One of the crucial challenges facing the Orthodox world is the necessity to regulate the canonical status of the Orthodox diaspora. The Council on Crete, held in 2016, accepted a relevant document and stated the willingness of all Orthodox Churches “to resolve the problem of the Orthodox diaspora and its organization in accordance with Orthodox ecclesiology, and the canonical tradition and practice of the Orthodox Church”. A model of a compromise that could reconcile the competing approaches of various Orthodox Churches has been long searched for. However, less and less attention is paid to the fact that the theory imposed by the Church of Constantinople is purely arbitrary and devoid of any solid reasons. Throughout the 20th century, it has been more than once challenged as pseudo-canonical. It is clear that any consensus based on erroneous theological assumptions will be leading to failure. This article is intended to show that the repeatedly refuted approach of the Church of Constantinople cannot help in formulating a truly canonical decision of the problem of diaspora.
Key words: Orthodox diaspora, Extraterritorial jurisdiction, Primacy, Equality of rights of autocephalous Churches, 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon, Sergey Troitsky, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Meyendorff, Pseudo-theology, Eastern popery
About the author
Pavel V. Ermilov – PhD (History), Head of the Ecclesiastical Institutions Research Laboratory, St. Tikhon’s University;