Panagiotis Vasiliadis [Παναγιώτης Βασιλειάδης]

Друга Фотијева патријаршија

pages: 3-84

Abstract

On the election of Photius as the Patriarch of Constantinople in the 9th century, the breach between the Extremists and the Moderates was caused in the Church of Constantinople, which gave the Popish Church the opportunity to repeat its demands in the Bulgarian and the Illyric issue, trying at the same time to convey its heretical teachings to the Orthodox Bulgaria Patriarch Photius together with the entire Orthodox Eastern Church opposed that attempt. This problem which hindered both the Eastern and the Western Church in the 9th century subsided by Photius victory, against Ignatians (in the Eastern Cgurch) on the one hand and against the demands of the Popish Church on the other. The Bulgarian Church returned to Constantinople and the Popish Primacy was put aside by the constitution of Quintarchy of Patriarchs, which acknowledged the Pope as equal among the Five Patriarchs of the Church.

The Schism between the two Churches which occurred during Pope Nicholas’ time came to an end at the Ecumenical Synod (879-880), when peace returned to the Church. Recently it has been proven that the socalled ’’Second Photian Schism” never existed. Patriarch Photius tryly made peace with Pope John VIII, and at the Synod of 879-880 was officially sanctioned. Photius has never been anathematiyed by the Popes ever since. In addition to, when he was ousted from the throne by Emperor Leo VI for political reasons, Pope Stephen V defended him and did not want to have relations with Photius successor Stephen I, Emperor Basil’s younger brother, until Stephen sent Photius declaration to the Pope that he was leaving the patriarchal throne of his own free will. When Photius passed away, he was in brotherly relations with the Roman Catholic Church.

As far as the Photian Synod of 879-880 is concerned, we believe that it is entitled to be named Ecumenical, because this one as well as the rest of the Ecumenical Synods dealt with faith issues. It is obvious that this Synod solved, first of all, problems of faith in our Church reaching decisions of general ecumenical character for the entire Church, decisions which we acknowledge and extol today.

The figure of the great Patriarch Photius until nowadays has been abused on the part of the Western Church. Such abuse took place mainly in the Middle Ages and was used by the Western Church as a weapon against the Orthodox East. It was then that the theory concerning the ’’Second Photian Schism” was formulated in order for the West to unbind itself from the pacification at the Photian Synod.

Moreover, it was then that "historical" documents were made up, which supposedly would prove Photius quilt. In time learned people discovered new historical sources and facts, which shatter former thoughts concerning the figure of the Holy Patriarch. Gladly these new facts werw found by Roman Catholic experts, who now admit, according to these documents, Photius should be regarded as a great man of the Church, a unique humanist and a true Christian, willing to forgive his enemies and take the flag of peace in his hands. Therefore, we ought to rewhite from the very beginning the story of that Great Greek, apostle of Unity.

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