The Synodical and Hierarchical Regime in Relation to the Ukrainian Issue
Prompted by the granting of ecclesiastical Autocephaly to Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the decision of the Church of Russia to break off ecclesiastical communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, there is intense debate, and various opinions are expressed that challenge the conscience of the Church.
Metropolitan Hierotheos puts things in order and records the theological dimensions of the problem. He asserts that nothing within the Church functions autonomously; there is unity and interdependence. The regime of the Church is “synodically hierarchical” and “hierarchically synodical”. The administration system of the Church works in the same way as concelebration at the Divine Liturgy, and is an extension of it.
It is in this sense that the ‘autocephaly’ of a Church, but also the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, functions. Neither papal primacy nor the federal system of the Protestant communities exists in the Orthodox Church.
Synodality is the opposite of the Papal regime, and the hierarchical system is the opposite of the Protestant federation. This is the beauty of Orthodox ecclesiology, which is being undermined in our day.
As well as giving comprehensive briefing on the background to this serious ecclesiastical problem, the book includes a proposed solution.