The Russian Church and the Papacy

February 23, 2015

Pope John Paul II intro- duced Soloviev, a spiritual genius and profound religious thinker, to contemporaries in his encyclical Fides et Ratio (“Faith and Reason”) as an illustrious Christian thinker, declaring Soloviev’s work “prophetic.” The editor of this little volume, Father Ray Ryland, admirably captures the central themes of Soloviev’s work, which shook the foun- dations of anti-Catholic Russian Orthodoxy, with three simple propositions: (1) Jesus Christ instituted the universal jurisdiction and infallible teaching authority of the papacy as a perpetual gift to His Church. (2) Apart from the papacy, the Eastern churches will always remain what they are now: ethnic, national churches, totally independent and disunited. (3) Only in union with Rome can the separated Eastern churches become truly Catholic.

Vladimir Soloviev was an intellectual force of the Byzantine Catholic Church, being a convert from Russian Orthodoxy. His true legacy consists of three simple propositions. Jesus Christ instituted the universal jurisdiction and infallible teaching authority of the papacy as a perpetual gift to his Church. Apart from the papacy, the Eastern churches will always remain what they are now: ethnic, national churches, totally independent and disunited. Only in union with Rome can the separated Eastern churches become Catholic.

The Russian Church and the Papacy