Greek original here.
All of us praise the conciliar institution of the Early Church and speak of its smooth operation even in our current troubled times. Where the visible unity of the Orthodox Churches is not preserved, we simply do not practice it.
The Church made use of political centers as well as ecclesiastical centers without nevertheless being influenced by the secular application of political power.
When ecclesiastical centers work against the unity of the Church or are responsible for breaking the visible unity of the Orthodox, it appears that they are affected by secular elements of authority.
Three major political centers that influenced world history were the center of the Roman Empire in Rome, the center of the Byzantine Empire for 1122 years in Constantinople, and in later years those of the great powers in Europe and Tsarist Russia.
When individuals who, consciously or unconsciously believe that they are the continuation of the Roman Emperor, the Byzantine Emperor, or the Russian Tsar affect the life of the Church, then problems are created in the humble ministry of the Church and so secular elements of secular power enter inside and rifts that threaten visible unity are created.
We see this historically to the highest degree in the institution of the Roman Catholic Church, where the Vatican also functions as a state. Before His Crucifixion, at the Last Supper Jesus washed the feet of His Disciples and told them to do the same themselves and to have love for one another and for every person.
This spiritual preparation leads us on the path to Golgotha, the daily crucifixion of the ego with sacrifice for the other, and in this way we arrive at the Resurrection, at the fullness of Pentecost and the communion of Love and Unity.
Where our visible unity is absent, our partaking in Christ’s life is also absent to a greater or lesser extent.
Unfortunately, those who are responsible for threatening the visible unity of the Local Orthodox Churches are those who, with the operation of the Conciliar Institution of the Church, could have protected and strengthened our visible unity, but did not do so. But there are also those who, ‘for fear of the Jews’, avoided saying things clearly and neatly in the way that His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, Anastasios and His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia dared to do.
I thank God that I studied with them, because in the difficult moments that Orthodoxy has experienced in its historical life since the eleventh century, those two outstanding theologians of ours, as well as other notable Fathers of the Church have given us the lights to get out of the darkness in which we found ourselves with the fanaticism and untheological propaganda that in the final analysis not only increase the distance that we must eliminate in order to protect in every way the visible unity of the Local Orthodox Churches, but unfortunately has started to cultivate hatred and malice, exactly as happened historically with the Pre-Chalcedonian Churches and later in the eleventh century between East and West with the schism of 1054, where we lost the City and not just, and later with the rupture between the Roman Catholics and the creation of Protestantism.
These historical ruptures in the body of Christianity have had as a result that we have lost forever vast traditionally Christian regions in many countries of the world that are now Muslim.
The criterion of the canonical functioning of the Conciliar Institution of the Church is the strengthening of the visible unity of the Local Orthodox Churches and of the entire Pleroma of the Church. Anything else, whether we want it or not, is from the evil one.
Just as the original responsibility for the non-participation of all the Local Orthodox Churches in the Great and Holy Synod of Crete in 2016 is historically primarily born by the Churches of the Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem, but also by the Protos and his Brother Primates who failed to persuade all the Churches to participate, so too now will Ecclesiastical History consider the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Russia responsible for the threat to the visible unity of the Local Orthodox Churches, especially the Protos and his Holy Brothers the Primates who failed to persuade the First among them that there should be a prior understanding between the Phanar and Moscow on the issue of Ukraine and then, with the functioning of the Conciliar Institution with the participation of all the Local Orthodox Churches and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, a solution could be found that would also be an occasion for the strengthening of the visible unity of the Local Orthodox Churches.
Anything else is from the evil one and our departure from the canonical functioning of the Conciliar Institution of the Church. We must start again from where we left off, at the meeting in Geneva in 2016 where all the Local Orthodox Churches participated with unity and love.
The canonical institution of the functioning of Conciliarity is witnessed when the visible unity of us all is preserved, even if we have different views and approaches. Let us pray that this year’s Feast of Pentecost will be a cause for us to be humble and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to all Truth and to once more allow the Conciliar Institution of the Church to function in order to protect the visible unity of the Local Orthodox Churches.
The majority of the Local Orthodox Churches propose that in order to preserve the visible unity of the Local Orthodox Churches, there should be a Panorthodox Synaxis of Primates and because, as His Beatitude Anastasios of Albania rightly emphasizes, the synaxis of Primates is a canonical Ecclesiastical Right of the Ecumenical Patriarch and consequently it is impossible for there to be a synaxis of Primates without the Protos, reconciliation between the Phanar and Moscow should precede it.
There is also the role of the Primate, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II, as “Judge of the Oecumene”, on behalf of the prayers and support of his Brother Primates and Orthodox believers everywhere, to mediate with God’s help and the prayers of us all, so that they may meet in the presence of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow Cyril, so that they may offer us a solution that will then be ratified by the synaxis of the Primates that will be called by the Protos.
(The above considerations are personal. The positions of the Patriarchate of Alexandria are formally expressed by His Holiness the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II in Synod.)