There are voices from the monastic world questioning the structure of the Church

“The monks are not above the church, nor in spite of the church, but inside the church, and even according to its chosen constitution”, underlined the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew, during his visit to the Karakallou monastery on Mount Athos yesterday afternoon, calling on monks to preserve the “fundamental and undeniable truths” of apostolic teaching, against “temptations” and “voices” which lead contrary to unity and to the imposed functionality of the Church.

“Unfortunately, on two occasions, for example, the concession of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic, voices are heard, sadly and bitterly spoken from the lonely place, which challenge and overthrow the whole structure holy and spiritual part of the church,” Barthélemy said.

He added that these “voices” “unleash insults and calumnies against the Church, and, exceptionally, against the Mother and the Great Church of Christ” and regretted it, saying: “Monasticism is ecclesiastical and not private …

In the church, we are not saved alone…

The tradition and actions of our Eastern Orthodox Church are on the universal subject, otherwise we are diverted to a misguided ecclesiology…

“Those who teach lightly contrary to what the Church, with the fear of God, faith and love, prudence, prayer, enlightenment and much effort and agony, bear a heavy responsibility” , continued the Ecumenical Patriarch.

He added, “Have faith in the Church. The Spirit, the Holy, has constituted the institution of the church and led it into all Truth. ”

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew explained that the Church is, according to apostolic teaching, the body of Christ “that is, a unified and indivisible whole and organization, whose members cannot be dispensed from one another and of themselves, which is led and governed by Jesus Christ himself” and added: “Any resignation from apostolic teaching constitutes a dangerous alteration of orthodox ecclesiology – we must not forget that all heresies spring from an incorrect ecclesiology.

Distorted and scholarly ecclesiology means, in the final analysis, a deviant dogmatic faith in Christ, that is, heresy.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also stressed that the relationship between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Mount Athos is “ontological” and “ecclesiastical” and that the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch is a recognition of this unity and functionality of the Church, whose monks do not are not excluded, while the slightest deviation from this “harmony and coupling” leads to the “self-defect” of monasticism.

“The act of commemorating the Patriarch with the simplest and most common: “Remember first, Lord, our Archbishop” continually reveals this, that the Bishop of the place (Mount Athos) is still the Archbishop of Constantinople, in order to preserve the unity and functionality of the body of Christ, that is to say the Church”, underlined Metropolitan Barthélemy and to continue: “The charismatic order of monks is in no way excluded from this functional unity of the body, just as the slightest deviation from its harmony and its conjugation would be a self-reflection of monasticism.

The Ecumenical Patriarch pointed out that “the dangers and temptations for the monk are many”, such as “being held accountable contrary to his consecration to Christ” and pointed out that “monks’ concerns about individual ecclesiastical events, without the invitation of local bishops and even intense and warm, are reprehensible” because they can bring “problems, judgments, criticisms, troubles and dissensions” and added:

“It is not the monk’s job to act in parallel with the local church.

The monk teaches, illuminates and sanctifies those around him through his coherent life made up of struggles, repentance, tears, exercise, silence, darkness, incessant prayer. ”

Ida M. Morgan