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Metropolitan Seraphim's letter to Archbishop Hieronymos

regarding the Committee for the Dialogue with the Latins in Cyprus

Re-published, from the Ecclesiastic News Agency "ROMFEA"

Source: http://www.romfea.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3179

 
A letter to Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece was sent by Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim, on the occasion of the convention of the Joint International Committee for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics, on the subject of "the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of the Churches during the first millennium", which is to take place in Cyprus.

 

 

1 October  2009

 

In his letter to Archbishop Hieronymos on the matter of the role of the bishop of Rome, the Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim stresses the following:

It is an indisputable historical truth, that the Church during the first millennium did not recognize any primacy of authority and power in the Bishop of Rome, on a universal level.  Supreme authority in the worldwide Church was exercised always and only by the Ecumenical Synods.

 

Metropolitan Seraphim further stresses that: 

Accordingly, our Most Holy Church does not accept the papal primacy the way it was perceived by the Vatican I Synod, which had proclaimed the Bishop of Rome as supposedly being the 'infallible expresser' of the conscience of the Church.

 

 

METROPOLITAN SERAPHIM'S LETTER

 

Blessed Father and Archbishop,

 

You are well known at a pan-Orthodox level for Your deep-rooted adherence to the lofty and Apostle-delivered institution of synodicity in the administration of our Most Holy, Undivided Orthodox Catholic Church - an institution that You have defended courageously and with utmost awareness during Your voluminous Pontifical ministry.

 

In view of both the upcoming regular meeting of the Sacred Corps of the Venerable Hierarchy of our Most Holy Church at the commencement of the month October, as well as the convening in Cyprus of the joint international Committee on the theological dialogue between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics on the subject of the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of the Churches during the first millennium, it is my humble belief that the matter must be discussed theologically by the Venerable Hierarchy of our Most Holy Church and that the Sacred Corps place itself and express itself clearly on it, so that our Reverend Representative the Metropolitan of Messinia fr. Chrysostomos - who stands out for his theological adequacy, broad knowledge and upright judgment - be appropriately fortified in the final form of the common text of the said International Convention.

 

It is an indisputable historical truth, that the Church during the first millennium had never recognized any primacy of authority and power in the Bishop of Rome, at a universal level.  Supreme authority in the worldwide Church was exercised always and only by the Ecumenical Synods.

 

Accordingly, our Most Holy Church does not accept the papal primacy the way it was perceived by the Vatican I Synod, which had proclaimed the Bishop of Rome as supposedly being the 'infallible expresser' of the conscience of the Church, with the ability to oppose even the rulings of an Ecumenical Synod, thus also usurping with his dogmatically secured "infallibility" through the Vatican II Synod the coveted primacy of authority - over the entire Church, arbitrarily, anti-Scripturally and anti-canonically - even the position of the Life-giving and All-Holy Spirit of Truth in the body of the Church and thus abrogating 'urbi et orbi' the Apostle-delivered polity of the Church, as well as the very presence and opus of the Holy Spirit within Her.

 

The most venerable Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople-New Rome, His Beatitude Bartholomew, had on the 1st of October 1997 said respectively from the official rostrum of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki - when speaking of the heresy of the 'filioque' in regard to the topic under examination by the joint international committee - the following: 

 

...Two single words [OODE note: he means the "Filioque": "and Son"] can overturn the entire structure of the world and justify the infallibility and the authority of one individual on earth. The sense of freedom that Christ freed us with, does not allow the Eastern Orthodox Church to accept Her absolute submission to the will of one individual, and for that reason refuses to acknowledge the uprightness of those two words, upon which that one individual strives to support his power. (Tome HE HATH VISITED US, Patriarchal Visits to the Co-regnant city, 1997-1999-2000, published by the Sacred Metropolis of Thessaloniki 2000, page 275).

 

During the convening of the joint international committee it is of course imperative to point out the pathogenic stances of Roman Catholicism and especially that nonexistent "office of Peter" for the Bishop of Rome; the counterfeit and illegitimate 'proofs' thereof ( Pseudo-Constantinian donation, Pseudo-Isidorian rulings, Psuedo-Clementines etc..); the supposed testimonies about the bishops of the Church appealing to the Roman See, and the supposed testimonies regarding roman authority on matters of the faith and the interpretation of the Scriptures.

 

Bearing in mind that, in the memorandum dated 13/1/2005 signed by Your Predecessor, the reposed Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos and the co-chairman from the Orthodox of the joint Committee for the dialogue, the Rev. Metropolitan of Pergamon fr. John, our Most Holy Church had clearly proclaimed through a Decision of Her Perpetual Holy Synod dated the 12th January 2005 that:

 

1. ... Unia comprises an Ecclesiastic, Dogmatic and Canonical deviation and violent extraction and excision of faithful from the Mother Orthodox Church, and as such, must necessarily be condemned and abolished.

 

2. As regards the subject range of the Dialogue, the Church of Greece believes that the discussion must definitely be continued on the matter of Unia, which has in no way been exhausted, given that it continues to exist and to operate to the detriment of Orthodoxy....

 

this discussion can, for the sake of facilitating the course of the Dialogue, be conducted within the framework of ecclesiology through the prism of the primacy; it is necessary that this matter be discussed, also on the occasion of the election, ordination and installation in Athens of the new Uniate Bishop of Carcabia, Mr.Demetrios Salachas.

 

In closing my request to You, I remain most obediently

the undersigned

 

+ SERAPHIM of Piraeus 

 

 

 

Translation:  K.N.

Article published in English on: 2-10-2009.

Last update: 2-10-2009.

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