"Les politiciens ne peuvent pas unir l'Eglise mais seulement la diviser"
Modern politicians are unable to unite the Church, but can only cause greater divisions. Therefore, they should remain within their own sphere and not interfere in the Church’s internal affairs, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev said in his sermon on Friday in Kharkov, reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Recalling the historical experience of Church-state interaction, the Ukrainian primate spoke of the wise position taken by St. Constantine the Great during the 4th-century Arian controversy. He published the Edict of Milan in 313, granting freedom to Christianity, which provided the opportunity and impetus for the flowering and spread of the Church. “But the devil, who always fights against believers in Christ … began another fight—no longer the physical destruction of the faithful, but he began to sow delusions in their unskilled human minds, that is, mistakes in the faith,” meaning heresies, which led to divisions in the Church.
But the holy King Constantine wanted to heal the divisions that arose out of the Arian heresy, which proclaimed that Christ is not equal in Divinity to God the Father, and he did his best to reconcile the bishops of the Church, although he could not bring them to peace. He understood that in order to find peace, he had to call the First Ecumenical Council, “and charged the bishops with solving the question of uniting the Church, and solving the issue of the heresy that existed at that time.”
“And the holy hierarchs, priests, and deacons of God found the royal path that the Church must walk, and they showed the people where to go—where Christ was. And the Church continued its procession to Christ,” Met. Onuphry explained.
Politicians today, the hierarch noted, are ignorant of Church matters, yet want to organize the life of the Orthodox people according to their own pleasure.
“We love our politicians—they are our stewards, but God gave them neither the mind, nor the means, nor the right to organize Church life,” His Beatitude emphasized.
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