What occurred today between the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches?


I’m sorry, but what (or who) is the UCC? I.e., can you expand the abbreviation?


Very interesting, and hopeful.
I had read that the Russian Orthodox were what was standing in the way, but I hadn’t heard it in quite this context.


I’ll note that I’ve regarded the suggestions that this rift in the Orthodox world could contribute to the Orthodox and the Catholic church coming back into communion as very far fetched, but in thinking about it, if this persists, I wonder if there’s not a slight chance that it might actually push in that direction.

If the Russian Orthodox Church is the hold up, and it seems to be, for the Eastern Orthodox, and if some Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches in the Middle East are already turning a blind eye to the separation in light of the pressure they are under from Islam, I wonder if at some point it simply opens the door for restoration of communion between the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic church without the Russian Orthodox?

It won’t happen soon as I’m sure that every day the Patriarch in Istanbul wakes up with a giant headache and is trying to keep this from getting worse, but if we’re ten years down the road and this has kept on keeping on, well things might look a bit different.

Stranger things have happened anyhow.


chaos surrounding Amoris Laetitia, and the Dubia. There is suppressed chaos which has the potential for a split, and there is the abuse scandals which are not going away soon.


This is what happens, overall, when

Excellent points.

Which is why we should be careful to draw to many assumptions about what these things mean overall, except for:

  1. Humans will monkey things up one way or another, but the Church will prevail; and
  2. This is part of the reason the schism should end. We need you, and you need us. Each lung of the church is prey to its own human failings. There’s one God and one Church, and we need to come together so that we can breath with both lungs to stay healthy.

Put another way, if we are to draw lessons, the lessons probably should be that the divisions inherent in the Orthodox world could be better avoided if the schism was ended and the Church was one in a church that emphasizes that there is one church. We in the Catholic world, on the other hand, would very much benefit from reunion with the parts of the Eastern world that remain outside communion with us, with your deep emphasis on mystery and tradition.

That there are those who will argue that no, this can’t happen and shouldn’t should give us all pause, and we should ask who benefits from the ongoing separation and does that serve God? I’d wager it doesn’t.


I don’t have the cites at hand, but Russia does indeed want the order of precedence changed–with, naturally, itself on top.

Moscow has long seen itself as “Third Rome”, and “czar” is the russian of “Caeser” . There is no real reason for “Third Rome” to advance past “Second Rome” other than population. (sidetone: there are occasional references from russians to DC as “Fourth Rome”–but they seem to be in the context of making its own claim to third . . .)


So then how would the worldwide Orthodox decide who has the primacy?


chaos surrounding Amoris Laetitia, and the Dubia.

This is more like a select few who have a loud megaphone.

Can’t go wrong with sticking with Peter, no matter the waves thrown at the ship.


We are witnesses of epochal changes in modern Orthodoxy.
I don’t know what the decision of the Synod was regarding Macedonia, but if Protestantisation of Orthodoxy occurs, it is advisable to take this without aggression, without violence and wars.


I think if there will be a problems in Ukraine with church properties , the most important is to emphasize the “Constantinople ownership”.(not Kyiv, and not Moscow)
Constantinople is the center of world Orthodox Church. You can’t ignore this fact.


Ukrainian Catholic Church.

It entered communion with Rome through the treaty of Brest a few centuries ago, and per the terms of the treaty kept its own customer, the explicit examples including married clergy, selection of its own bishops (although Rome interferes in this modernly), not using clappers during lent, and [to the vocal horror of many on this forum] not using the Filioque.)

It stayed in communion with both Constantinople and Rome for a while (as would the Melkites centuries later). This was for at least decades, but I think it was roughly a century.

Not just Islamic pressure, but the fact that historically, not all have been as big on the schism as others.

I think that it will be necessary to reach the point that restoration of communion between MP and EP is not seen as possible before either EP or Rome are willing to restore communion between themselves without the MP.

Any answer that is not “the MP” is unacceptable to the ROC. This is more about russian nationalism than actual theology.

Apparently, you can if you’re Russian . . .




For the last few years I have been going back and forth between Rome and EO.
I’ve been studying both.
The EO to me seems to be the closest to the original Early Church from my studies(which I admit are limited)if you don’t take into account the development of Doctrine. The Development of Doctrine argument is strong, too.

The only closest possible EO churches to me are Greek Orthodox both about 80 and 100 miles away.
I hate to see a schism in the Eastern Church, it’s already bad enough in my own confessional Lutheran denomination (WELS) not being in communion with the LCMS and we are so close in doctrine.
That is one thing I have to admire about the RCC. They seem more universal.
I also did like the fact that the EO churches were mostly all in communion with each other(save for the OO)
but now maybe not?


Yes, Russians can ignore the Greeks, but they cannot compete with the Greeks over the canons. The Greeks wrote them and the Greeks know them better.
The followers of Moscow in Ukraine have 220 hectares of land. They have lands like five Vaticans. What do they complain about?
Just Moscow gave the order to go to the aggravation of the conflict so they raise emotions and threaten with wars, etc.
They hypocritically shout about the persecution (even under saint Stalin it seems they didn’t shout like that)
When I lived in Lviv, I was convinced that Russian special services were brilliant in provocations and fanning hatred (persecution of war veterans, etc.)
They know how to submit incriminating video materials about persecution and derogation of their rights.
Therefore, the EU should objectively weigh their indignations and slander against Kyiv and Constantinople .


The other Orthodox Patriarchs haven’t spoke on the matter. Patriarchy of Constantinople is “sister church” not a leader and not representative in herself of all Orthodoxy.
So the only schism is between Constantinople and Russia. But no anathemas yet. Just a break of communion.


I can’t see the European Union wanting to have a role in a religious matter, or even being taken seriously if it did attempt to. I suspect that’s hoping for too much and would be very poorly received if it was actually undertaken.


This is part of this that’s difficult to grasp, from the outside anyhow. It’s clear that the Patriarch of Constantinople is more than a mere head of a sister church, as things are clearly deferred to him in some fashion. But what that means isn’t clear at all from the outside, and what that means in terms of the other Patriarchs isn’t clear either. What his act actually accomplishes, in that context, isn’t clear either.

If this is merely one vote out of several (and of course one of the Apostolic Churches won’t be voting at all) how would Moscow’s act in severing communion possibly be justified?


Here’s what Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Ilarion stated after the RO’s Synod met following what I take to be the Patriarch’s endorsement of the request for autocephalous status:

"“We cannot be in communication with this church, which is in a schism,”

Usually churches going into schism are over doctrinal matters. Is there really one here and if so what it it? And if the Patriarch has only voiced one vote of what will be several, isn’t this a grossly excessive act in context? Or at least premature?


Agreed. EU does not want to be religious at all. Want they want is to ensure multitude of religions in Europe to prove they are a fair secular entity. “Europa Christiana” a term often mentioned at the Church’s Eccumenical gatherings simply does not exist de facto in Brussels. And probably never will. EU says that Europe developed because of her role in ensuring freedom of religion and thinking, Christianity simply is one of the religions that are/were practiced in Europe. I know the Vatican dreams for more, so does Constantinople, but in all fairness EU leaders have never led on to these dreams or pretended to do so. They have always claimed consistently that they do not favor one religion over the other and when a conflict arises it’s not their problem unless in inflicts with the secular laws and thus creates chaos in society.


While schism and heresy often go hand in hand, schism pure and simple does not involve any doctrine.

St. Augustine explains here:

But heretics, in holding false opinions regarding God, do injury to the faith itself; while schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked separations break off from brotherly charity, although they may believe just what we believe.



While a person can debate the extent to which the region’s religious heritage should be acknowledged and even protected (Europe isn’t Europe without the Church, and even secular Europeans are frankly Catholic in some sense, and Eastern Europe isn’t Eastern Europe without the Eastern Church), the Faiths have to win the hearts of each generation anew.

This is particularly the case now that we have returned to a condition in which culture alone will not make Christians of the weak tea variety.

Not that this is really new, in spite of what we hear. We’ve been there before, and to some degree we’ve been where we currently are since the mid 19th Century but failed to appreciate it.

Anyhow, the EU isn’t, and cant’, have a substantive role in this and if it tried, it would potentially be counter productive.


Well, once again I’ve learned something in this thread that I really didn’t appreciate before.

It would make sense that merely separating in a definitive sense would be a schism in and of itself.

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