Saint Hilarion on the Reformation

From the Holy New Martyr Archbishop Hilarion (Troitsky), Christianity or the Church?

Latinism gave birth to a legitimate, although very insubordinate, offspring in the form of Protestantism. Protestantism was created from the soil of humanism which was not a religious phenomenon; on the contrary, all its leading ideas are purely earthly, human. It created respect for man in his natural condition. Protestantism, having carried over the basis of humanism into the religious field, was not a protest of genuine ancient Church Christian consciousness against those forms and norms which were created by medieval Papism, as Protestant theologians are often inclined to claim. Far from it; Protestantism was a protest on the very same plane. It did not re-establish ancient Christiainity, it only replaced one distortion of Christianity with another, and the new falsehood was much worse than the first. Protestantism became the last word in Papism, and brought it to its logical conclusion. Truth and salvation are bestowed upon love, i.e., the Church ― such is Church consciousness. Latinism, having fallen away from the Church, changed this consciousness and proclaimed: truth is given to the separate person of the Pope, and the Pope manages the salvation of all. Protestantism only objected: Why is the truth given to the Pope alone? ― and added: truth and salvation are open to each separate individual, independently of the Church. Every individual was thus promoted to the rank of infallible Pope. Protestantism placed a papal tiara on every German professor and, with its countelss number of popes, completely destroyed the concept of the Church, substituting faith with the reason of each separate personality. It substituted salvation in the Church with a dreamy confidence in salvation through Christ in egoistic isolation from the Church. In practice, of course, from the very beginning Protestants departed from the very beginning [sic] and by roundabout ways, by contraband, so to speak, introduced some of the elements of the dogma about the Church, having recognized some authorities, although only in the area of dogma. Being a religious anarchy, pure Protestantism, like all anarchies, turned out to be completely impossible, and by that, testified before us to the indisputable truth that the human soul is Church-prone by nature.

Still, the theoretical side of Protestantism appealed to human self-love and self-will of all varieties, for self-love and self-will received a sort of sanctification and blessing from Protestantism. This fact is revealed today in the endless dividing and factionalism of Protestantism itself. It is Protestantism that openly proclaimed the greatest lie of all: that one can be a Christian while denying the Church. Nevertheless, by tying its members by some obligatory authorities and church laws, Protestantism entangles itself in hopeless contradiction: having itself separated the individual from the Church, it nevertheless places limits on that freedom. From this stems the constant mutiny of Protestants against those few and pitiful remnants of the Church consciousness which are still preserved by the official representatives of their denominations.

One would be hard put to say that much better. To paraphrase another well-known document, the Orthodox Church holds these truths to be self-evident!

5 Replies to “Saint Hilarion on the Reformation”

  1. A more cogent argument would be that, Byzantinism gave birth to a legitimate, rapacious and heretical offspring in the form of Islam. Denial of the Filioque, “extreme hesychasm”, Denial of the Supremacy of the Roman Pontiff. Islam is the result, as Vladimir Solovyev put much more cogently.
    In any of its forms either by the ubiquitous in the case of monothelitism, or in a subtle form of denial of the Filioque, where ever either of these things is true of Christians, there Islam will close by Flourishing.

    1. Now that is what we call an “interesting” comment, you liar (“don’t have” an email addresss?) and coward (because anonymous!). It is most certainly not “cogent.” Idiot ideas don’t deserve much of a response, so this is all you get while I decide whether to even let your comment remain.

      None of your “interesting” comment changes the fact that the Filioque is an addition to the Creed, produced and generated in the poverty of true philosophy in the western marches of the Church’s lands, unchecked by proper ecclesiastical supervision, and eventually leading to the perpetually schismatic religious movements in the lands that formerly were part of the Western Church, enforced by sword and flame. Screw that.

      If you suppose you’re going to invent what you consider a witty retort, work a little more on it. The one above is historically confused (the Filioque didn’t even exist during the Monothelite controversy, nor even when Islam was born), calling on worthless authorities (Vladimir Solovyev?! Is that a joke?) and grammatically incoherent (“either by the ubiquitous in the case of monothelitism, or in a subtle form of denial of the Filioque”). I recommend to you the “subtle” Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit by St Photios the Great. There is nothing subtle about the entirely valid reasons for the rejection of the Filioque, which is a rejection of the language and the concept of the dual procession of the Holy Spirit, despite what modern apologists ignorantly suppose. Don’t be thick; go read it for yourself.

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