August 8th-10, 2012, Odessa, Ukraine
Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa, the head of the ROCOR(A) Synod of Bishops, gave the following report at the recent Conference in Odessa:
On the ecclesiastical authority in the Russian Orthodox Church
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.” (Matt. 5:25)
At the beginning let me recall the truism that the Lord founded His Church, He is at all times, its only Head, of course, no human being can replace Him, nor even dare to contemplate this. The apostles, on the Ascension of the Lord, had in its sole vozglavitelya environment, and were to resolve disputed issues at a general meeting (Council), as we see in the Acts of the Apostles. The claims of the popes to be heads of the whole Church ( wherein, the Pope replaces Christ in the Church), is an untenable claim; the error of this claim was many times confirmed by both fathers and conciliar mind and practice of the universal Church. Before the IV century church lived without Ecumenical Councils (as the most authoritative and bezspornyh Church’s highest representatives of government). Universal charges themselves were made possible only with the administrative resources of the Empire and the will of the emperor, who decided to establish Christianity obscheimperskoy ideology.