Why is the church in no hurry to anathematize those priests who went to the schismatics?

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich), managing director of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, on the essence of the anathema and why the Church is in no hurry to apply this remedy to those who have stumbled.

The Church, like a mother, is longsuffering. She doesn’t cut off the path to salvation for anyone. After all, a person by him/herself is weak and without God’s help he/she cannot do anything good. And everything necessary for salvation is only in the Church, so the Lord God arranged.

Without the Church, they will certainly perish, even if they themselves don’t fully understand it. And here we cannot follow the path of hatred, because hatred is the path of the enemies of the Church, and the path of the Church itself is love.

Nobody knows how the paths of those fighting the Church will develop. They can fall into the abyss, or they can, like the Apostle Paul, be reborn to a new life. Therefore, it is so important not to go after such human and earthly feelings as revenge.

When we demand anathemas and curses, this means that we ourselves are largely subject to passions. Because no true Christian will wish evil even for a sinner. After all, the Church is not a judge. The judge is one God. And everyone will answer before God for their actions.

In this situation, it is very important to give the fallen one another, and perhaps more than one chance. And we know specific cases of remorse. Here patience, prudence and sanity are more important than ever.

But, of course, if a person has gone too far in his/her apostasy, then the Church can only testify that this person is no longer connected with it, and hand over his/her fate into the hands of God. This is the essence of anathema.

Recorded by Natalia Goroshkova



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