Why this is not a schism?


Author: Archimandrite Cyrill Govorun

  1. Because in order to have a schism it’s necessary to have the consent of both sides, that they would not commune with one another. It seems like Constantinople is not preparing to break relations with Moscow
  2. Because in case of a global schism, all the other Local Churches would be obliged to choose which side they are on, but it’s obvious that they wouldn’t want to make that choice. The universal Orthodoxy would no doubt preserve the relations with both Moscow and Constantinople.
  3. The Eucharistic ecclesiology which became popular in the XX century and which the Orthodox began to identify with, has played this bad joke, because the one – sided refusal to participate in the Eucharist can easily be interpreted as a schism, when seen from ecclesiological aspect. But in order to prove it the Church needs more than what is described in the Eucharistic ecclesiology (please refer to my book “Meta – ecclesiology”), and there should be more than breach of Eucharistic communion in order to proclaim a schism. In the XI century, for example, the Roman and the Constantinople Patriarch kept giving one another anathemas, and still this dispute of theirs was considered as a local conflict. And the breach of Eucharistic communion was practically a routine practice in the first millennium. In the VII century which I have analyzed in detail, according to the documents of the Patriarchies in conflict, one might get confused when counting all such interruptions in the relations.

The conclusion is as following: this is not a schism, but rather a slit, a slit imagined by only one Church, because the majority of Churches wouldn’t even notice it (the slit).