A Careful Attitude to Traditions


Though I’d like to get back to my translation of Bp. Mitrophan’s talk on the Holy Scripture in the writings of St. Sava, there is not much time for that now. Instead, I am posting some thoughts of the newly elected Patriarch of Russia on church reforms given about a month ago, taken from Orthodixie and, originally, from Interfax. It seems the Russians, unlike us Serbs, have no desire to change how things are done in the church.

There will be no reforms in the Russian Orthodox Church when a new Patriarch takes office, Patriarchal Locum Tenens Metropolitan Kirill told the media in Moscow on Monday.

I strongly oppose any church reforms. Besides, I do not think that any of the 145 archbishops that may be nominated for Patriarch have reform aspirations,” he said.

Russia has twice learned “the necessity of careful attitude to traditions, especially church traditions,” the Metropolitan said.

“The first lesson we learned was the church split by Old Believers. Our second lesson was the notorious innovations of the 1920s. Both processes caused agitation and divided people but neither of them reached the goals set by the reformers,” he told.

Church reforms cannot attain their goals unless these goals are rooted in people’s life,” Metropolitan Kirill remarked.

“Our Church is strong with its ability to preserve the belief and the flawless moral paradigm and to pass them over from one generation to another,” the Metropolitan said.

“The Church is conservative by nature, as it maintains the apostolic belief,” he added.

“If we want to pass the belief from one generation to another for centuries, the belief must be intact. Any reform damaging the belief, traditions and values is called heresy,” he said.

Meanwhile, secular reforms that undermine traditions of “theological and moral values” are dangerous for the country, Metropolitan Kirill said.

“Life has shown that Russia accepts ideas that do not break its backbone. People rejected everything suggested in the 1990s as kind of an intellectual project,” he said.

4 thoughts on “A Careful Attitude to Traditions

  1. Unless I’m wrong only Christ is changeless. I worship in the English language, for example. I receive the Holy Eucharist every Sunday because Chrysostom urges us to draw near in faith and love.
    At what point did govenie and once yearly at the Cup of Salvation become a changeless tradition?

  2. Hopefull our bishops will be as “discerning” when it comes to the reforms as well. Reforms for the sake of reforms lead to schisms as Patriarch Kiril has articulated so well.

  3. I don’t know if the question has anything to do with disagreeing with the changes, per se. The way some of the changes are being put in place is another story.

    However, in the end, I leave it all in the hands of the bishops, trust their discernment and am in obedience.

  4. Very good, thanks.

    I had put Serbs and Russians in the same bucket regarding any reforming tendencies. What reforms are the Serbs ‘accepting’ that the Russians are not? What reforms are being done or proposed? Are there any that you agree with?

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