EMILIANOS TIMIADIS [Metropolitan of Silyvria]|
Saint Photios on Transcendence of Culture
George Papademetriou (ed.), Photian Studies, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline, Mass., c1989
The introduction of pluralism in the life of the Church is attributed to Photios. Human beings cannot everywhere live the oneness of faith in the same way. Faith is shaped according to local customs and language, and due respect is demanded. Against any uniform stereotyped pattern in worship and religious life, he supported liberty in expression and formulation of the faith, without altering unity: "The different expression, alternative (ετερότnς) does not hinder the unity (ενοειδή) of the Spirit's grace." Thus, all newly established autonomous churches were free to develop their οwn structure in unity.
Between such differing views, which admittedly since the days of Photios have considerably changed, thanks to the Aggiornamento of Vatican ΙΙ, we should recall the voice given by our forefathers in the Faith at the Synod of Union (879-880):
The holy Synod said: "Every church has certain old usages which it has inherited. One should not quarrel and argue about them. Let the Roman Church observe its usages; this is legitimate. But let also the Church of Constantinople observe certain usages which it has inherited from old times. Let it be likewise so in the Orientl sees . . . Many things would not have happened if the churches had followed this recommendation in the past."(23)
23. - Fourth session, Mansi, Council, 17, 489