Conciliarity and synodality in theological and canonical perspective – IES organized the second UCAF’s meeting online.

2020-06-01 13:30

IES’ researcher Fr. Dr. Roman Fihas stressed that the terms synodality, sobornist, conciliarity help us to reconcile two, it seems “opposite”, concepts in ecclesiology: the Church as reality both universal, catholic, cosmic and particular, local, specific. These terms are synonyms, but each of them has also its particular background and meaning. Sobornist and synodality could contribute to the discovery of the ecumenical potential of our Churches by pushing us to seek unity that will not allow our communities to become amorphous parts of some huge mechanism.

The academic-theological, church-historical community faces a difficult task. We need to work on what we invest in the concept of sobornopravnist (conciliar-governing) within the Church itself, said Metropolitan of Lviv and Sokal of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Dymytriy Rudyuk. It is necessary to clearly elaborate the main principles of this conciliar-governing, because we are only trying to understand what it is. Starting from the understanding that the Church is not just a human organization, but an institution of God, we must do everything to promote the spirit of sobornopravnist.

President of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies Fr. Dr. Iwan Dacko said that since he became a member of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in 2005, and later a permanent member of its Coordinating Committee, the main topic of these meetings has been the question of synodality, sobornist-conciliarity, the role of the Bishop of Rome, primacy and power (έξουςία) in the Church. The main document prepared by this Commission was the Ravenna Document, published on October 13, 2007, entitled “Ecclesiological and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church: Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority (έξουςία)”. Good will and sincere desire are the main conditions on the way towards unity. In our ecumenical work, in which, as the servant of God Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky taught, our longing for the unity and renewed communion for the entire Ecumenical-Catholic Church must be felt.

The principle of synodality in the ancient Church was based on the fact that in each ecclesiastical province (metropolia) there should be one bishop-head, who could not, however, do anything without the consent of other bishops, who belonged to this province. This is what Bishop Teodor Martyniuk, Auxiliary Bishop of the Ternopil-Zboriv Eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, says, referring to the Apostolic Canons dating back to about 400. Bishop Teodor also explained in detail how the principles of synodality and sobornist-conciliarity are implemented in the UGCC, how clergy with the faithful take an active part in the conciliar life of the Church, to carry out pastoral planning and to solve important church issues according to their competencies.

At the end of the seminar, Taras Dmytryk thanked the members of the UCAF and colleagues from the Institute of Ecumenical Studies for the fruitful cooperation during 2014-2020 in connection with the termination of his work as the Executive Secretary.

The video of the seminar in Ukrainian here.

More photos are here.