Regarding public declarations of bishops that express in fact their
personal opinion, I found these comments about the "Sobornost" in the
Orthodox Ecclesiologyby (Dr. Krzysztof Leniewski,
, "The Notion of Sobornost" in Russian Orthodox
"The Church as truth is not given to individuals but to a unity in
love and faith. It reveals itself as a supreme reality in which its
members share the measure of their sobornost'.
The role of the hierarchy is to exercise the power of expressing and
speaking the faith and the experience of the Church, which have been
preserved in the whole Body of Christ. The hierarchy serves as the
mouthpiece of the Church. The hierarchs have the power to teach "with
authority" from Jesus Christ.
Every bishop of the Church has received full power and authority to
speak in the name of his people.
But also the flock receives the right of speaking through the bishop.
A hierarch must speak not from himself but ex consensu ecclesiae, in
the name of the Church. The source of power to teach for the bishop
flows from Christ through the Apostolic Succession."