I believe… in one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
— Symbol of Nicæa
October was not a month of especial cooperation in the global Eastern Orthodox communion. Protesting the appointment in March of an archbishop for Qatar by the Church of Jerusalem, the Church of Antioch withdrew its participation from “all the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops abroad.” The Antiochian Patriarchate claims sole authority over the small Gulf state though at present it has no parishes of its own there. The assemblies affected by this decision include the canonical episcopal council in North America, which counts several Antiochian bishops among its officers.
Meanwhile, following a visit to Indonesia by Serbia’s Patriarch Irinej, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore expressed dismay that “the Church of Serbia never informed the local canonical Orthodox Metropolitan.” This comes after a series of incidents over the summer in which its sister see in Hong Kong unilaterally excommunicated clergy of another legitimate Orthodox jurisdiction serving in the Philippines…
— Eastern Orthodox Unity, Nov 5, 2013, Orthodox Christian Laity
The above article unfortunately documents the hierarchical disunity historically symptomatic of (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity, which gives us a shudder and sometimes makes it seem that perhaps the Roman pope and the Western Church might be right after all. We do seem to be an unruly bunch, at least at the moment. You can read the entire article from which the excerpts were taken at the link. This may be how Orthodoxy functions today, but this cannot continue for long. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand,’ but I believe this era in the Orthodox Church is about to close. Yes, I believe in one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church…
I am firmly convinced that the only Christian church that will survive to the end of the present century will be the Orthodox Church. But it will not be the Orthodox Church we have known for the past thousand years. It will be the Church whose faith is the Catholic faith of Irenæus of Lyons and Vincent of Lérins. The Information Age will have done its work as a purifying filter, enabling mankind at last to drink from the pure source of true revelation, and renewing the courage of Christians everywhere to follow Christ and His holy apostles. The prophetic outpouring predicted by the holy prophet Joel will supersede the endless controversies that have frayed the seamless garment covering the Body of Christ, and prove itself to be the true anointing by fulfilling the high priestly prayer of Christ, ‘that they all shall be One, even as You and I are One.’
I am not saying that the sects will disappear altogether, far from it. There will always be those who prefer their own opinions to the Truth, which does not inhere in opinions, but in love. But these will grow smaller in extent as the Church is enlarged, and both of these movements in history will be recognized as the acts of God, not of men. And even greater things shall come to pass as on the winnowing floor of this century the wheat is separated from the chaff.
Even Israel, yes, even the Jews, will not remain unmoved or unchanged but, beholding the supernatural honesty and love of wisdom, and the worship in spirit and truth manifest among the followers of Jesus, shall remove the veil covering the eyes of their hearts and finally recognize their Messiah. Again not all, but those who hold back shall be as those sects that call themselves Christians but are so in name only. This will be the earthly realization of the ‘great divide,’ the unbridgeable gulf that is fixed between the rich man alone and in torment, and the poor man Lazarus being refreshed in Abraham’s bosom.