July 22, 2014

Orthodoxy trivialized in WCC public relations stunt

From Brietbart: The World Council of Churches on Thursday called on churches around the world to ring their bells 350 times during the Copenhagen climate change summit on December 13 as a call to action on global warming. The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches also invited places of worship for other faiths to join a symbolic "chain of chimes and prayers" stretching around the world from the international date line in the South Pacific. "On that Sunday, midway through the UN summit, the WCC invites churches around the world to use their bells, drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change," the council said in a statement. "By sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times, participating churches will symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere according to many scientists," it added. Read the entire … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Unity in God’s Time

From "Unity as Calling, Conversion and Mission," the opening address of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Plenary of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order event, "Called to be One Church" (Crete, Greece, October 7, 2009): We should not be frustrated by our human limitations, which unfortunately determine our disagreements and divisions. Our ongoing and persistent pursuit of unity is a testimony to the fact that what we seek will occur in God’s time and not our own; it is, by the same token, the fruit of heavenly grace and divine kairos. [ ... ] ... genuine humility demands from all of us a sense of openness to the past and the future; in other words, much like the ancient god Janus, we are called to manifest respect for the time-tested ways of the past and regard for the heavenly city that we seek (cf. Heb. 13.14). This “turning” toward the past and the future is surely part and parcel of conversion. [ ... ] ... it is … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to open meeting on Christian unity

World Council of Churches

News (Sept. 28, 2009) from the World Council of Churches: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I will open the meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order, which will take place in Kolympari, Crete, Greece, from 7 to 14 October 2009. At this plenary meeting, the 120 members of the commission, which is seen as Christianity's most representative theological forum, will address the question of Christian unity from new perspectives. Participants at the Crete gathering will not only address issues that have traditionally divided Christian denominations, but also matters that have become divisive in more recent times even within churches, such as questions of moral discernment. This new approach will be rooted in a reflection on how churches relate to their sources of theological authority, and developed through case studies illustrating how churches use these references to make moral decisions. … [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...]

WCC’s ‘Homespun’ Economic Fallacy

The World Council of Churches, which claims to speak for most Orthodox Churches around the globe, has formulated a number of proposals to reform the global financial system because of its inherent "injustice." General Secretary Samuel Kobia sees the need for new transnational financial watchdog organizations that will "qualitatively regulate the growth in massive movements in capital." The problem here is that Kobia fails to understand that a global economy requires an international flow of capital -- along with an international flow of goods and services and, very often, labor (indeed immigrant labor). In cataloging a long list of ills flowing from the current economic crisis, and the "neoliberal economic myth" of efficient markets, Kobia neglects to mention -- or fails to see -- how markets work to create wealth, economic growth and jobs. These are not things created by, as he would have it, "democratizing all global finance and trade institutions" across international boundaries. … [Read more...]

Bp. Hilarion: Russian Orthodox Must Stay in WCC

Moscow, June 30, Interfax - Withdrawal of the Russian Orthodox Church from the World Council of Churches should weaken positions of Moscow Patriarchate in the inter-Orthodox dialogue, the representative of Russian Church in European international organizations believes. "This withdrawal may only weaken our positions today in defending the Church teaching which we consider traditional, which for many centuries was the basis of relations among the Orthodox Churches, and which is now challenged by the Patriarchate of Constantinople," Bishop Hilarion said Monday to Interfax-Religion. He also mentioned that the last Bishops' Council discussed "the claims of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the jurisdiction of the whole diaspora" and the Patriarch of Constantinople's seeking to receive the position "which is somewhat equal to that of Pope in the Catholic Church." "Today, the Russian Orthodox Church is the major opponent of Constantinople, therefore, the Patriarchate of … [Read more...]

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: Liberal Christianity will not survive for a long time

Address at the opening session of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, Geneva, 13 February 2008. Source: Europaica I would like to draw your attention to the danger of liberal Christianity. The liberalization of moral standards, initiated by some Protestant and Anglican communities several decades ago and developing with ever-increasing speed, has now brought us to a situation where we can no longer preach one and the same code of moral conduct. We can no longer speak about Christian morality, because moral standards promoted by 'traditional' and 'liberal' Christians are markedly different, and the abyss between these two wings of contemporary Christianity is rapidly growing. We are being told by some allegedly Christian leaders, who still bear the titles of Reverends and Most Reverends, that marriage between a woman and a man is no longer the only option for creating a Christian family, that there are other patterns, and that the church must be 'inclusive' … [Read more...]