostases are integral, consubstantial and equal.”[17] Fr. Sophrony stresses that “triadological subordination applied to the Church structure results in forms of papism which are analogous to various forms of triadological subordination. Hence, Roman papism, elevating the bishop of Rome to a degree that separates him from the rest of the Church body — making him not just great but OTHERWISE-EXISTING — is an example of ecclesiological subordination corresponding to the ontological aspect of the Arian triadological subordination.” [18] The Roman Catholic Filioque theology ultimately led to “a certain Christ-centrism” due to the Holy Spirit “losing Its equal absoluteness in regard to the Father and the Son and becoming only the power of Christ, the power given to the authority and discretion of the Bishop of Rome.” [19]

On the Heresy of Constantinople’s Neo-papism

The Canons of Councils denying such a right for any Local Church 

And now, in the middle of the twentieth century, Archimandrite Sophrony warned us against Constantinople’s neo-papism developing rapidly, despite its embryonic state. “For its having changed faces many times, we cannot clearly characterize it.”[20] The adherents thereof “first recognized the preeminence of jurisdictional rights for Constantinople, “because it holds primacy in the Orthodox Catholic Church”. Then they began to assert for Constantinople the right of the highest appellate instance in the Orthodox Catholic Church, having forgotten the age-old struggle against the claims of Rome to this right; having forgotten that it was these claims of Rome that led to the great and final division of the Churches (1054).”[21] Supporters of Constantinople’s neo-papism also forgot that, at the Council of Florence in 1439, Rome sought from the East the recognition of its “rights of the highest appellate instance in the Orthodox Catholic Church.”[22] However, the canons of the Ecumenical and Local Councils deny such a right for any Local Church. And the Church of Constantinople would firmly adhere to such an Orthodox position in its struggle against the claims of Rome.

“By proclaiming the Roman Catholic principle of development,” continues Fr. Sophrony, they recognized for Constantinople the exclusive right regarding the entire Orthodox diaspora world-wide, denying that right for the other autocephalous Churches in relation to their diaspora. Finding no reason for this either in the canonical structure of the Church or in Her age-old practice, they, in the manner of the First Rome, started asserting these rights not on the basis of canons, but on the basis of the commands of “God Himself”.[23]

Archimandrite Sophrony is amazed with their quoted phrase that “GOD commanded” them to “observe not only the unity of faith and beneficial institutions, not only the unity of love, but also the indissoluble UNITY of the sacred hierarchy and CHURCH GOVERNANCE, both in the UNIVERSE and in each place where the Church exists.”[24] How far may such a thought proceed, and at what point is a limit put to this kind of assertion, to say nothing of the dogmatic, moral, and human aspects?

In the word of Archimandrite Sophrony, “Roman papism brought the hierarchical structure to a close” since it distinguished a certain bishop from the whole body of the Church as the only bearer of infallibility, which lead to “neglecting the mode of being of the Holy Trinity, its consubstantiality and equality of Hypostases.”[25] Constantinople’s neo-papism took the same path, which found its most vivid expression in Patriarch Athenagoras’ "Circular letter" published in 1955. The logic of the message is simple:

"The First Rome having disappeared, the Second Rome occupied its place, with the same rights and the same reasoning."[26]

Patriarch Athenagoras

This message stipulates that participation in the Orthodox Catholic Church should be in direct relation to Constantinople — the Second Rome. Truly, Constantinople "does not establish its peculiar mode of existence with regard to other autocephalous Churches, yet it treats them as already diminished: Constantinople is everything — it is the Orthodox Catholic Church — and the others are just parts thereof since they belong to the Orthodox Catholic Church only insofar as they relate to Constantinople."[27]

Fr. Sophrony questions “whether this form of papism is also an ecclesiological heresy, which is analogous to Roman papism.” Do we need to say that, realized in the life of the Church, it would inevitably lead to the perversion of the whole spiritual mode of our being? Like the First Rome — which would give a particular geographical location exclusive rights to authority and teaching in the Church[28] — this form of papism would bring us back to the Gospel times: “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship” (John 4:20).”[29]

On Constantinople’s Violation of the Autocephaly Principle

Constantinople rudely violates the rights of the other churches, and its actions trample the very principle of autocephaly. They allegedly defend the rights of other churches to claim autocephaly, and yet simultantously go beyond proper canonical and dogmatic limits. The lies of Istanbul are especially evident, as they try to redraw the ecclesiastical-political map of the world. It is not difficult to see the ambitions that drive them, both politically and within the Church.

If we talk of this day, the lies of the church-political ambitions of the Istanbul re-cutters of the church-political world map are especially evident in the fact that by allegedly defending the right of other Churches to autocephaly and yet going beyond the limits of both the canonical and the dogmatic fields, Constantinople rudely violates such a right, since its actions trample the principle of autocephaly. Reflecting on one of the most significant points of Patriarch Athenagoras’s Encyclicals, Archimandrite Sophrony emphasizes a pronounced tendency to “undermine the principle of equal dignity of autocephalous Local Churches,” in other words, it is a question of Constantinople’s combatting the “autocephaly principle”. [30]

Fr. Sophrony points out that the Church neither thinks or believes in this manner:

“One Church is primarily the Holy Church ... The unity of God, and the unity of the Church with the Lord, is the source of the Church’s oneness. The Church is one due to a single source of Her holiness, and cannot be but one by virtue of Her holiness ... When the apostle Paul relates to the Church’s oneness, he relates it not to the subordination to a single governance, but to the communion with the same bread of the Body and Blood of the Lord (1 Cor. 10, 14–17) and to Christ, the Head, heading the Church (Eph. 4, 15–16).” [31]

Prof. S.V. Troitsky’s words confirm this idea:

“Drawing its consecration directly from the Spirit of God from above, each Local Church remains self-sufficient, but since this source of sanctification is one, it remains at the same time one Church. There can be no unifying earthly center to which all Local Churches should be subordinate, since the existence of such a center, with the existence of a unifying heavenly center, would introduce dualism into the Church and violate its unity.”[32]

Even allowing the fact that Constantinople “would really identify itself with the Mother Church… all the same”, in Fr.Sophrony’s phrase, “to deduce submission from the fact of historical motherhood, would be a violation of the Orthodox triadology, according to which the Fatherhood or Sonship does not eliminate full equality. The Begotten essentially is equal to the Begetter. This was the position held by the holy fathers."[33]

To substantiate the above voiced opinion even more, Archimandrite Sophrony gives the example of the Jerusalem Church, which is “the only indisputable Mother of all Churches, not excluding the First Rome.”[34] It serves as a vivid example of the fact that “in the life of the Church, the fact of motherhood has not been recognized as the basis of authority, nor even as the basis of honor.”[35]

“Rome boasts of the tomb of Peter. In Jerusalem, there is the Holy Sepulcher of the Savior Himself. Rome boasts of Peter and Paul’s ‘scarlet blood’. In Jerusalem, the Redeemer of the world shed His Divine Blood. Rome boasts of the glory of the "eternal city." In Jerusalem, the Great King of Glory, the Lord, taught and suffered, and was resurrected. There, on the Mount of Olives, He blessed the Disciples and ascended in glory to heaven. In Jerusalem, in the upper room, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and those who were with them — that is, on the Church. In Jerusalem the life of the Most Holy Mother of God passed. The first Apostolic Council, chaired by James, the brother of the Lord, was also held there. And yet, despite all this, in the period before the First Ecumenical Council, the city lost even its independence and was subordinate to the Metropolitan of Caesarea of ​​Palestine.”[36]

It is not surprising that Constantinople began to fight against the autocephaly of Local Churches, since "such is the nature of all papism."[37] Archimandrite Sophrony states that Roman Catholicism cannot be reconciled with autocephaly, and this sentiment is substantiated by a quotation from Fr. S.Tyshkevich, a Roman Catholic writer:

“In the Church, it is permissible to strengthen and weaken ‘centralization’, depending on the conditions of time and place, but in no case will we allow the full autocephaly of Local Churches. This would make the Church polycephalic — many-headed — which is unthinkable from the perspective of Her divine-human nature . . . . There can be only one hierarchy in the Church. A federation of several completely independent hierarchies hinders Her essence.” [38]

We see that such a paradigm offers Church organization, not in the image of the Holy Trinity, but in a completely earthly image, based on the idea of ​​an administrative center, similar to the "infallible Vatican", which declares such things through its apologists:

“We will never forget that there is a connecting point between God and us, and this connecting point is Rome.”[39]

The same idea is communicated by the message from the high priest of the “Second Rome”, as well as by the church policy of his successors who insist on “having links with the Constantinople chair and submission to it as an obligatory condition of participation in the Orthodox Catholic Church.” [40]

Fr.Sophrony argues, “Would true Christians who worship ‘in spirit and truth’ accept this word? And if, suppose, the First and Second Rome happen to disappear from the face of the earth due to this or that catastrophe, then will the world be left without a true connection with God, since the ties connecting us with Him would supposedly have disappeared? For they know not the voice of strangers (John 10:5). This is not our Christian faith.” [41]

In the following statement, Fr. Sophrony denounces neo-papism, which rose from the depths of the Holy Church:

“We reject any ‘Rome’, including the First, and the Second, and the Third, when it comes to introducing the principle of subordination into the existence of our Church. We reject the papism of Rome, as well as that of Constantinople, Moscow, London, Paris, and New York, and any other papism, as an ecclesiological heresy that distorts Christianity.”[42]

The principle of autocephaly testifies to the equal dignity of Local Churches, in the image of the equal dignity of the Persons of the Holy Trinity.

The rightly practiced principle of autocephaly, which is based on the idea of consubstantiality, testifies to the equal dignity of Local Churches, in the image of the equal dignity of the Persons of the Holy Trinity. To put it succinctly:

“Neither a place, nor a title, nor a racial origin grants preeminence over other places or nations concerning the Church and Her authority or teaching.”[43]

The above phrase maintains a dogmatic vision and understanding of autocephaly, which from an eschatological perspective allows us to speak of “the general hope that not only each Local Church, but also each individual member of Hers, each single person-hypostasis, would be a bearer of THE WHOLE OF CATHOLIC FULLNESS of church life in the image of the Holy Trinity, wherein every Hypostasis is the bearer of the absolute fullness of Divine Being; evidently not through eliminating or absorbing other Persons-Hypostases, but through dwelling in the fullness and integrity of one essence.”[44]

Following our guiding star, we avoid the mistake of reducing or diminishing the eternal design of God for man, for His Church. Of course, as witnesses to what is happening, we see historically “how far the Church’s life has been from the perfection to which we are called.”[45] And yet, by overcoming the “odious enmity of this world,” each member of the Church of Christ is motivated to implement God’s command for unity through catholic oneness and perfection — in the Savior’s words: “that they may be one” (John 17:21), and “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

In relation to the Church’s history and life, such perfection in the image of the Divine Trinity manifests itself in "catholicity and autocephaly," in other words, "in the freedom of catholic love and equality of consubstantiality."[46] This confirms the inseparable connection of Orthodox ecclesiology with Orthodox triadology.

On the Dogmatic Vision and Church Thinking

In the context of current events, we see once again how dogmatic vision determines the spiritual, canonical, and every other aspect of the Church’s life. It is true that “the projection of the imperishable, gracious element of the Church in the conditions of our earthly, fallen existence inevitably acquires a certain conventionality, and therefore the Church canonical structure is not an absolute legal norm;” nevertheless it “has always kept intact its deep roots, its essence, and may not contradict our dogmatic thinking.”[47] Thus, the Orthodox teaching on the Church cannot contradict the Orthodox teaching on the Holy Trinity.

The current situation demonstrates how the supporters of “Ukrainian autocephaly” are trying to level up precisely the dogmatic aspect of this issue, seeking to “resolve” it outside the ecclesiastical sphere, without any discussion. Despite the arguments of those who desire and seek primacy for themselves, they prove to be a Pharisaical manifestation, a hypocritical movement against love — that is, sin — which is a crime against the Father's love, rather than just a violation of ethical norms.

Unfortunately, the Phanar’s recent actions are putting Church unity at risk, as well as the preservation of peace. Patriarch Bartholomew has unilaterally made a deliberate decision which calls for a separation. Instead of healing the schism, he is going to aggravate it even more. And regardless of what canonical and historical reasons may be given to justify the actions committed, they invoke neither the gospel spirit nor fraternal love, being only an attempt to assert authority and superiority over “lesser” members of the Church.

This desire for predominance is a destructive presence on earth. It is symptomatic of a falling away from dogmatic thinking, and a loss of proper ecclesiastical thinking, by leaders who are supposed to be protecting the Church’s God-ordained unity in the first place. According to Archmandrite Sophrony, these erring leaders are not listening to the voices of those who called for resolving "the burning ... dogmatic issues as issues of cardinal significance for the matter of salvation." [48]

Patriarch Meletius IV

Archimandrite Sophrony speaks explicitly of the spirit of lust for power and the desire to prevail over the brethren, which was inherent to Tsargrad’s Patriarchs, who would initially support the renovation split (Meletius IV) and strike a blow at the Primate St. Tikhon of Moscow during the time of tribulation for the Russian Church, and then would proclaim the doctrine of exclusive rights for the Patriarch of Constantinople (Athenagoras). Archimandrite Sophrony believes their actions were not only a gross trampling of the canons, but primarily the result of a serious dogmatic error, incurred by the First Hierarchs and their supporters occupying the Tsargrad chair. In their quest for power and domination, they became like princes of the world, crowning the top of the "pyramid of humanity" and dominating the nations. This is alien to the spirit of Christ, Who “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

Fr. Sophrony states that Christ “came and overturned the pyramid of human existence,”[49] and consequently “those who follow Him should go the same way: They go down to unite with the Head of the inverted pyramid. A Christian goes down, to the depth of the overturned pyramid which is at the center of terrible pressure, where Christ is, He who took upon Himself the sin of the world.”[50] According to the holy Fathers, the true movement is the movement of love, which is always humble. Therefore, authority — especially the Church’s authority — is treated by Fr. Sophrony "as service for everybody, as taking care of the weaker."[51]

In conclusion, echoing archimandrite Sophrony’s views on the subject, we would like to quote a statement from Patriarch Alexy I, which is written as a prayer for the oneness of the Church. He was reasoning about the High Priesthood of the First Rome, yet in the light of today's events, we might certainly perceive this statement as a prayer for the High Priesthood of the Second Rome as well:

“Christ said to his disciples, ‘Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant’ (Matt. 20:26–27). May the Lord enlighten the mental eyes of the Roman (and Constantinopolitan) high priesthood, so that with the help of God they may receive the power of the Spirit, and abandon the ambitious desire to establish their earthly primacy over all the apostolic successors!”[52]

Hieromonk Kirill (Zinkovsky), Doctor of Theology,

Hieromonk Methody (Zinkovsky), Doctor of Theology,

Hieromonk Varnava (Snytko)

Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov)’s books are available (in Russian) in the online store "Sretenie"

[1] Gregory the Theologian, st. Oration 37. On the Gospel words, "when Jesus had finished these sayings” // By the same author. Writings. In 2 volumes. SPb : P. P. Soikin Printing House, 1912. V. 1. P. 510–522, here: P. 514.

[2]  John Chrysostom, st. Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles. Homily 24. 4 // Writings of Our Father, St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, in Russian translation. In 12 volumes. St.Petersburg: SPbDA edition, 1898-1906. V. 9. Part 1. P. 226–235, here: P. 234.

[3]  Sophrony (Sakharov), hieromonk. Unity of the Church in the image of the Unity of the Holy Trinity (Orthodox Triadology as the basis of Orthodox Ecclesiology) // Bulletin of the Russian West European Patriarchal Exarchate. 1950. № 2–3. P. 8–32, here: P. 18–19.

[4] Ibid. P. 19.

[5]  ‘While in Constantinople, I would often condemn the Greeks for the word “ecumenical” and reproach them for vanity and pride, yet they objected they would title the Patriarch Ecumenical — ikumenikos (by many translated as “universalis”), not by virtue of his being a bishop over the whole world, but because he had the authority over a certain part of the world in which Christians lived. For the Greeks the word ikumeni means “universe”, while in Latin it designates not only “the world” (orbis terrarum)”, from which, in the sense of “universe” the name ‟ecumenical” is derived, but also “every dwelling or habitable place”. Ikumenikos in this context would mean: ‟Eastern imperial, all-Greek, all-Byzantine"’ (Kartashev A.V. Ecumenical Councils. Klin: Christian Life, 2002. P. 479).

[6]  Ibid. P. 478.

[7]Cyril of Jerusalem, st. Catechetical lecture 3. 9. // By the same author. Catechetical and Mystical Lectures. Moscow: Blagovest Publishing House, 2010. P. 36–47, here: p. 44.

[8] Cyril of Jerusalem, st. Catechetical lecture 13. 2 // Ibid. P. 180–209, here: P. 181.

[9]  Sophrony (Sakharov), hieromonk. Unity of the Church in the image of the Unity of the Holy Trinity. P. 17.

[10] Ibid. P. 16.

[11]  Ibid. P. 17.

[12]  Ibid.

[13] The Voice of Mount Athos. Holy Mountain’s Hieroschemamonk Elder Theodosius Karulsky on the Old and New Style // http://afonit.info/biblioteka/nasledie-svyatoj-gory/o-novom-i-starom-stile

[14] Lossky, V.N. Catholic Consciousness. Anthropological Application of the Dogma of the Church // Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate. 1969, № 10. P. 74-80, here: P. 80.

[15] Sophrony (Sakharov), hieromonk. Unity of the Church in the image of the Unity of the Holy Trinity. P. 17.

[16]  Ibid.

[17]  P. 20.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21]  Ibid. P. 20–21.

[22] Ibid. P. 21.

[23] Ibid.

[24]  Ibid.

[25]  Ibid. P. 24.

[26]  Cited from: ibid.

[27]  Ibid. P. 25.

[28] The outrageous declaration of the current Primate of the Church of Constantinople that “the Slavs cannot accept the primacy of our (Greek) nation in Orthodoxy”! See: URL: http://nk.org.ua/politika/varfolomey-slavyane-ne-mogut-smiritsya-s-perve... (the date of reference is 12/01/2018). It should be stressed that the heresy of ethnophyletism was condemned by the Church long ago, at the Local Council of Constantinople in 1872.

[29]  Sophrony (Sakharov), hieromonk. Unity of the Church in the image of the Unity of the Holy Trinity. P. 25.

[30]  Ibid. P. 27.

[31]  Ibid. P. 25.

[32] S. Troitsky. On Church Autocephaly // Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate. 1948, No. 7. P. 33–54, here: P. 34.

[33]Sophrony (Sakharov), hieromonk. Unity of the Church in the image of the Unity of the Holy Trinity. P. 25.

[34]  Ibid.

[35]  Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid. P. 28.

[38]  Ibid. P. 32. See: Tyshkevich S. Church of the God-Man. Lvov: Varyag Printing house, 1993. P. 70, 256.

[39]  Ibid. P. 32.

[40]  Ibid.

[41]  Ibid.

[42] Ibid. P. 31.

[43]  Ibid. P. 30.

[44]  Ibid. P. 31.

[45] Ibid. P. 17.

[46]  Ibid.

[47]  Ibid. P. 32.

[48] ​​Ibid. P. 17.

[49]  Sophrony (Sakharov), archimandrite. Spiritual conversations: In 2 volumes. V. 2. St. John the Baptist Monastery, Essex-M., 2007. P. 131.

[50]Sophrony (Sakharov), archimandrite. Saint Silouan the Athonite. The Trinity Lavra of St.Sergius, 2010. P. 266.

[51]  Sophrony (Sakharov), archimandrite. Letters to Close Friends. Moscow, 1997. P. 117.

[52] Acts of the Moscow Meeting of Heads and Representatives of Autocephalous Orthodox Churches in connection with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church. Moscow: ed. Moscow Patriarchy, 1949. V. 1. P. 90.

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