WESTERN EUROPEAN DIOCESE: 17 September 2021
Bishop Irenei Participates in a Moscow Conference on Primacy and Conciliarity Light of Orthodox Teaching
With the blessing of His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe took part in a plenary conference of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission, dedicated to “World Orthodoxy: Primacy and Conciliarity in Light of Orthodox Teaching.”
The conference opened on Thursday, 16 September, 2021, with a report by the Patriarch himself, speaking on the importance of properly considering the unusual and non-canonical activities having taken place over recent years, chiefly under the aegis of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine, but also reaching elsewhere. His Holiness emphasized the need to study not only the actions that have been taken, but also the theological and ecclesiological reasons that underpin them, in order that the Church has a whole can make a fuller response to such problems wherever they are encountered.
Following the Patriarch’s opening speech, reports were offered throughout the day by the invited speakers. Speaking in the morning’s second session via Zoom, Bishop Irenei, who is himself a member of the Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate, offered his report entitled “The Problem of Primacy and Conciliarity in Light of the Current Situation with the Patriarchate of Constantinople: A Theological Assessment,” in which he examined how a deficient theology of the Trinity undergirds the kinds of problematic understandings of “primacy” and the “universal authority” of any given bishop — especially when a bishop sees fit to exercise his role above and beyond the Holy Canons of the Church, as has been witnessed repeatedly in the incursions in Ukraine and elsewhere.
The conference continues through Friday.