May 29, 2013

Papism in the Orthodox Church

Michael Alexandrovich Novoselov
(future Hieromartyr and Catacomb Bishop Mark, +1937)

In May of the present year [1913], the Holy Synod published an epistle dedicated to the analysis of the teaching concerning the Name of God. This epistle must be subject to a serious and substantial discussion by Orthodox people to whose consciousness matters of faith are close. Such analyses are already appearing in print. Without touching the above-mentioned teaching, we would like to answer one question, entirely unrelated to the above-mentioned teaching, but which is being posed to us from all sides: “Do we accept the unconditional authority of the synodal epistle [i.e. the decision of May 1913 against the Athonite fathers]? Do we see in it “the voice of the Church”, which is the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth” - as the Synod demands from us? We answer decisively - no, no and no. We were shocked to read it and we reject the conclusive thought of the synodal epistle, which says: “now that the leadership of the Churches of Constantinople and Russia have expressed their position, their (that is, of Schema-monk Hilarion, Hieromonk Anthony and others) further insistence on “Name-glorifying” will equal to the opposition to the truth.” This is an unlawful infringement of the inalienable rights of the ecclesiastical body, the guardians of the faith - the Orthodox faithful.
It seems that the Holy Synod has forgotten that “the infallibility rests only in the catholicity of the Church, united in mutual love” (A. S. Khomyakov). It [i.e. the Synod] does not want to remember what was declared in 1848 to the whole Orthodox and heterodox world by the Ecumenical Patriarch, in his answer to the Roman bishop: “With us, neither patriarchs, nor councils could ever introduce anything new, because the guardian of the faith is the very body of the Church, that is, the faithful.” The spiritual collegium [i.e. the Synod] not only did not wish to invite and hear out the voice of the faithful, but to the contrary, it tried to smother it with draconian methods far surpassing even those of the Roman high-priest [i.e. the Pope].

And now, we are paying the price of such hastiness.

Published in "Religious-Philosophical Library"
Moscow, 1913, p. 4.