Mark Adams recently forwarded an interesting news story about a joint ecumenical gathering of Catholic and Orthodox representatives at Ravenna, Italy. The article "Russian Orthodox bishop says Catholic-Orthodox text not comprehensive" is by Jonathan Luxmoore and it can be read over at the Texas Catholic.
Here is what happened. The Russian Orthodox delegates walked out of the meeting because representatives from the Estonian Orthodox Church were also present at the assembly. The problem is that the Patriarch of Constantinople recognizes the Estonian Orthodox Church as a valid and autonomous church. However, the Russian Orthodox Church claims and believes that the Estonian Orthodox Church is not autonomous and actually falls under Russian Orthodox jurisdiction. So in typically Russian Orthodox fashion, they take their ball and go home.
Not only are the Russian Orthodox upset about the Estonian Orthodox they are now saying that conclusions made at Ravenna are not genuinely "Orthodox" because they, the Russians, were not present.
Why is it that the Russian Orthodox are always complaining about Rome, Protestants, and other Orthodox jurisdictions. They are the biggest whiners in the ecclesiastical world. They take themselves much too seriously. The Russian Orthodox need to lighten up or hire a public relations specialist who can help them temper the public impression that they are merely a bearded gang of insecure and paranoid curmudgeons.
On a completely different topic, this in-house Orthodox debate over the ecclesiastical status of the Estonian Orthodox Church reveals the soft underbelly of Orthodox ecclesiology. Constantinople says the Estonian Orthodox Church is legitimate. Moscow says the Estonian Orthodox Church is not legitimate. Who is correct? If there is no singular bishop possessing universal jurisdiction "to bind on earth," then confusion ensues.