Samstag, 18. Januar 2014

The Russian Orthodox Church and the Papacy (Catholic World Report)

The recent statement by the Moscow Patriarchate “on the problem of primacy” is born of desperate, and desperately sad, insecurity

Von Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille is assistant professor of theology at the University of Saint Francis (Fort Wayne, IN, USA) and author of Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy (University of Notre Dame, 2011).

Nearly three years ago now, I published a book on Orthodoxy and papal primacy and, at risk of being immodest, have since felt more and more that I had said everything that needed to be said on the topic. But the whole question, which has been at the top of the international Orthodox-Catholic dialogue for two decades now, recently roared back with a statement issued the day after Christmas by the Russian Orthodox Church, titled, “Position of the Moscow Patriarchate on the problem of primacy in the Universal Church”. The statement of the Russian Church, which is technically the largest Orthodox Church in the world (if one counts sheer numbers of people claiming to be Orthodox rather than, say, levels of sacramental practice or church attendance), may be readhere, but I would also want to direct your attention to responses from individual Orthodox theologians, including my friend the Russian Orthodox historian Antoine Arjakovsky hereand a semi-official Greek response here, both of which are extremely valuable and far more soundly argued than the Russian statement.
I glanced at the Russian statement in the lazy days of the Christmas break, and seeing little that is new or interesting, asked myself: Have I not said everything that needs to be said in my Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity? But in re-reading the statement a few days ago, I found that perhaps there are a few things to comment on. The Russian statement purports to offer an alternative Orthodox response to the 2007 Ravenna document (about which I have published elsewhere) of the official international Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, a meeting from which the Russians absented themselves for reasons I have always found less than convincing. Weiter auf

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