ROC: the decision of Constantinople to allow priests uncanonically second marriage

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator in footballitalia in the temple of Christ the Savior. 20 Nov 2017ROC: the decision of Constantinople to allow priests uncanonically second marriage© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator the image Bank

The decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to allow re-marriage for their clergy is contrary to Church canons and established practices will be frowned upon and met throughout the Orthodox world, said RIA Novosti the Russian Orthodox Church priests.

Previously, the Holy Synod of the Constantinople Church allowed clergy to be married again, if a priest became a widower or the wife herself left him. The decision to verebrate priests of the Patriarchate of Constantinople had proposed to adopt in 2016 at the Cathedral of Crete, but then the other local Orthodox churches opposed this.

«Contrary To Scripture»

«Of course, this decision contradicts the centuries-old practice and the direct instruction of the words of Scripture, which enjoins the clergyman to be «the husband of one wife». Or unmarried, «celibate», is not Scripture, and subsequent practice», — said the Chairman of the education Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church Archpriest Maxim Kozlov. He also recalled that, in accordance with established centuries-old tradition of marriage should take place before the consecration (ordination) of a priest.

«This is for at least one and a half millennia, the establishment of the Orthodox Church. What originated in Constantinople Patriarchate of the need for a review of this establishment, I can not say, because it is an internal affair of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. But I am sure that it will not raise nor its authority throughout the Orthodox world, no agreement among the Orthodox churches will not add or personnel problem, if it exists in the Church of Constantinople, to solve will not help,» — said Kozlov.

Commenting on the content of the document, he drew attention to the fact that it is talking about the permissibility of a second marriage for clergy or widowed, or those who left a wife. «But even if the first case can be clearly appreciated, in a situation of divorce every time to assess who is more to blame, who will?» – said the Agency interlocutor. According to him, the examples of divorce of the laity, we can conclude that it is not always the man who decided to file for divorce, in fact, «to blame more the one who actually made the family to the disintegration and his actions have made this step.»

«So, I think that this decision will not be understood in the fullness of Ecumenical Orthodoxy», — considers the head of the education Committee of the ROC.

In addition, the priest recalled that the issue of the married bishops and clergy veropedia was previously raised in the history of the Russian Church: the Renovationists in the post-revolutionary period.

«And, by the way, it was one of the important factors by which the fullness of the Church people evaluated those innovations which are offered by the Renovationists. I don’t want to draw Parallels, but I can’t see here a certain analogy with what happened almost 100 years ago,» he added.

Archpriest Maxim Kozlov expressed the hope that this «decision of the Synod, in modern language of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, will not be «implemented».

«Athos is troubled»

The former head of the Patriarchal press service, the rector of the Church of the Holy Martyr Tatiana at Moscow state University named after M. V. Lomonosov, Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky also noted that in Russia the priests took this decision of Constantinople, as a violation of all resolutions of the Church councils and instructions of the apostles themselves. According to Vigilance, it’s «like pushing the clergy to a new marriage».

Father Vladimir admitted that earlier he had sometimes to hear about such decisions of bishops, but often against the deacons (the lowest degree of the priesthood) and the exception in any particular case.

«Then they (the bishops) took over, you could say it’s a deviation from Canon law: there is already a Bishop will be responsible before God. But when it is adopted for all of the clergy usually is, of course, pushes the violation and others… This was supposed to be the solution, at least, of the Cathedral, but not of the Synod. Because this is a very serious, important question. Moreover, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of course, will face with a very large resistance of the monasteries of mount Athos. And it is «Overton window» even for his diocese,» — said Vigilyansky.