Primates or Popes?
Is there an attempt, on account of the Great Synod, to vest the Primates with Papal power?
- Protopresbyter Fr. Anastasios Gotsopoulos
Do the Orthodox Churches have Primates or Popes? Could it be that there are some, who, on account of the Holy and Great Synod, want to vest the Primates with Papal powers as well?
These questions arose out of the reactions of certain “defenders” of the upcoming Holy and Great Synod, who became stirred up with the unanimous synodical decisions by the Hierarchies of the Churches of Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia and Greece, pertaining to the stance that these Churches will hold in the Pan-Orthodox Synod.
Without giving any answers to the individual, extremely serious complaints by the Holy Synods of the Local Churches, they rend their garments and monotonously repeat: “The Primates had signed the texts, and they had made the decision, both for the convening, as well as for the procedure and the regulation for the operation of the Synod; consequently, the Local Synods have no right to opine on the decisions of the Primates”! It was along the same logic that even the Sacred Resident Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate had aligned itself, in its official announcement (6 June 2016).
Excuse me?! When did the Primates of the Orthodox Local Churches become… popes? Since when does the personal opinion-decision of one Primate irrevocably bind and oblige the Synod of the Hierarchy in which he belongs, to conform?