To overcome the division of Europe, the West should give up its monopoly on creating political structures, Arch Priest Vsevolod Chaplin, the deputy head of foreign church relations department of the Moscow Patriarchy, said in RIA Novosti interview on the 950th anniversary of the Great Schism.
"The division of Europe," he said, "which took place nearly 1,000 years ago, can be overcome when the Christian, and now perhaps post-Christian, West relinquishes its monopoly on creating political structures and becomes what it is really is - only one of the civilizations, no more and nor less."
According to him, "the reunification of Europe and the world on a spiritual level will only be possible when the Catholic Church returns to an apostolic understanding of the church structure in which Christ is the head of the church.
"This means that there can be no single spiritual and administrative center. Any one except for God claiming infallibility and attempting to play a central role is ridiculous and has always been disgraced in history."
He said that he was convinced that the division of the churches was the first division of Europe.
"Indeed, it was a result of many church, political, theological and public events, but the event itself," he said," when the West tried to cut the Christian east out of Europe deprived the West of the fullness of life and the fullness of church contacts."
According to him, having separated itself from the Christian east, the West "has doomed itself to historical subjectivism and to loneliness, the fate of all those who ignore genuine collegiality, that is, to correlate their own opinions with the opinions of others.
"This event led to a situation when the West assumed the role of teacher of the world, a role that it tried to play until the beginning of the 21st century and that it is rapidly losing today."
(On July 16, 1054, during a service in the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople, Cardinal Humbert and other legates (ambassadors) of Pope Leo IX placed a bulla on the altar in which the Patriarch and his associates were anathematized. Patriarch Cerularius replied to the authors of the bulla also with an anathema. That was the beginning of the Great Schism. Despite the fact that in 1967 the sides removed their anathemas, the consequences of the schism are still felt.)
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