Having rejected the Orthodox Christian teaching on the Holy Trinity, formulated by the Universal Councils of the Church, in the second millennium after Christ Western Europe was for centuries torn apart by the question of whether its ‘Church’ should be centripetal (centralizing), like Roman Catholicism, or centrifugal (centre-fleeing), like Protestantism. Indeed, whole very bloody wars were fought over this issue for centuries. Although today both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have largely died out in most of Western Europe and been replaced by Secularism, the question has not gone away, for cultural patterns and reflexes have persisted.
Thus, three years ago, the arrogant and foolish centralized EU, a secular imitation of Roman Catholicism and going back to the Treaty of ‘Rome’, produced the reaction of the vote for centre-fleeing Brexit in the Protestant culture of the UK. It is clear that this is only the first step in the inevitable disintegration of the EU, which has already been under immense pressures from all sides for many years. All of this would have remained merely a political issue, except that in the Orthodox Church it has recently become a spiritual issue. For the US-founded EU’s centralization is being imitated and pursued by the US-financed secularists of the ‘Patriarchate of Constantinople’ in Istanbul.
Here modernist and ecumenist, pro-LGBT ‘Euro-Orthodox’ Greeks have created schism from the Orthodox Church. Made up of fourteen universally-recognized, Independent (‘autocephalous’ in Greek jargon) Local Churches, the Orthodox Church is thus threatened with the loss of part of its flock. For this tiny Greek Patriarchate in ‘Constantinople’ has, with breath-taking arrogance, openly declared its intention of taking back all the autocephalies of Local Churches and creating one ‘Super-Church’, with, naturally, itself in control. Thus, secular-minded Greek Istanbul imitates Brussels.
Having already done this in the small groups of the Diaspora (Western Europe, the Americas and Oceania) and in Estonia in recent decades, the Istanbul Greeks have within the last few months done exactly the same in the Ukraine also. Invading ancient Russian Orthodox territory against all the canons and traditions of Christianity, with full Ukrainian State and US financial and political backing, they have set up a semi-Fascist, ultra-nationalist organization, which it calls the ‘The Church in the Ukraine’, but which is under its full control. This is, of course, pure Greek Imperialist tyranny of the sort practised for centuries by the Istanbul Greeks in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Bulgaria and elsewhere, but now extended worldwide.
In this Imperialist model, in its own words, this Greek Imperialist Patriarchate sees itself as a single ‘Church’. It will ‘take back’ the autocephalies (full independence) given to found several of the other Local Churches over previous centuries. And then it will grant them back a very, very limited self-government. In this way it will combine centralization with extremist local nationalism. In such a case, of course, it may well be asked, why Jerusalem, the first Church, does not take back the autocephaly given to Constantinople and take back all power for itself? Theologically and historically speaking, all of this comes from a purely Secularist Roman Catholic/Protestant mentality.
This is no surprise when we see where the bureaucrats and ideologues of the Greek Patriarchate were trained: at the Gregorian University in Rome (like Patriarch Bartholomew himself, together with very many of his bishop-acolytes) and in the faculties of Protestant Universities in Germany. The Orthodox model of governance of the Church is of course the Holy Trinity: Unity in Diversity, the Apostolic model evident from the first century in the Epistles, addressed to the various Local Churches. This is the meaning of the word ‘Catholicity’ (everyone doing things in their own way, but in the same spirit), which means something quite different from ‘Catholicism’ (everyone doing exactly the same thing under tyrannical and bureaucratic centralist control).
Today, in the Orthodox Church, we are now facing a choice between:
Constantinople: An Imperialist, Single-Nationality ‘Church’
Either belong as second-class citizens (because you are not Greek) to the tiny Church of a long-dead Empire, which governs all who belong to it tyrannically and nationalistically, regardless of whether they are Christians, regardless of whether they are canonically ordained, and regardless of whether they are involved in the violent and racist theft of churches from Christians and their persecution. In this case you will neither be Orthodox, nor Christian, indeed less Christian even than Uniats and Protestants.
New Jerusalem: An Imperial, Multinational Church
Or belong as first-class citizens (whatever your nationality and native language) to the very large Church of a living Empire, or to one of the Autocephalous Local Churches which are in communion with it, which governs all who belong to it justly and multinationally, because they are Christians, canonically ordained and do not steal by violence and racism churches from other Christians or persecute them. In this case you will be Orthodox Christians because you follow the Holy Trinity, living in the Catholicity of unity in diversity.