Almost before the ink was dry on the proceedings of the last year’s Cretan Council, dissatisfaction was immediately apparent.
For one thing, if one listened to its cheerleaders, we were told that the “success” was “in the meeting taking place at all”, or some such blather. That’s what those who play poker call a “tell”. In the political sphere, whenever I hear such breathless announcements, I know that there was no substance whatsoever.
There were other problems as well. We reported that the CIA, MI6 and the Mossad had bugged the rooms of the attendees. Then there was the fact that when some of the Churches would not send delegations, panic started setting it. Some of the GOA metropolitans were immediately recalled to Istanbul to meet in an emergency session, just as they were landing in the States.
This is all –how can we say it?–bad juju.
Anyway, I’m not a theologian but I was uncomfortable with the idea that not every bishop was invited nor would every bishop that attended would be granted a vote. Deacon John Chryssavgis (the YouTube face of the Council) tried to spin this as some Hamiltonian stroke of conciliar brilliance, i.e. “one Church, one vote” type of thing. In reality, it was nothing of the kind, more like “one primate, one vote”, no matter what the other bishops in the delegation thought.
So much for the idea that all bishops are equal in dignity. In reality, this was papalism run amok in that only the primates mattered. A dark and twisted path this is, one that leads to Eastern Popery if given the chance.
Regardless, those were my preliminary takes on this regrettable meeting. Below, you will see a more reasoned critique by Fr Peter Heers, lately of the Church of Greece, now resident at ROCOR’s school of theology at Jordanville, New York.
Please take the time to view it.