On Correcting Defects Within the Church

St. Philaret of Moscow 1821-1867

It is easier to uncover and expose defects than to correct them. The misfortune of our time is that the number of errors and imprudences accumulated over more than a century are all but beyond our power and means of correction. Therefore, one must not oppose all defects at once, but take first those which are the most harmful. Likewise, one ought not to suggest all possible means of correction all at once, but rather, first put forward those which are both the most needful and most practical. (St. Innocent, Apostle to America p. 250)


  1. Question: do you know if this statement is aimed at the church itself, or at the society which the church is part of? It seemed to me to be the second,

    but if it is the first I am impressed, inspired. As one who is new to Eastern Christianity, I am pleasantly surprised to hear that there are defects because I found such beauty and harmony there that I began to wonder, am I naive, or just being fooled by my own need to escape a background of uncertainty and self-centered, pointless living.

  2. Albert,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. The ultimate context of this quote deals with seminaries and vicar bishops in the Synodal Period of the Russian Church. This is a period in which the Patriarchate was abolished and Church of Russia was subjected to being an arm of the state. This statement was made about the Church itself, there are many defects within the Church, canonical, administrative and otherwise. Nevertheless, Christ is in our midst.

    in ICXC,

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