Elder Paisios gives us advice about how to deal with the numerous disagreements differing groups express about the Ecumenical Patriarch or other Hierarchs of the Church. Some even talk as if they want to split from the Church and some even have.
Here is a story told about Elder Paisios
A group of monks from Mount Athos, who were somewhat sensitive, were thinking of stopping commemorating the name of Patriarch Demetrios during the service, because they claimed he had publicly expressed a positive attitude towards the Vatican. They went to Father Paisios to express their unbending opinion on the matter, and were bombarding him with various arguments to support their decision to stop commemoration of the Patriarch.
When they asked him for his opinion, he replied:
- What can I say? I am also very disappointed with our prime minister. He has destroyed Greece by passing so many anti-church laws, even though the Greek constitution is written in the name of the Holy Trinity. I cannot bear this situation any more, and for this reason, I decided to leave Greece and Mount Athos and go to Sinai.
The monks replied:
- For God's sake, Father, don't do such a thing. Don't leave because of the prime minister, for any day now he will fall and we will find our peace of mind.
The Elder told them smiling:
- You do the same thing just as you have advised me to do. Be patient because it is not right to be detached from the Church of Christ. We must pray to God to enlighten the officials of our Church to teach rightly the word of truth.See, again, how the Elder so wisely handles correcting others?
Source: Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, p 114