April 18, 2014

Greek clergy circulate document on ‘pan-heresy of ecumenism’

(Ecumenical News International) -- A group of Orthodox clergy in Greece, led by three senior archbishops, have published a manifesto pledging to resist all ecumenical ties with Roman Catholics and Protestants. "The only way our communion with heretics can be restored is if they renounce their fallacy and repent," the group said in a "Confession of Faith against Ecumenism" that they circulated recently. "The Orthodox church is not merely the true church; she is the only church. She alone has remained faithful to the Gospel, the synods and the fathers, and consequently she alone represents the true catholic church of Christ," says the document. The signatories say they wish to preserve "irremovably and without alteration" the Orthodox faith that the Early Church had "demarcated and entrenched," and to shun communication "with those who innovate on matters of the faith". The list of clerics backing the manifesto is said to include six metropolitans (Panteleimon of Antinoes, … [Read more...]

Orthodox Hierarchs Gather for Unity Conference

Hasapiko? No, ecumenical dancing at CEC

No, not that kind. The Conference of European Churches, an ecumenical organization, is preparing for an assembly in Lyon, France, July 15-21. The theme for the gathering is "Called to One Hope in Christ," and attending, the CEC says, are Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop Anastasios of the Orthodox Church of Albania (also delivering the opening sermon), and Patriarch Daniel from the Romanian Orthodox Church. According to the CEC press office, "each Assembly day will have a different focus: – Thursday 16 will be the “Hope” day, with reflections on the Assembly theme; – Friday 17 July will be the “Vision” day, looking forward to the future of the ecumenical movement in Europe," etc. The Russian Orthodox Church suspended its membership in the CEC late last year over a dispute involving the status of the Estonian Orthodox Church. I can't find any indication that they're back in. Given the statements of warming relations between Moscow and Constantinople recently, we … [Read more...]

The Greek Ecclesiastical Settlement

A really interesting passage from "The legacy of the French Revolution: Orthodoxy and nationalism," an essay by Paschalis Kitromilides, which explains, among other things, the historical process by which the Church of Greece was granted autocephaly. While the Enlightenment confronted the church with a secular universalist ideology, which, questions of doctrine aside, could in some instances complement and even sustain its own ecumenical values, nationalism gave rise to a conflict, where the issues not only were on the level of secular versus transcendental values but also set the ecumenicity of Christian ideals against the parochialism of nationalism. The history of this conflict turned out to be identical with the history of the Orthodox Church in the nineteenth century. Ultimately, writes Kitromilides, "the ecumenical patriarchate, once its own formal requirements were satisfied, supplied the canonical sanction for turning regional churches into instruments of secular … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah speaks to Anglican assembly

From Anglican TV. Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America addresses The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Assembly at St. Vincent's Cathedral in Bedford, Texas, which was held June 21-25. The ACNA claims 100,000 Anglicans in 700 parishes with some 28 or more dioceses. It is bigger than the Anglican provinces of Wales and Scotland, according to VirtueOnline. (HT: Byzantine, TX) … [Read more...]

Benedict to Bartholomew: Called to ‘One Hope’

The Zenit news agency published the translation of Pope Benedict XVI's address to the delegation the Ecumenical Patriarchate sent to the Vatican for the celebration of "the solemnity" of Sts. Peter and Paul and the conclusion of the Pauline Year. The patriarchate's delegation was led by Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, director of the Office of the Orthodox Church Before the European Union. The other members include Bishop Anthenagoras of Sinope, auxiliary bishop of the Patriarchate of Belgium, and Deacon Ioakim Billis of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Pope Benedict: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Epehesians 1:2). Venerable Brothers, It is with these words that St. Paul, "apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God," addresses "the saints" who live in Ephesus, "believers in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:1). Today, with this proclamation of peace and salvation, I bid you welcome for the patronal feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, … [Read more...]

ACNA’09: Metropolitan Jonah calls Anglicans to return to Apostolic Faith

Metropolitan Jonah

By Michael Heidt | Special to Virtueonline | www.virtueonline.org | 6/24/2009 Ed. Note: Finally, a hierach not afraid of speaking moral truth. Highlights: "Homosexualism not only "destroys authentic masculinity, it destroys authentic womanhood." "Gay ideology is neither from nurture or nature... we cannot accept their lifestyle or validate their unions." "We must eliminate any shred of immorality in our lives," not least because sin "kills and maims the soul... and "demoralizes our culture." "A culture demoralized by immorality "cannot stand up to the strict asceticism of Islam." "Faith... is the knowledge of the heart (that) I have died and my life is hidden in the heart of God... it is only Jesus that matters." Speaking on Wednesday morning to the ACNA Assembly, His Beatitude, Jonah, Metropolitan of All America and Canada and leader of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), called for a "full... intercommunion" with the Anglican Church in North America. "What will it … [Read more...]

Orthodox Church Leader Rekindles Relationship with Anglicans

Ed. Press release taken from the ACNA Anglican website. I heard from two people that the speech was excellent and will repost it here in video or text if it becomes available. I am not sure if the ACNA represents the orthodox/traditionalist wing of the Anglican Church. The leader of the Orthodox Church in North America has re-kindled the oldest ecumenical relationship in Christian history. Addressing delegates and attendees of the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, said, “I am seeking an ecumenical restoration by being here today. This is God’s call to us.” This significant gesture represents the possibility of full communion being exchanged between the churches. Metropolitan Jonah represents the North American branch of the Orthodox Church, a Christian denomination that has a long history of strong relationships with the Anglican Church. “We have to actualize that radical experience of union in Christ with one … [Read more...]

To Frank Schaeffer: ‘I’m sorry’ doesn’t cut it

(HT: Orthodoxy Today) The State of Kansas vs Frank Schaeffer in the Murder of Dr. George Tiller By George C. Michalopulos Recently, the notorious abortionist Dr George Tiller was gunned down in his church in Wichita, Kansas. The killer was a man who appears to be a dysfunctional loner with grave psychological problems. Nobody in the pro-life movement has stepped forward to applaud him or his actions; routine condemnation has been the order of the day. One man however, has bravely stepped forward to take responsibility for this act. Frank Schaeffer, a self-described former member of the “Republican Party hate machine,” a group that included his father Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, and Ronald Reagan among many others, recently offered a mea-culpa in the left-wing journal The Huffington Post. Schaeffer believes that his life’s work as a young man in the Evangelical movement directly led to this incident because he helped create a "climate of fear" with his documentary … [Read more...]

Ecumenicism in the trenches…

Two National Rabbinic Groups Issue Religious Ban on Voting for Pro-Homosexual Agenda Politicians; Call on Pope and other Denominations to Follow Suit BROOKLYN, NY, May 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- In light of recent developments in the ongoing push to legislate a Federal Hate Crimes Bill in Congress and same gender marriage legislation in New York and other states, Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the 65 year old Orthodox Jewish national Rabbinic organization Rabbinical Alliance of America, surrounded by Rabbis, issued a religious ban on voting for any politician or office holder who supports any aspect of the homosexual political agenda. Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8VkYFAGR9I to see the actual video of the statement. Rabbi Levin also called upon other Orthodox Jewish religious and civic organizations such as Agudath Israel of America, the OU, the Rabbinical Council of America, Chabad and the Chasidic groups to follow suit. … [Read more...]

Renewing Christian Roots

From the Catholic news service Zenit, which strained a bit for a news angle with this headline: Orthodox Priest Says Faith Is Not Dead in Russia PAMPLONA, Spain, MAY 28, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Moscow Patriarchate's secretary for ecumenical relations is affirming that relations between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church in Russia are progressing, and that it is an important step for evangelizing the world. In an address at the University of Navarra in Spain, Father Igor Vyzhanov stated that the two Churches "seem to understand each other better now than before." His conference titled "Relations Between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church: The Current Situation" noted signs of the Churches' collaboration. The priest affirmed a shared responsibility of Orthodox and Catholics to "renew the Christian roots of Europe" and to preach the message of Christ to the world. He explained the challenges of the Orthodox Church in the task of evangelization, … [Read more...]

A Common Date for Pascha?

The Associated Press has a story out of the World Council of Churches about deliberations toward a common date for Pascha/Easter. The story was based, in part, on this release from the WCC. From the AP: Under the plan the unified Easter usually falls as it would under the Gregorian calendar used by Catholics and Protestants, said Dagmar Heller, an ecumenical professor in Switzerland heading the council's faith and order commission. In the next 15 years, the only time Western churches would have to change Easter is in 2019 from April 21 to March 24. The bigger adjustment would be for the Orthodox Church, which has experienced several schisms in its history over the question of dates. "There are of course some fundamentalist Orthodox who say 'The Julian calendar is our tradition and it was used in Jesus' lifetime so we cannot change,'" Heller said, adding that some Eastern theologians might fear more breaks in their church as a result of a date change. "And, of course, … [Read more...]

‘On a Summoning of the Great Council’

In response to the "First Pre-Conciliar Conference" held in Chambesy, Switzerland (near Geneva) in November 1976, Archimandrite Dr. Justin Popovic composed "On A Summoning of the Great Council of the Orthodox Church." In this, Fr. Popovic (1894-1979), spiritual father of the monastery of Celie Valjevo (Serbia), expressed his "grievous considerations for the future council." The Orthodox Christian Information Center has the complete text here. This letter is "dated" in that, written more than 30 years ago, it could not foresee the fall of communism and the revival of the Russian Church, nor anticipate the expansion of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to include members from outside of Turkey. And it is always risky to draw close analogies from one historical moment to the present. But some of the language in the letter reads as if it could have been written yesterday. Here are some selections in which Fr. Popvich gives some thoughts on the "diaspora" and the … [Read more...]