Via Fr Anthony Chadwick, I present “ΟΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ ΠΙΣΤΕΩΣ Κατά του Οικουμενισμού” (“A Confession of Faith Against Ecumenism” (original Greek text and unofficial English translation), signed by a number of metropolitans, bishops, clergy and monks of the Orthodox Church of Greece.
I tend to agree with Fr Chadwick’s commentary on the text (link, see July 18) –
I see this whole thing in simple terms. The Christian world has been torn between relevance to the world and its specific identity. Ultimately, the whole thing goes back to the Donation of Constantine and “if the salt loses its savour”.
This is a problem that is intrinsic to Christianity. If a religion is to expand and assume a missionary vision, then it must be prepared to compromise its identity and inculturate. Western Catholicism is a missionary religion and addresses itself to the world. Eastern Orthodoxy, like Judaism, is a vast “monastery” and keeps its identity by keeping the infidel out and at arm’s length. The latter vision is coherent if it considers, like Jansenism and Calvinism, that the majority of humanity is nothing more than “hell fodder”. Islam is both “missionary” and medieval hard-line, and will continue to make inroads until it falls victim of its missionary ambitions and goes – - – secular.
… The Orthodox, like the Roman Catholic traditionalists (especially the sedevacantists) have come to this out of an instinct for survival. We traditional Anglicans also to an extent, because we can only survive by our difference from secular humanism. When you look at the historical pattern, we can begin to understand. All this is to say that I understand those Greeks who have had enough of relativism and liberalism. But, where is the love and charity or the will to share the Gospel with the world as Jesus asked of his Apostles?
Veritatem facientes in caritate. Not easy…. I would even say that we all seem to have got it wrong.