Orthodoxy trivialized in WCC public relations stunt

World Council of Churches

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 article.

From the WCC website:

“Where I live, in the United States, before we had radio when somebody’s house caught on fire we rang the church bells so that everybody would know and come out to do something about it. Well, something’s on fire now”, adds McKibben, whose book The End of Nature was one of the first to explain global warming to a mainstream audience when it came out in 1989.

The only thing on fire is McKibben’s over-heated imagination. The jury is out on global warming (also see the Petition Project). Orthodox leaders ought to be more circumspect about what is increasingly becoming the promiscuous use of Orthodox moral authority.


  1. Also see:

    Revisionism from the Religious Left

    by Mark D. Tooley

    Leftist church elites are fondly remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall as though they could claim some credit for its fall. Conveniently, they forget their own complicity with the former tyrants of East Europe and the Soviet Union.

    “Christian hope and perseverance contributed significantly to the fall of the Berlin Wall”, World Council of Churches (WCC) chief Samuel Kobia recently declared. True enough. Millions of Christians and other people of faith, despite persecution and martyrdom, endured for decades under communist rule. But their perseverance owed little to groups like the WCC and other leftist Western church groups, who cheerfully demanded appeasement of the old Soviet Bloc as the price for peaceful coexistence. These church leftists prioritized world “peace” over solidarity with oppressed fellow religionists behind the Iron Curtain, whose suffering was too inconvenient for ecumenical public attention.

    Leftist church groups in the West during the Cold War’s final decades dealt almost exclusively with government controlled, or coerced, church groups in the East Bloc, pretending they were exclusively legitimate voices for Christians under communism. That these East Bloc church bodies had little to no freedom to disagree with communist platitudes did not bother “peace”-minded Western prelates, who cherished the photo ops, superficial good will, and faux ecumenical solidarity of East-West church relations. Besides, stopping nuclear war, U.S. imperialism, and the Reagan Administration were all goals that leftist churchmen in the West could readily share with puppet or intimidated churchmen in the East.

    [ … ]

    Revealingly, former WCC chief Konrad Raiser, in his own recent commentary about the Berlin Wall anniversary, carefully noted that groups like the WCC were discredited by their Soviet Bloc ties. “Ecumenical organizations came under scrutiny as well in view of their relationships with representatives of the former system and their lack of effective support for the struggles of dissident movements,” he admitted. “In some cases, ‘ecumenism’ even became a term to be avoided,” observing that the Orthodox churches in Georgia and Bulgaria withdrew from the WCC.

    After the East Bloc fell, Romanian pastor Laszlo Tokes, who helped spark the anti-Ceausescu revolt, complained that groups like the WCC refused to “present the true conditions of churches Romania and [offered] a pretension that in our country everything is fine, the churches perform their mission in peace and freedom.” Meanwhile, he said, Romanian churches elites under Ceausescu’s boot obligingly misled the ecumenical movement and “under the label of ecumenism successfully represented the direct interests of an inhuman, ungodly and oppressive regime – all at the expense of their own believers.”

    At least Romanian Orthodox Church leaders, after Ceausescu’s fall, issued public “regret that under the dictatorship some of us may not always have shown the courage of the martyrs, and have not publicly acknowledged the suffering of the Romanian people,” instead “praying the obligatory tribute of artificial praise to the dictator.” The WCC offered less sorrow, only admitting its “mistaken judgment in failing to speak adequately” about Romania. More defiantly, the WCC’s then chief Emilio Castro, a long-time virtual fellow traveler, unapologetically opined: “What do we need to repent of if we were trying to help the Romanian people?”

    More …


  2. I must be missing something, how is it that Orthodoxy is being trivialized by this event in any particular way? It isn’t like bells are solely an Orthodox liturgical instrument, and the invitation not only mentions bells, but also “drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action”. Nothing is said about Orthodoxy except that the Orthodox churches are members of the WCC. There is a stock photo of church bells in Moscow, but there is also a stock photo of church bells at the Vatican – and the Catholic Church is not even a member of the WCC.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      The point is that the ringing of the bells is a publicity stunt. The WCC, like the NCC, is an organization constantly in search of the rationale for its own existence. It’s a trivial effort ostensibly lending moral credence to a political program that cites weak science as its justification. It simply is not serious, no matter how furrowed the brows or how grave the voices of the WCC delegates who promote it, and has no purpose other than to make the WCC appear relevant in the ever-changing cause-du-jour.

      And, like the NCC, Orthodox participation lends a moral gravitas to the entire enterprise — even if the Orthodox offer nothing more than the implied endorsement of their name. In the end however, it trivializes the moral authority of Orthodox Christianity because it was loaned to people who confuse moral posturing with moral substance.

  3. The chimes are meant to start (on December 13) at 3.00 pm local time in each location.

    Mark your calendar! And then drive around your neighborhood and listen.

  4. “The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches…”

    Are we Orthodox not Christians?

  5. Check out this stunning article by Rex Murphy. I cannot help but think of the Green Patriarch and GOA Progressives when I read this……

    Crucifix Out, Warming In
    November 6, 2009
    The Globe and Mail

    • I would like to point out the Church of Greece slammed this ruling. They deserve praise for this.

      Not a peep from the European Union Folks at the Phanar.

      • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

        Andrew, do you mean the ruling about crucifixes? Can you give us a link?

      • The Church of Greece has been at the forefront against the secular
        European demands for at least the past decade. The late
        Archbishop Christodoulos hosted large rallies for the faithful in
        Athens and Thessaloniki in 2000 to protest prospective European
        demands for the removal of religion from public life.

        The Church of Greece has also responded to the European Parliaments
        calls for each member state to recognize same sex marriage by
        stating that it will oppose any such actions should the Greek
        government follow the European lead.

        The Church of Greece is more traditionalist than the GOA, and stands
        in real contrast. This has been my experience when visiting Greece.

        If the Church of Greece had influence on the Phanar, rather than
        the GOA things might be different.


        • Is the same Court (European Court of Human Rights) that rendered this verdict the same court the EP is appealing to to open Halki?

          This is nuts! Maybe Halki will open as but per the Court no crosses and icons will be allowed.

          This is not going to end well

          • Paradoxically, this is the same court.

            In fairness though, the EU court does rule on legitimate
            human rights issues involving torture, discrimination..

            Unfortunately, it also makes decisions that are ideologically
            motivated as on the decision to remove crucifixes.

            As for Halki, its chances of opening are virtually non
            existant otherwise this proposal to make Bishops in
            America and Greece Turkish citizens would not have been


        • Volume 12, Number 48, November 12, 2009

          Lithuania Fights Back Against EU Resolution Favoring Homosexual Propaganda

          By Austin Ruse

          (WASHINGTON, DC – C-FAM) The fight over homosexual propaganda in schools taking place between the Lithuanian and European Parliaments escalated this week with the Lithuanian Parliament (Siemas) calling on its government to file suit against the Europeans in the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU).

          The argument began with passage of a Lithuanian “Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information” which prohibits promotion of “homosexual, bisexual, polygamous relations” among children under the age of 18. While the Lithuanian president subsequently vetoed the measure, the Siemas overturned his veto and the law is slated to go in effect next March.

          As a consequence, in September the European Parliament (EP) voted 349-218 to condemn the new law and ask the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights to review it. The Parliament also considered what is called an “article 7” action against Lithuania, which could have resulted in Lithuania’s suspension from the European Union. Jean Lambert, a British MEP said at the time, “This law contravenes the EU Treaties, the EU Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights, and should be urgently repealed on those grounds.”

          Besides the education of children and parental rights, the issue of national sovereignty is central to the debate. The Lithuanians insist they are free to enact such laws and that the European Institutions have no “competence” in them. Many Europeans have long feared what they see as inevitable EU interference in life and family matters.

          More …


  6. National Council of Churches takes on nukes, guns and compassion at Minneapolis assembly

    By Paul Schmelzer 11/11/09 5:04 PM

    During their joint General Assembly in Minneapolis this week, the National Council of Churches and Church World Service have a busy agenda: install a new president (a Minnesotan), vote on whether to make the body’s stance on nuclear disarmament an official resolution, and discuss issues like immigration reform and gun violence. The three-day gathering will close on Thursday with a special prayer, “The Charter for Compassion,” a document, to be read worldwide tomorrow for the first time, created by scholars from the three Abrahamic religions at the urging of religious historian and former Catholic nun Karen Armstrong.

    [ … ]

    As the assembly’s closing prayer on Thursday, attendees will read the Compassion Charter. Here’s how the charter came to be. Last year, Armstrong — author of popular books like “A History of God” and “The Battle for God” — was awarded the prestigious 2008 TED Prize. Winners — like Bill Clinton, Bono and biologist E.O. Wilson, among others — are given $100,000 with which to fulfill a wish. Armstrong’s wish: to create, launch and propagate a document that would promote compassion, a central tenet of major world religions — a.k.a The Golden Rule. She enlisted 18 “inspirational thinkers” from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions to help draft the document, which has been signed by leaders including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

    “Compassion was the major test of any true spirituality and the chief means by which human beings come into contact with God or Nirvana or Brahman. And yet you rarely hear people talking about compassion,” she said. “The idea is to change the conversation so people feel empowered to demand compassionate speaking from their priests, monks and rabbis,” she says.

    More …


    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      Karen Armstrong thinks applying any intellectual rigor to religious teaching is tantamount to “fundamentalism” and prefers instead a quasi-gnostic soft tolerance. It’s a perfect fit with the Minnesota Council of Churches which the Minnesota Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association was once a member (I was the representative). The issue then (twenty years ago) was a resolution supporting “gay rights,” that included all the requisite self-congratulatory rhetoric (“prophetic witness” and such). We threatened to leave if passed, the measure failed, we quit the next year anyway.

      Looks like the MCC has not changed in the last two decades except that it has found some deep pockets to fund the TED prize. Looks like the NCC will keep up its valiant fight for Christian cultural devolution too with the appointment of Rev. Peg Chemberlin as president. She led the MCC when I was there.

  7. Fr. Hans is absolutely right, this is indeed a “promiscuous use of Orthodox moral authority.” Ringing church bells for molecules of CO2 in our atmosphere reeks of neo-paganism and nature worship. Shame, shame, shame!

    How about ringing Church bells:

    – 53 times => for the 53 million Aborted (Murdered) children in the US since 1973 (Roe v. Wade)

    – 140 times => for the 140 million innocent men, women, and children Murdered by the communists

    – 55 times => for the 55 million Orthodox Christians Murdered by the communists since 1917

    Communist Body Count

  8. Geo Michalopulos :

    You know, if I were a comedy writer for the old National Lampoon I couldn’t make this stuff up. The Phanar/GOA: the gift that keeps on giving.

  9. Who wants to join me in starting a new religious movement — plant and tree lovers who oppose decreases in C02 thus placing all flora of creation in the near extinct category? Floracide must stop. ENT lovers of creation RISE UP! I bet I’d get a bigger flock in a day than the Phanar has.

  10. The question that needs to be asked is, why are the Orthodox still in
    the World Council of Churches, and the National Council of Churches?

    Each Autocphalous Church in the World Council and each jurisdiction in
    the National Council of Churches of USA could withdraw at any time.

    To my knowledge, the Monastics especially of Mount Athos are the ones
    who have been warning all the Patriarchates and Bishops for years about
    these agendas, as well as the Old Calendarist-traditionalist Orthodox
    and ROCOR who have scathing criticisms of the World Council of Churches.


    • Why are the Orthodox in the WCC? Because Churches are loading with sincecure staff who are overpaid and do nothing but attend useless meetings.

      • In one word they are “lukewarm.”

      • But why are the Russian, Greek, Rumanian, and Serbian Churches there
        in addition to Constantnople, Antioch etc…

        Most of their flocks most certainly do not agree with the WCC.

        In my view, leadership belongs to the first Orthodox Church that
        actually denounces the WCC. This might even be the Churches of
        Georgia and Bulgaria who I believe have effectively withdrawn
        their participation.


        • Theodoros: The EP is in any organization that will call it ecumenical. The Russians, Serbs, Romanians, Bulgarians, etc. joined at a time that communists were in power in their countries. The WCC promoted a communist/socialist agenda over the years supporting for example the Marxists of Angola/Mozambique, anti US involvement in Vietnam, etc. The “orthodox” involvement in the WCC was immense in this regard. Now that all that is behind us with the fall of communism (at least in the pre-Obama universe) inertia has set in and episcopal egos like the self importance the WCC bestows upon them and therefore they continue in the WCC. Also do not doubt for a minute that their governments also perceive that their continued participation is in the national interest.

          In short, they transgress canons for the sake of self ego and phyletistic concerns. It is one of the Dark One’s temptations that fogs episcopal minds, quite successfully, I might add. All we can do is speak out. Apparently the Dark One however does not perceive us as an immediate threat.

          • Thanks.

            What I still don’t understand is why conservative Orthodox Churches like Russia, Serbia, Greece, and Rumania stay.

            Communism is gone, so I cannot see why the Russians do not


  11. George Michalopulos :

    I think all self-respecting Orthodox should get out of the NCC/WCC. They are evil organizations and our “witness” there does nothing but give them theological cover. Enough of this nonsense.

  12. George: You are right. But, it won’t happen because their minds have been fogged. Even ROCOR has softened it position by agreeing to the reproachment with the MP. All we can hope for is that the MP (Hilarion) keeps the faith, which I think they/he will. Most bishops do not believe that the flock really cares. Somehow the flock needs to be awakened.

  13. cynthia curran :

    Well, I think that the orthodox churches should follow the example of St Seraphim of Sarov. I don’t believe he would approve of the WCC, and also, I don’t think that he was one in his day that use the state to promote the Orthodox faith either. I think his example of love would help the orthodox churches in Eastern Europe keep their parishes from going either to the protestants or roman catholics. He help me recently by reading about his life after I heard about a young man that was helped by him on ancient faith radio.St Seraphim bridges the gaps between east and west much better than the WCC churches does.

  14. A good thought Cynthia. However, the problem is really one involving the very soul of Orthodoxy. If we are to implement the Great Commission and to witness and missionize to the whole world, then we need to be involved in everything, including the WCC to witness and missionize. However, having done so we need to move on after they have rejected the message, provided we see no further hope in its acceptance. The idea is not to build bridges between east and west that go nowhere. The problem is that Orthodoxy is still blinded by nationalism Tphyletism) which is the penultimate form of idolatry, that is self adoration. The fact of the matter is that the national churches, at least where the Orthodox are and have historically been the nominal majority, still identify themselves with the nation (confused in most people’s mind with the state). So long as they and the state perceives it to be in the state’s interest for participation to occur, it will occur.

    One of the forceful opponents of WCC participation was St. Justin of Celije. The Serbian Church became heavily involved in the WCC because Tito wanted economic help from the West. Participation was seen as one route to gaining sympathy for Jugoslavia from the west. Although Justin’s present bishop-diciples oppose the WCC, the majority continue to participate because admission of Serbia to the EU is vital to the state, it is deemed important for the Church to participate in other western stuctures to show their “westerness”. That is a political reality. Our hierarchy too often choses the heresy/idolatory over Orthodoxy.

    Let’ all make a pledge. The next time some says “I am a Greek/Serbian/Romanian/etc. Bishop”, let’s respond by saying “You mean you are a heretic. If you are not, then next time say I am Orthodox Bishop by the Grace of God from (Country). Maybe that will let them know how we feel

  15. George Michalopulos :

    Wow, Nick, I like the logic of this. Think it’ll catch on?

  16. Breaking News: Global Warming exposed as scam. Computers at East Anglia University, one of the foremost “research” centers of Global Warming, have been hacked and it’s contend made public.

    It is reported here on Michelle Malkin: http://michellemalkin.com/2009/11/20/the-global-warming-scandal-of-the-century/

    Where does this leave the EPs engagement with this cause?

    • George Michalopulos :

      Joseph, this has the potential to be huge. Like the UN “oil for food” thing a couple of years ago. I wonder what the Acorns of Hippolytus will say then. I hope they didn’t pony up too much money for the recent “apostolic visit.”

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