What would the Orthodox Church be without the Ecumenical Patriarch?
by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis on October 1, 2018
In a recent interview, the Ecumenist Archbishop of Telmessos, Job asserted:
The Ecumenical Patriarch is not only one among the patriarchs in the Orthodox Church. He is not only “the first among equals.” Incidentally, the Latin formula “primus inter pares” is nowhere to be found in Orthodox Church law, which, on the contrary, refers to the “seniority of honor” (presveia timês), indicating a certain hierarchy or at least some sort of order. Having this “seniority of honor” according to the sacred canons, the Ecumenical Patriarch, as the “head” and “protos” [first] in the Orthodox Church, he must ensure the unity of the Local Churches and coordinate them. This was evident in the 20th century during the preparation of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church and in the coordination with the local Churches in the inter-Christian dialogue at the universal level.1
Another Ecumenist, his Eminence Metropolitan of Andrianoupolis Amfilochios, in a recent text of his, remarked:
What would the Orthodox Church be, without the Ecumenical Patriarch? Another kind of Protestantism, and even more dangerous, since it would be enveloped in the mantle of truth.
At another point in his text, he states:
Whoever manages to destroy the cornerstone of the Orthodox Edifice, which is called and is the Ecumenical Patriarch, then he would have become of his own accord suicidal, and would have disregarded our faith with incalculable and irreversible consequences.2
For both, then, of the above Ecumenist hierarchs who continue the deconstruction of the Orthodox work of imposition of the Ecumenical Patriarch as first without equals and as Pope of the East in the Orthodox Church, which was first taught by the veteran ecumenist, his Eminence Metropolitan Yeron Pergamou, Ioannis Zizioulas3, and continued by their Eminences Metropolitans of Proussa, Elpidoforos4, and of Selybria, Maximos5, the ecumenist Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is “the ‘head’ and ‘the first’ in the Orthodox Church” and “the cornerstone of the Orthodox Edifice.”
The above positions constitute an offense and a blasphemy against the Theanthropos, our Lord Jesus Christ. They distort, mutate, and in reality destroy and dissolve the Orthodox Church. They introduce Vaticanist and papal patterns. They introduce the primacy of authority of the heresiarch Pope of Rome to the Orthodox Church. They displace the God-man and they replace Him with a man. They expel the God-centered character of the Orthodox Church and scatter the humanistic, humanitarian spirit as a virus within her. They downgrade, diminish, and turn into religion the revealed holy Orthodox faith and piety. All this turns into a personality cult, which leads to idolatry, faithlessness and atheism, because instead of the Creator they worship and bow down before a creature, instead of the Theanthropos Christ a common, mortal, sinful, impassioned, heretical and ecumenist man, the Patriarch. Essentially they show unbelief and impiety toward the true God.
The acting First Chancellor of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, Varsanoufios, is absolutely right when, at his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, declared: “We do not want a Pope of the East. All the Orthodox local Churches are equal, as equal in authority are all the Patriarchs.”6
It is hardly necessary to emphasize the basic, timeless position of the Orthodox teaching, attested thousands of times, that the Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ, and that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of His Body. He is the first without equal, and the cornerstone of the Orthodox Edifice.
In the Gospel according to Matthew we read: Jesus said to them,
“Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?”7
That is, Jesus says to the Jews, “I am the stone that you, the builders, rejected, which has become the foundation stone in the spiritual structure of God, that is, the Church, which has come from God, and is a remarkable thing in your eyes.”
In the Acts of the Apostles, the Apostle Peter says:
“This is the stone that was rejected by you the builders, which has become the head of the corner.”8
That is, “This is the stone [Christ] that you, the leaders within the spiritual structure of Israel, have despised as useless, and yet it [that is, He] has become a foundation stone in the new spiritual structure [composed both] of Israelites and idolaters.”
The same Apostle at another place states:
“Come to Him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious”.
That is, “It is natural for you to feel this intense desire for spiritual food, as you have tasted, and by your own personal experience have known that the Lord is always beneficent and good. Always come with a sacred desire and devoutness to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone of the Church, the life and the source of life, who has been rejected and despised, as it has been shown by the fact of crucifixion, yet before God He is chosen and honored.” A little further down the Apostle Peter writes:
“For it stands in the scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in Him will not be put to shame.’”9
That is, “The Holy Scripture includes this inspired phrase: ‘Behold, I set in Zion a foundation stone that will hold and firmly support the structure of the Church, a choice and precious stone, and he who believes and rests upon this stone [i.e., Christ] will not be disgraced.’”
The Apostle Paul also says [quoting from Is. 28:16 and 8:14-15]:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”10
In other words, “I will put in Jerusalem a foundation cornerstone, Jesus Christ, in Whom, however, those who do not believe, will stumble and will fall, as on a stumbling stone. On the contrary, anyone who believes, and is founded on this One, will not be ashamed.” In another place the Apostle to the Nations says:
“... built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.”11
That is, “You are built on the spiritual foundation of the Apostles and the prophets in a spiritual structure, the Church, of which the cornerstone and foundational stone is Jesus Christ Himself.”
The same Apostle elsewhere says:
“... and He [God] has put all things under His [Christ’s] feet and has made Him the head over all things for the Church, which is His Body...”.12
That is, “He has made this glorious Master of ours head of the Church above all. And this Church is His Body.” In another place the Apostle Paul says:
“He [Christ] is the head of the Body, the Church; He is [also] the beginning, the firstborn of the dead, that He might be pre-eminent in everything.”13
That is, “He is the head and the leader of the body, i.e. the Church; the beginning and the life-giving power of the Church, the first one raised from the dead, to become Himself, even in His humanity, first in everything”.
Therefore, answering the question of the Ecumenist Most Rev. Metropolitan of Andrianoupolis Amphilochios, “What would the Orthodox Church be without the Ecumenical Patriarch?” we would answer: After so many years with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Vaticanizing the Orthodox Church and changing it into an imitation of a papal, uniate and ecumenist Church, without him the Church would, of course, be simply Orthodox and free.
- Abp. Job of Telmessos gets a tad bellicose, 9-15-2018.
- Metropolitan of Andrianoupolis: “By denying the Ecumenical Patriarchate you deny the source of your existence” 9-15-2018.
- See the “Eucharistic Ecclesiology,” declared by the bishop of Pergamos. The “Eucharistic Ecclesiology” is described as the Trojan horse, through which the greater portion of the Orthodox Church will be united with the Vatican. (The heresy of Eucharistic Ecclesiology is linked to the Pope's primacy). The bishop of Pergamos develops the theory of the sacredness of the primacy of the Pope, which the secularized Orthodoxy could not understand. He has also said: “Worldly factors, which dominated then in worldly Orthodoxy, did not allow it to see the sacredness of the primacy” and “the Church needs the papal primacy”. See, “Heavy accusations of heresy against the philo-popist Metropolitan of Pergamos”, Orthodox Typos (13-4-2012) 1,7 and Bose Italy, Orthodox Typos (16-7-1999) and the Orthodox Christian Militant Association “Saint Theodore Studite” and the Philo-Orthodox Union “Kosmas Flamiatos”, “The Basic Erroneous Beliefs of the Heretical Bishop Mr. Zizioulas”, Kosmas Flamiatos 10 (September-October 2011) 15).
- See our text, “Elpidoforeia ecumenical welter of words”, 6-12-2018.
- See our text, “An orthodox critique of the presentation of the study of Archdeacon Maximos about the primacy by Archdeacon Panteleimon Manousakis”, 5-6-2014.
- Mt. 21:42, Mk. 12:10-11, Lk. 20:17, 1 Pet. 2:7.
- Acts 4:11.
- 1 Pet. 2:3-4. 6.
- Rom. 9:33.
- Eph. 2:20.
- Eph. 1:22-23.
- Col. 1:18.