Author Topic: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism  (Read 48184 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #225 on: July 30, 2009, 11:15:08 AM »

I'm also not convinced the economy practiced by the Russian Church with respect to Catholic baptism represents an actual acceptance of their validity. And if you sincerely believe Catholic baptism is valid, then you are an ecumenist, too, so I don't understand why you object so strongly to the accusation that the MP is ecumenist. You ought to welcome the accusation whole-heartedly!


Here's the full story. In the entire history of the Russian Church Roman
Catholics were received by baptism for only about 35 years in the 17th century.
Russians had begun to do this as a way of combating the increasing influence of
the U-people in some areas. Apart from that period in the 17th century
Catholics have NEVER been baptized upon reception. Like it or not, that
is simply an historical fact.



http://www.holy-trinity.org/ecclesiology/pogodin-reception/reception-ch2.html

During the Church Council of 1655, Patriarch Nikon and the Council fathers
decreed that the re-baptism of Poles is illegal and repealed the need to
receive them into Orthodoxy by re-baptism, directing this to be done by
chrismation.  At the Church Council that took place in the following
year (1666) presided over by the same Patriarch Nikon, the same subject was
once again brought up for discussion. Metropolitan Macarius writes:

"It was felt that it was necessary to debate this matter once again. All
Russian bishops were invited to this new Council along with the metropolitan
of Kazan. The Antiochian Patriarch Macarius again insisted that the Latins
should not be re-baptized when converting to Orthodoxy and had a heated
argument with the Russian hierarchs. He tried to convince them by making
references to their own books of Canons. To support his argument, he
presented an extract from some ancient Greek book brought from Mt. Athos,
which made a detailed analysis of the subject, and in this way compelled the
Russian bishops to submit, however reluctantly, to the truth. This extract,
signed by Macarius, was presented to the sovereign (Tsar Aleksei
Mikhailovich), translated into Russian, printed and handed out. The Tsar
issued an Ukaz that prohibited the baptism of Poles and others belonging to
the same faith. Not satisfied with all this Macarius, who soon left Moscow,
sent a letter to Nikon about the same matter. Along with this Patriarch
Macarius wrote to Patriarch Nikon that "the Latins must not be re-baptized:
they have the seven sacraments and all seven Councils, and they are all
baptized correctly in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit with
an invocation of the Holy Trinity. We must recognize their baptism. They are
only schismatics, and schism does not make a man unfaithful and unbaptized.
It only separates him from the Church. Mark of Ephesus himself, who opposed
the Latins, never demanded their re-baptism and accepted their baptism as a
correct one."


The final and decisive ruling on this subject was the decree of the Great
Moscow Council of 1667. Patriarch Joasaph II took part in the Council, which
took place during the reign of the same Aleksei Mikhailovich.

Here is how we read about it in Metropolitan Macarius' "History of the
Russian Church":

"The rite for the reception of Latins into the Orthodox Church was now
completely changed. It is known that in accordance with Patriarch Philaret
Nikitich's Conciliar Statute, Latins were re-baptized in Russia. Even though
at the time of Patriarch Nikon, upon the insistence of Patriarch Macarius of
Antioch, who was then in Moscow, it was twice decreed at the Council that
Latins would not be re-baptized in the future, the deeply rooted custom of
re-baptizing remained in practice. This is why Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich
proposed that the Great Council should discuss and make a decision on this
question. The Council fathers carefully reviewed Patriarch Philaret Nikitich's
statute and came to the conclusion that the laws were incorrectly
interpreted and applied to the Latins. They then referred to earlier Council
statutes whereby it was forbidden to re-baptize even Arians and Macedonians
in the event of their coming into Orthodoxy, and even more so, the fathers
said, Latins must not be re-baptized. They referred to the Council of the
four Eastern Patriarchs held in Constantinople in 1484, which decreed not to
re-baptize Latins upon their coming into Orthodoxy, but only to anoint them
with Chrism, and which even composed the actual rite for their reception
into the Church. They referred to the wise Mark of Ephesus who, in his
epistle addressed to all Orthodox, offers the same teaching and decreed:

'Latins must not be re-baptized but only after their renunciation of their
heresies and confession of sins, be anointed with Chrism and admit them to
the Holy Mysteries and in this way bring them into communion with the holy,
catholic Eastern Church, in accordance with the sacred canons (Chapter 6)'


Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #226 on: July 30, 2009, 11:18:45 AM »
You seemed to me to be appealing to your venerable age as an argument in itself. .

Old age, at least until Alzheimer's eats the memory away, has certain definite advantages over the memory of youth.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,517
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #227 on: July 30, 2009, 11:24:47 AM »
You seemed to me to be appealing to your venerable age as an argument in itself. .

Old age, at least until Alzheimer's eats the memory away, has certain definite advantages over the memory of youth.

What about the people who are older than you who don't agree with you though ;)
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #228 on: July 30, 2009, 11:35:40 AM »

I just quoted the 2000 statement by the MP that they accept the grace of heretical baptism. Do you accept or reject that part of the statement?

Would you mind quoting that again?   I did not see it.

The Jubilee Statement speaks of not baptizing those who have received an authentic baptism in the Church,  gone into schism and then wish to return.  Quite correct.  Good Cyprianic theology.

It also speaks of the multiple ways of reception for those converting to the Church.  These multiple and varying ways of reception are attested to by many of the Ecumenical Councils in their decisions on this topic.

But I did not see an affirmation that heretical baptism is genuine per se. I may have missed what you sent, so could you please send it again or simply send the Number of the message?

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #229 on: July 30, 2009, 11:37:11 AM »
You seemed to me to be appealing to your venerable age as an argument in itself. .

Old age, at least until Alzheimer's eats the memory away, has certain definite advantages over the memory of youth.

What about the people who are older than you who don't agree with you though ;)

No worries.   They probably didn't agree with me when we were younger either.

Offline Jonathan Gress

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,541
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #230 on: July 30, 2009, 11:42:49 AM »
All right all right I give in. You are automatically right because you're older than me. You don't even need to provide any evidence to back up your ludicrous theory that the Orthodox delegates have had nothing to do with the statements made at Porto Alegre or earlier assemblies; Bp Hilarion was not working day and night to draft those statements as he so falsely claims, he was lounging at the hotel bar drinking caipirinhas. The participation of Orthodox delegates in the pagan rituals of the 1991 meeting was in fact fictitious, carried out by low-paid local extras who were hired for their impressive beards. It's all true. Where do I sign, Comrade?

Offline Jonathan Gress

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,541
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #231 on: July 30, 2009, 11:45:44 AM »
Here is the stuff from the Jubilee statement again:

1.15. The Orthodox Church, through the mouths of the holy fathers, affirms that salvation can be attained only in the Church of Christ. At the same time however, communities which have fallen away from Orthodoxy have never been viewed as fully deprived of the grace of God. Any break from communion with the Church inevitably leads to an erosion of her grace-filled life, but not always to its complete loss in these separated communities. This is why the Orthodox Church does not receive those coming to her from non-Orthodox communities only through the Sacrament of Baptism. In spite of the rupture of unity, there remains a certain incomplete fellowship which serves as the pledge of a return to unity in the Church, to catholic fullness and oneness.

      1.16. The ecclesial status of those who have separated themselves from the Church does not lend itself to simple definition. In a divided Christendom, there are still certain characteristics which make it one: the Word of God, faith in Christ as God and Saviour come in the flesh (1 Jn. 1:1-2; 4, 2, 9), and sincere devotion.

      1.17. The existence of various rites of reception (through Baptism, through Chrismation, through Repentance) shows that the Orthodox Church relates to the different non-Orthodox confessions in different ways. The criterion is the degree to which the faith and order of the Church, as well as the norms of Christian spiritual life, are preserved in a particular confession. By establishing various rites of reception, however, the Orthodox Church does not assess the extent to which grace-filled life has either been preserved intact or distorted in a non-Orthodox confession, considering this to be a mystery of God's providence and judgement.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Strategos
  • ******************
  • Posts: 41,268
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #232 on: July 30, 2009, 11:55:11 AM »
All right all right I give in. You are automatically right because you're older than me. You don't even need to provide any evidence to back up your ludicrous theory that the Orthodox delegates have had nothing to do with the statements made at Porto Alegre or earlier assemblies; Bp Hilarion was not working day and night to draft those statements as he so falsely claims, he was lounging at the hotel bar drinking caipirinhas. The participation of Orthodox delegates in the pagan rituals of the 1991 meeting was in fact fictitious, carried out by low-paid local extras who were hired for their impressive beards. It's all true. Where do I sign, Comrade?

What are you claiming now, Comrade?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #233 on: July 30, 2009, 12:07:49 PM »
Here is the stuff from the Jubilee statement again:

1.15. The Orthodox Church, through the mouths of the holy fathers, affirms that salvation can be attained only in the Church of Christ. At the same time however, communities which have fallen away from Orthodoxy have never been viewed as fully deprived of the grace of God. Any break from communion with the Church inevitably leads to an erosion of her grace-filled life, but not always to its complete loss in these separated communities.


This is true.  Although the Serbian bishops in synod used their power of the keys, of binding and loosing, to utterly deprive the schismatic Free Serbian Church of all Mysteries including baptism. Quite a tough decision.

I do not know if they have done the same concerning the "True Serbian Church" which has sprung up on Serbian territory.  I suspect it may be too tiny for them to be concerned about.


Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,517
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #234 on: July 30, 2009, 12:11:22 PM »
All right all right I give in. You are automatically right because you're older than me. You don't even need to provide any evidence to back up your ludicrous theory that the Orthodox delegates have had nothing to do with the statements made at Porto Alegre or earlier assemblies; Bp Hilarion was not working day and night to draft those statements as he so falsely claims, he was lounging at the hotel bar drinking caipirinhas. The participation of Orthodox delegates in the pagan rituals of the 1991 meeting was in fact fictitious, carried out by low-paid local extras who were hired for their impressive beards. It's all true. Where do I sign, Comrade?

What are you claiming now, Comrade?

He is referring to the Canberra prayer service where Aboriginals did a pagan smoke ceremony.  You can see the video on synodinresistance.org.  Some claim that they were actually Anglican Aboriginees doing a form of inculturation. For some, though, even if that is the case, bigger questions are raised about the limits of incluturation and what was really going on and what the intent was.
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Jonathan Gress

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,541
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #235 on: July 30, 2009, 12:14:52 PM »
I just want to retract my use of 'comrade'. It was uncalled for and I apologize.

Offline Jonathan Gress

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,541
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #236 on: July 30, 2009, 12:22:49 PM »
I'm not going to continue with this debate. I find that whatever evidence I present is simply interpreted out of existence. To me it is very much like the refusal of the Jews to interpret the prophecies spiritually and recognize that Christ is the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. God respects our free will and does not compel us to accept Him by force, whether physical or intellectual. So you can choose to believe that ecumenism is not a danger, and then belittle your involvement in it, or you can recognize the danger, in which case your involvement will appear in a new light. It's up to you. You can choose to think you've won this debate, but remember, it's not me you ultimately have to convince.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #237 on: July 30, 2009, 12:29:03 PM »
You don't even need to provide any evidence to back up your ludicrous theory that the Orthodox delegates have had nothing to do with the statements made at Porto Alegre ...

Steady on there...no need to misrepresent me.  We have not been speaking about Porte Alegre but of much earlier WCC Statements in 1950.  Porte Alegro was 2006.

Have you had any luck in finding which Orthodox Churches signed those WCC Statments which you quoted?

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #238 on: July 30, 2009, 12:34:44 PM »
I'm not going to continue with this debate. I find that whatever evidence I present is simply interpreted out of existence.

Jonathan,  it is quite in line with normal standards of discussion to ask you to provide substantiation of which, if any, Orthodox Churches signed the 1950 WCC Toronto Statement.

And it is quite in order to ask you to substantiate your claim that the Russian Church has compromised doctrine because of its involvement with the ecumenical movement.   That is not an insignificant allegation and it really does need proving. 

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #239 on: July 30, 2009, 12:44:26 PM »
The Toronto Statement of 1950.... I am told, but have not yet verified, that in 1950 there were three Orthodox members of the WCC - Constantinople, Cyprus and Greece.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #240 on: July 30, 2009, 01:47:15 PM »
All right all right I give in. You are automatically right because you're older than me. You don't even need to provide any evidence to back up your ludicrous theory that the Orthodox delegates have had nothing to do with the statements made at Porto Alegre or earlier assemblies; Bp Hilarion was not working day and night to draft those statements as he so falsely claims, he was lounging at the hotel bar drinking caipirinhas. The participation of Orthodox delegates in the pagan rituals of the 1991 meeting was in fact fictitious, carried out by low-paid local extras who were hired for their impressive beards. It's all true. Where do I sign, Comrade?

I think that "comrade" comes from "chamber mate" somehow so that's alright.  If we were chamber mates we could have had a good old all night discussion and reached some understanding betwen us.

Offline Jonathan Gress

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,541
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #241 on: July 30, 2009, 01:58:21 PM »
Honestly, how obtuse can you be? All the churches agree to abide by the Toronto statements, including all its unorthodox assumptions about ecclesiology. I proved that by showing quoting from the SCOBA statement you sent me. The MP is in SCOBA and the WCC, therefore MP agrees to this 1950 statement, therefore it accepts the unorthodox assumptions, therefore it is unorthodox. To me the reasoning is sound. No doubt you will claim the MP somehow has never noticed that being in the WCC has anything to do with accepting the 1950 statement, even though the WCC website makes clear that it does. So it doesn´t matter if it or any other jurisdiction didn´'t happen to be around at the first signing. They signed on later when they accepted membership.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #242 on: July 30, 2009, 02:06:53 PM »
I find these very lengthy statements which you are sending to demand too much by way of reading.   What we are looking for is confirmation that the Russian Orthodox Church has compromised Orthodox doctrine by its involvement in the WCC.   So it would be of great help (at least to me) and more effective for your argument if you could simply extract from these lengthy documents whatever you believe substantiates your assertion.
No, this is what YOU are looking for.  If by "we" you mean to include me, then let it be known that I had totally different motivation for requesting this source material from Jonathan.  I'm not sure who else you intend to include in your use of "we", unless there are three Irish Hermits here, so maybe you should simply speak for yourself and say, "this is what I am looking for."
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #243 on: July 30, 2009, 02:13:26 PM »
Text on ecclesiology: Called to be the One Church


An invitation to the churches to renew their commitment to the search for unity and to deepen their dialogue

...


The formation of the WCC, and the holding of its first assembly, did not answer a number of fundamental questions about the nature of the Council and its relationship to the member churches. That task was left to the WCC's central committee at its meeting in 1950, with the following result.

...

Thank you, Jonathan, for posting these two statements.  This is exactly what I wanted to see in response to my earlier request.

Now putting on my moderator hat :police::  We need to see a link to the web page from which you copied each of these documents so we can follow the links and read the documents first hand for ourselves.  Send these links to me in a private message, and I'll make sure they get appended to the appropriate posts.  Thank you.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #244 on: July 30, 2009, 02:20:28 PM »
The SCOBA statement says this about the Toronto statement:

Although it is certainly not the only form of ecumenism, conciliar ecumenism is the
best known. The Orthodox Churches have been instrumental in founding the World
Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches and various State, Regional and
Local Council of Churches. Conciliar ecumenism is an acceptable form of ecumenical
collaboration, particularly since the terms and limits of Orthodox cooperation have been
worked out over the years. It is a matter of principle with us that Councils of Churches be
ecclesiologically neutral and functionally instrumental. This understanding of the nature,
purpose and role of the councils is satisfactorily elaborated in a definitive statement
known as the Toronto Statement of the World Council of Churches.

So the SCOBA members, including the MP, agree that this statement is in fact normative for their understanding of their role in ecumenism and their attitude to the non-Orthodox.
Really?  I don't read that conclusion from the text.  To me, this reads as nothing more than a defense of a particular method of dialoguing with other Christian fellowships.  I'm curious to know what evidence you see in this statement to support your interpretation of it.

BTW (putting on my mod hat again), if you copied this from an online source, we need to see the link.  For future reference, be advised that blocks of text copied from other web sites must be accompanied by links to the web sites from which you copied the material.  Thank you.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #245 on: July 30, 2009, 02:41:13 PM »
I don't have to prove it.  The burden of proof lies on you.   It is your good self who is producing WCC Statements and claiming that the Orthodox delegates signed them.  This is all the more dubious since the Orthodox were well known for refusing to sign WCC Statements.  They simply did not fit with Orthodox theology and ecclesiology.
I don't think Jonathan is asserting that the Orthodox delegates actually signed these documents, or that their signatures are even the only way whereby they show their assent to these documents.  ISTM that Jonathan is saying merely that continued participation in the WCC is assent de facto to the unacceptable contents of these statements and that the only way to truly reject these statements is to withdraw from the WCC altogether.

If you want to argue anything at all with Jonathan, I suggest that it be with this logic stated above.  Why are signatures so absolutely necessary when the Orthodox participants in the WCC showed their acceptance of these documents by participating so actively in the very process of drafting them?  Or were they such active participants as Jonathan claims is so self-evident?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 02:49:41 PM by PeterTheAleut »
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #246 on: July 30, 2009, 02:43:39 PM »
And it is quite in order to ask you to substantiate your claim that the Russian Church has compromised doctrine because of its involvement with the ecumenical movement.   That is not an insignificant allegation and it really does need proving. 
And if Jonathan did offer evidence to support his claim, would you not just write it off by changing the rules he needs to follow to prove his case?
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Jonathan Gress

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,541
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #247 on: July 30, 2009, 04:27:12 PM »
http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/central-committee/toronto-1950/toronto-statement.html

for the 1950 Toronto statement

and

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/assembly/porto-alegre-2006/1-statements-documents-adopted/christian-unity-and-message-to-the-churches/called-to-be-the-one-church-as-adopted.html

for the 2006 Porto Alegre statement on ecclesiology

The SCOBA text says, as far as I can see, that conciliar ecumenism, a 'legitimate' form of ecumenism, is adequately and indeed thoroughly expounded by the Toronto statement. So yes they leave room for other forms of ecumenism (hardly reassuring to a traditionalist, I might add), but the WCC Toronto statement certainly plays a fundamental role in their understanding of ecumenism, of that there is no doubt.

Offline ROCORthodox

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #248 on: July 30, 2009, 06:29:05 PM »

 You are aware that you must not be in communion with heretics, are you not? So, what exactly are you doing in the World Council of Churches? Perhaps it is not in fact a heretical body after all, despite appearances to the contrary. In that case, why are you even making a fuss about the WCC? Clearly there is no actual heresy going on, because you are still in communion with all these alleged heretics.

Jonathan,

I have to confess that I have no idea what you are saying.   I think we have reached a stage where you need to provide definitions.  What do you mean by "being in communion with"? 

Quote
You can't admit on the one hand that the WCC is heretical and then be a member of it!

Why not?   Are you not here with us on this board where the majority of us are heretical in the view of the GOC but you are more than happy to be a member here and discuss things with us.  Are you "in communion" with us in global Orthodoxy because you are speaking with us?

The bishop whom you commemorate, in whose name you celebrate the liturgy, is he a member of a Synod that is a member of the WCC? That is, does he himself participate in ecumenist gatherings, or is he otherwise in communion (that is, shares the chalice or concelebrates) with bishops who participate in these gatherings? Those who participate in the WCC in person do so in the name of their entire Church, so everyone else in communion with these participants can also be said to be members of the WCC. If you don't like being a member of the WCC, then you need to break communion with these participants. That is, you must separate and stop commemorating the bishop who is also a member and must go under a bishop from a Synod that is not a member.

Jonathan I am not sure if this point has been brought up earlier on in the thread but I think you would need to address this fact in context to your statement above.    The "jurisdictions" in communion with each other are all part of the same undivided Church.  I think you agree with this principle, no?

Your GOC was in communion with ROCOR when ROCOR was in full communion with the Jerusalem Patriarchate and the Serbian Patriarchate.  This means that your Bishops, through ROCOR, were communing from the same chalice as those who are members of the WCC.   In fact, here is a statement from Fr. Seraphim Rose in an essay written during the very late 70's that presents major problems with your statement above.

Orthodox Facing the 1980's



". . . Metropolitan [Philaret] has warned other Orthodox Christians of the disastrous results of their ecumenical course if they continue; but at the same time our bishops have refused to cut off all contact and communion with Orthodox Churches involved in the Ecumenical Movement, recognizing that it is still a tendency that has not yet come to its conclusion (the Unia with Rome) . . ."
 
How do you reconcile this contradicion to your current claim?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 06:38:56 PM by ROCORthodox »

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #249 on: July 30, 2009, 06:55:16 PM »
I don't have to prove it.  The burden of proof lies on you.   It is your good self who is producing WCC Statements and claiming that the Orthodox delegates signed them.  This is all the more dubious since the Orthodox were well known for refusing to sign WCC Statements.  They simply did not fit with Orthodox theology and ecclesiology.
I don't think Jonathan is asserting that the Orthodox delegates actually signed these documents, or that their signatures are even the only way whereby they show their assent to these documents.  ISTM that Jonathan is saying merely that continued participation in the WCC is assent de facto to the unacceptable contents of these statements and that the only way to truly reject these statements is to withdraw from the WCC altogether.

If you want to argue anything at all with Jonathan, I suggest that it be with this logic stated above.  Why are signatures so absolutely necessary when the Orthodox participants in the WCC showed their acceptance of these documents by participating so actively in the very process of drafting them?  Or were they such active participants as Jonathan claims is so self-evident?

Well, I shan't be able to make use of your logic but thank you for suggesting it.  It is a well known fact that the Orthodox had problems with just about all of the WCC Statements and did not sign them and sometimes issued separate Statements of their own explaining their dissension.   It is also a fact that other member Churches which did sign them in fact did not accept them fully on some points.  If anybody thinks there is some monolithic "unity" inside the WCC, well, there just isn't.  So participation in the WCC provides no certainty that member Churches agree with its official Statements.  This is where the logic (you're on the WCC so you must accept all its Statements)  breaks down in the bleak light of actual history.

Father Ambrose is too lazy to say much more except that this is his personal knowledge of the history of the WCC resident in his memory banks and those who wish to enquire further may look into such as the writings of Schmemann and Meyendorff and others on Orthodox participation in the WCC.

Any chance of getting back on topic here - that Russian Orthodox involvement in the WCC has caused it to compromise doctrine.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #250 on: July 30, 2009, 07:01:17 PM »
And it is quite in order to ask you to substantiate your claim that the Russian Church has compromised doctrine because of its involvement with the ecumenical movement.   That is not an insignificant allegation and it really does need proving. 
And if Jonathan did offer evidence to support his claim, would you not just write it off by changing the rules he needs to follow to prove his case?

If we accept such a reason as sufficient to excuse Jonathan from presenting his evidence.....?

You may be sure that my a priori position is that involvement with the WCC has NOT caused any doctrinal compromise in the Church of Russia.   Would you expect me to hold any other?    However Jonathan has stated that it has and such a major claim against an Orthodox Church must be substantiated by the claimant.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 07:03:54 PM by Irish Hermit »

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #251 on: July 30, 2009, 07:44:55 PM »
I find these very lengthy statements which you are sending to demand too much by way of reading.   What we are looking for is confirmation that the Russian Orthodox Church has compromised Orthodox doctrine by its involvement in the WCC.   So it would be of great help (at least to me) and more effective for your argument if you could simply extract from these lengthy documents whatever you believe substantiates your assertion.
No, this is what YOU are looking for.  If by "we" you mean to include me, then let it be known that I had totally different motivation for requesting this source material from Jonathan.  I'm not sure who else you intend to include in your use of "we", unless there are three Irish Hermits here, so maybe you should simply speak for yourself and say, "this is what I am looking for."

The use of "we" to mean "I" is not uncommon.  It is known as nosism.

The use of "we" for "I" can also be what is known as "pluralis modestiae" which seems appropriate for a worm of a monk.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 07:48:41 PM by Irish Hermit »

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,517
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #252 on: July 30, 2009, 07:54:47 PM »
Jonathan has done a good job of collecting the sources for his position, more so than most posters on this forum do for the various debates. Others may disagree with him, but he has done his diligence to present his sources and explain his positions. If others do not think he's proven their case, that's their right. Each time he was challenged, he attempted to respond with further documentation and explanations, but he is under no burden to argue ad nauseum here, nor is anyone else for that matter.
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #253 on: July 30, 2009, 08:01:44 PM »
Jonathan has done a good job of collecting the sources for his position, more so than most posters on this forum do for the various debates. Others may disagree with him, but he has done his diligence to present his sources and explain his positions. If others do not think he's proven their case, that's their right. Each time he was challenged, he attempted to respond with further documentation and explanations, but he is under no burden to argue ad nauseum here, nor is anyone else for that matter.

I have to say that I have not seen a skerrick of evidence to justify the position that the Russian Orthodox Church has compromised doctrine as a result of its ecumenical involvement.  Nor have I seem a skerrick of evidence to justify the phrase "two-faced hypocrisy" applied to my Church.

I have asked Jonathan to be specific and cite the doctrines compromised by the Russian Orthodox.  There has been no response even to that fairly simple question.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,517
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #254 on: July 30, 2009, 08:11:34 PM »
Jonathan has done a good job of collecting the sources for his position, more so than most posters on this forum do for the various debates. Others may disagree with him, but he has done his diligence to present his sources and explain his positions. If others do not think he's proven their case, that's their right. Each time he was challenged, he attempted to respond with further documentation and explanations, but he is under no burden to argue ad nauseum here, nor is anyone else for that matter.

I have to say that I have not seen a skerrick of evidence to justify the position that the Russian Orthodox Church has compromised doctrine as a result of its ecumenical involvement. 

Of course you haven't. That's a reason this thread is not going to progress much further.

Quote
Nor have I seem a skerrick of evidence to justify the phrase "two-faced hypocrisy" applied to my Church.

Please be careful how far you wish to tread when you as recently as this week made an unfounded statement against "the traditionalist Orthodox movement" for which your post was edited by a moderator. I'm sure you said it in the heat of the moment. Just as I am sure Jonathan said some things in the heat of the moment. In fact, I have spoken to Jonathan to request he be careful how he reacts and to always act in charity towards other posters.
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Strategos
  • ******************
  • Posts: 41,268
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #255 on: July 30, 2009, 08:27:35 PM »
All right all right I give in. You are automatically right because you're older than me. You don't even need to provide any evidence to back up your ludicrous theory that the Orthodox delegates have had nothing to do with the statements made at Porto Alegre or earlier assemblies; Bp Hilarion was not working day and night to draft those statements as he so falsely claims, he was lounging at the hotel bar drinking caipirinhas. The participation of Orthodox delegates in the pagan rituals of the 1991 meeting was in fact fictitious, carried out by low-paid local extras who were hired for their impressive beards. It's all true. Where do I sign?

What are you claiming now?

He is referring to the Canberra prayer service where Aboriginals did a pagan smoke ceremony.  You can see the video on synodinresistance.org.  Some claim that they were actually Anglican Aboriginees doing a form of inculturation. For some, though, even if that is the case, bigger questions are raised about the limits of incluturation and what was really going on and what the intent was.

And the Orthodox asked those questions:
Quote
Reflections of Orthodox Participants
From the official Orthodox report of the 1991 WCC Assembly in Canberra
4. The Orthodox follow with interest, but also with a certain disquiet, the developments of the WCC towards the broadening of its aims in the direction of relations with other religions. The Orthodox support dialogue initiatives, particularly those aiming at the promotion of relations of openness, mutual respect and human cooperation with neighbours of other faiths. When dialogue takes place, Christians are called to bear witness to the integrity of their faith. A genuine dialogue involves greater theological efforts to express the Christian message in ways that speak to the various cultures of our world. All this, however, must occur on the basis of theological criteria which will define the limits of diversity. The biblical faith in God must not be changed. The definition of these criteria is a matter of theological stud and must constitute the first priority of the WCC in view of its desired broadening of aims.

5. Thus, it is with alarm that the Orthodox have heard some presentations on the theme of this assembly. With reference to the theme of the assembly, the Orthodox still await the final texts. However, they observe that some people tend to affirm with very great ease the presence of the Holy Spirit in many movements and developments without discernment. The Orthodox wish to stress the factor of sin and error which exists in every human action, and separate the Holy Spirit from these. We must guard against a tendency to substitute a "private" spirit, the spirit of the world or other spirits for the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and rests in the Son. Our tradition is rich in respect for local and national cultures, but we find it impossible to invoke the spirits of "earth, air, water and sea creatures". Pneumatology is inseparable from Christology or from the doctrine of the Holy Trinity confessed by the church on the basis of divine revelation.

6. The Orthodox are sorry that their position with regard to eucharistic communion has not been understood by many members of the WCC, who regard the Orthodox as unjustifiably insisting upon abstinence from eucharistic communion. The Orthodox once more invite their brothers and sisters in the WCC to understand that it is a matter of unity, in faith and fundamental Orthodox ecclesiology, and not a question of a triumphalistic stance.

For the Orthodox, the eucharist is the supreme expression of unity and not a means towards unity. The present situation in the ecumenical movement is for us an experience of the cross of Christian division. In this regard, the question of the ordination of women to the priestly and episcopal offices must also be understood within a theological and ecclesiological context.

7. Finally, our concern is also directed to the changing process of decision-making in the WCC. While the system of quotas has benefits, it may also be creating problems. As Orthodox we see changes that seem to increasingly weaken the possibility of an Orthodox witness in an otherwise Protestant international organization. We believe that this tendency is to the harm of the ecumenical effort.

8. For the Orthodox gathered at this assembly, these and other tendencies and developments question the very nature and identity of the Council, as described in the Toronto statement. In this sense the present assembly in Canberra appears to be a crucial point in the history of the ecumenical movement.

We must, therefore ask ourselves: Has the time come for the Orthodox churches and other member churches to review their relations with the World Council of Churches?

We pray the Holy Spirit to help all Christians to renew their commitment to visible unity.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/canberra_1991.aspx
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,517
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #256 on: July 30, 2009, 08:29:24 PM »
They asked the questions, and 18 years later, only 2 of the Churches are out of the WCC. 2 is a good start.  But I like what Patrick Barnes said in the intro:

"Webmaster Note: This document is hosted on the Orthodox Christian Information website for reference purposes only. We do not consider this document to accurately reflect a traditional Orthodox self-understanding, especially in the area of ecclesiology. See the other articles on the "References and Terms" page for comments on this, and other, reference texts hosted herein."
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 08:30:50 PM by Fr. Anastasios »
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #257 on: July 30, 2009, 08:30:20 PM »
Jonathan has done a good job of collecting the sources for his position, more so than most posters on this forum do for the various debates. Others may disagree with him, but he has done his diligence to present his sources and explain his positions. If others do not think he's proven their case, that's their right. Each time he was challenged, he attempted to respond with further documentation and explanations, but he is under no burden to argue ad nauseum here, nor is anyone else for that matter.

I have to say that I have not seen a skerrick of evidence to justify the position that the Russian Orthodox Church has compromised doctrine as a result of its ecumenical involvement.

Of course you haven't. That's a reason this thread is not going to progress much further.

Well,  I still have a hope that Jonathan will come through and tell us what doctrines the Russian Orthodox have compromised.

Quote
Nor have I seem a skerrick of evidence to justify the phrase "two-faced hypocrisy" applied to my Church.

Quote
Please be careful how far you wish to tread when you as recently as this week made an unfounded statement against "the traditionalist Orthodox movement" for which your post was edited by a moderator. I'm sure you said it in the heat of the moment. Just as I am sure Jonathan said some things in the heat of the moment. In fact, I have spoken to Jonathan to request he be careful how he reacts and to always act in charity towards other posters.

Father,  I wrote that and assert it is well founded.   This comes from years of experience on the Yahoo group set up for Traditionalists where the most untrue things are alleged against the canonical Orthodox.  I can never forget the thread on how Patriarch Pavle of the Serbs was an ecumenist heretic for concelebrating with the Roman Catholics.  When photographs were produced it was nothing of the sort but merely the Patriarch and his entourage standing to the side of a Catholic Mass which was being celebrated for peace in the war-torn Yugoslavia.  Such deceitful claims are commonplace for the Traditionalists in that group.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #258 on: July 30, 2009, 08:36:19 PM »
They asked the questions, and 18 years later, only 2 of the Churches are out of the WCC. 2 is a good start. 

This resulted in some Churches, including Russia, suspending WCC membership.   The WCC furiously backtracked and worked out a consensus decision-making process to replace the former "majority vote wins."   Because of these and other changes Russia resumed its membership.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,517
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #259 on: July 30, 2009, 08:45:20 PM »

Father,  I wrote that and assert it is well founded.   This comes from years of experience on the Yahoo group set up for Traditionalists where the most untrue things are alleged against the canonical Orthodox.  I can never forget the thread on how Patriarch Pavle of the Serbs was an ecumenist heretic for concelebrating with the Roman Catholics.  When photographs were produced it was nothing of the sort but merely the Patriarch and his entourage standing to the side of a Catholic Mass which was being celebrated for peace in the war-torn Yugoslavia.  Such deceitful claims are commonplace for the Traditionalists in that group.


Father, you make broad swipes based off of your experience on one Yahoo group?  If that's the case, I'm happy to let you know that the Paradosis group has little relation to the "Traditionalist movement."  I had to leave several years ago because of the constant tension and wild accusations--made by both traditionalists and anti-traditionalists.  In fact, while you noted deceitful claims against the Serbian Church, I noted deceitful things being posted against the GOC by a ROCOR priest, such as that St John Maximovitch was not a supporter of the GOC! I of course corrected the priest, and assumed he was speaking out of genuine ignorance and not out of malice.

Now that I've assured you that one Yahoo group does not equal the whole or even the majority of the movement, and hence does not entitle you to make sweeping judgments about hundreds of thousands of people across the world, I will reiterate that you made an unfounded claim against the "traditionalist movement" in your earlier post. But I see that in your second paragraph in this most recent post, you limited your statement to "the traditionalists in that group." I think that is a fair limitation and would encourage you to always be so nuanced in the future.
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,517
  • St. Chrysostomos the New
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #260 on: July 30, 2009, 08:47:05 PM »
They asked the questions, and 18 years later, only 2 of the Churches are out of the WCC. 2 is a good start. 

This resulted in some Churches, including Russia, suspending WCC membership.   The WCC furiously backtracked and worked out a consensus decision-making process to replace the former "majority vote wins."   Because of these and other changes Russia resumed its membership.


That's unfortunate they resumed it. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I hope they will eventually leave again, and encourage all the other patriarchs to exit as well.
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,980
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #261 on: July 30, 2009, 08:52:11 PM »

Father,  I wrote that and assert it is well founded.   This comes from years of experience on the Yahoo group set up for Traditionalists where the most untrue things are alleged against the canonical Orthodox.  I can never forget the thread on how Patriarch Pavle of the Serbs was an ecumenist heretic for concelebrating with the Roman Catholics.  When photographs were produced it was nothing of the sort but merely the Patriarch and his entourage standing to the side of a Catholic Mass which was being celebrated for peace in the war-torn Yugoslavia.  Such deceitful claims are commonplace for the Traditionalists in that group.


Father, you make broad swipes based off of your experience on one Yahoo group?  If that's the case, I'm happy to let you know that the Paradosis group has little relation to the "Traditionalist movement."  I had to leave several years ago because of the constant tension and wild accusations--made by both traditionalists and anti-traditionalists.  In fact, while you noted deceitful claims against the Serbian Church, I noted deceitful things being posted against the GOC by a ROCOR priest, such as that St John Maximovitch was not a supporter of the GOC! I of course corrected the priest, and assumed he was speaking out of genuine ignorance and not out of malice.

Now that I've assured you that one Yahoo group does not equal the whole or even the majority of the movement, and hence does not entitle you to make sweeping judgments about hundreds of thousands of people across the world, I will reiterate that you made an unfounded claim against the "traditionalist movement" in your earlier post. But I see that in your second paragraph in this most recent post, you limited your statement to "the traditionalists in that group." I think that is a fair limitation and would encourage you to always be so nuanced in the future.

Thank you for your counsel, dear brother.  I too hope that I am nuanced in the future.

OK,  now that we have dealt with Ambrose's failings what about getting back on topic...   What are the doctrinal compromises in the Russian Church caused by its involvement in ecumenism?   Could anyone please cite them and also it would be great if some substantiation is included.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #262 on: July 30, 2009, 09:22:06 PM »
What are the doctrinal compromises in the Russian Church caused by its involvement in ecumenism?   Could anyone please cite them and also it would be great if some substantiation is included.
I think Jonathan has already cited them and given substantiating evidence.  You just won't accept what he's given you.  As Fr. Anastasios has already said, if you don't want to believe Jonathan, that's your prerogative, but he's under no obligation to argue ad nauseum with you, nor is anyone else obliged to argue on his behalf.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Strategos
  • ******************
  • Posts: 41,268
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #263 on: July 30, 2009, 10:58:04 PM »
What are the doctrinal compromises in the Russian Church caused by its involvement in ecumenism?   Could anyone please cite them and also it would be great if some substantiation is included.
I think Jonathan has already cited them and given substantiating evidence.  You just won't accept what he's given you.  As Fr. Anastasios has already said, if you don't want to believe Jonathan, that's your prerogative, but he's under no obligation to argue ad nauseum with you, nor is anyone else obliged to argue on his behalf.

I just find it very odd that someone who believes that the WCC bodies are not churches in any sense of the word and devoid of grace, and yet believes that are powerful enough with enough authority, so he believes, to dictate terms to the Orthodox Churches in the WCC, when they make it quite clear, in BLACK AND WHITE, that like Hebrew National, they answer to a higher authority:
Quote
The Orthodox churches and the World Council of Churches
I. Presuppositions of involvement for the Orthodox in the ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches
1. For the Orthodox, Eastern and Oriental, the primary purpose of the World Council of Churches is its work for the restoration of unity among Christians. In the Orthodox understanding, this means full ecclesial unity, that is, unity in doctrinal teaching, sacramental life and polity. The Orthodox recognize other important dimensions of ecumenical work and activity. Cooperative ecumenical efforts that contribute toward growing unity, the establishment or restoration of justice and peace, toward coherence in theological expression, toward mission and common witness, toward deepening the churches' self-understanding and toward growth of community in confessing, learning and service are important in themselves and as means for divided Christians to move toward ultimate doctrinal and sacramental union. But for the Orthodox, the ultimate goal and justification of the ecumenical movement in general, and for their participation in the WCC in particular, is the full ecclesial unity of Christians. It is thus an urgent task for the meaning of church unity to be clearly articulated and frequently repeated in the deliberations and work of the WCC, while concurrently striving to clarify appropriate and legitimate aspects of diversity in expressing the apostolic faith in worship and discipline within that ecclesial unity.

2. Toward this purpose, the Orthodox call all Christians and member churches, all WCC programme units and administrative organs to "a re-commitment to the constitutional ‘Basis' of the existence and work of the Council. The Basis Statement of the WCC is: "The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." This fundamental statement highlights the Trinitarian, Incarnational and salvific understanding of Christian faith, worship and life in the response of Christians to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox affirm it and insist on its centrality for the Christian churches gathered in fellowship for the purpose of working toward uniting all Christians. The Basis should be repeatedly displayed and frequently reaffirmed in the undertakings of the WCC so that all involved in its work and activities are constantly reminded of its contents.

3. In particular, the Basis and the Christian teaching historically related to it, should provide the theological underpinning of ecumenical reflection within the WCC and the documents and statements issued in its name. These fundamental Christian truths have come to the Church from God through the scriptures as divine revelation. We refer to the central affirmations of the apostolic faith and the credal statements of the Early Church, such as the Trinitarian understanding of God, the divine-human personhood of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of redemption and salvation in the work of Jesus Christ, creation and calling of humankind as the image and likeness of God, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in Church, etc. These fundamental beliefs of revelation need to be repeatedly referred to as such and respected by the WCC and its participants, and kept at the centre of WCC thinking and activities. Violations of the Basis and the concomitant faith affirmations arising from divine revelation as understood and taught in the historical undivided Church should be corrected or not admitted in the official work of the WCC.

4. The Orthodox Churches participate in the WCC's life and activities only on the understanding that the WCC "Is a council of churches" (koinonia/fellowship/conseil) and not a council of individuals, groups, movements or religious bodies which are involved in the Council's goal, tasks and vision.

5. They consider seriously that their membership and participation in the WCC is based upon an encounter, cooperation and a dialogue of churches. The WCC cannot become a forum for the exchange of individual ideas. We together with other churches seek "... a conciliar fellowship of local churches which are themselves truly united..." and aim "... at maintaining sustained and sustaining relationships with [our] sister churches, expressed in conciliar gatherings wherever required for fulfilment of their common calling" (Nairobi Assembly 1975).

6. Participating thus in a dialogue structure, the Orthodox Churches should be the only responsible agents for their representation. Each member church has the right to decide how to be represented, in accordance with the criteria that apply to a council of churches. These decisions are made on an equal basis with the other member churches in respect to quotas, voting procedures, church polity issues, etc.

7. The Orthodox Churches strongly re-affirm that doctrinal issues in the WCC structures should be considered as an essential element of each church's membership. Such doctrinal or ecclesiological issues cannot be decided through a voting or parliamentary procedure (cf. WCC Constitution and Rules, XV/6,b). For the Orthodox, issues such as ordination of women, eucharistic hospitality, inclusive language with reference to God, are doctrinal.

8. In the past the Orthodox felt obliged to make their own "separate statements" on matters debated in the WCC. In the last decades, growing together in ecumenical fellowship, they abandoned this practice and took part in the production of common statements. The present situation causes some uneasiness among the Orthodox. This has led them to issue some reminders about the basic criteria of their participation. Some suggest a resumption of "separate statements" because the Orthodox point of view is insufficiently reflected. Most feel that separate statements would be unfortunate for the nature of ecumenical work. New ways have to be found to implement the Orthodox view in drafting committees, issue-related consultations and WCC governing bodies.

9. Another source of uneasiness is the fact that membership in the Council of non-Orthodox churches is constantly increasing, thus rendering the Orthodox witness more difficult. The process of receiving new member churches and their representation in the Central Committee and Assemblies of the WCC deserves serious consideration.

10. The WCC describes itself, its ecclesial nature and significance by means of its Basis and with the safeguard of the Toronto Statement of the Central Committee on "The Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches" (1950). There it is clearly affirmed: "The member churches of the WCC consider the relationship of other churches to the Holy Catholic Church which the Creeds profess as a subject for mutual consideration. Nevertheless, membership does not imply that each church must regard the other member churches as churches in the true and full sense of the word."

11. Our understanding of this statement is that the member churches of the WCC, and the Orthodox Churches in particular, respect the sovereignty of each other's ecclesiological teachings. The Council has no ecclesiological position of its own.

12. The Orthodox perceive that the WCC is drifting away from the Toronto Statement through some of its programmes and methodologies. For us the Toronto Statement remains as an essential criterion for our participation and membership in the WCC. Any eventual re-assessment of the Toronto Statement in the light of the experience of the forty years in the ecumenical movement should not undermine or contradict this fundamental criterion.

13. The Orthodox have a common understanding in relation to their participation in the WCC. They follow the recommendations of the Third Preconciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference (1986): "The Orthodox Church ... faithful to her ecclesiology, to the identity of her internal structure and to the teaching of the undivided Church, while participating in the WCC, does not accept the idea of the ‘equality of confessions' and cannot consider Church unity as an inter-confessional adjustment. In this spirit, the unity which is sought within the WCC cannot simply be the product of theological agreements. God alone calls every Christian to the unity of faith which is lived in the sacraments and the tradition, as experienced in the Orthodox Church." (para. 6)

14. The Orthodox Church believes its own teaching and hierarchical structure to be based on an unbroken Tradition, which has been transmitted from generation to generation since the Apostolic times through the centuries. It participates in bilateral and multilateral dialogues through the WCC and the ecumenical movement. It does this because it is committed to the search for Christian unity. Therefore its presence and active participation is not merely a matter of "courtesy".

15. "The Orthodox Church. which unceasingly prays ‘for the union of all', has taken part in the ecumenical movement since its inception and has contributed to its formation and further development. In fact, the Orthodox Church, due to the ecumenical spirit by which she is distinguished, has, throughout history, fought for the restoration of Christian unity. Therefore, the Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement does not run counter to the nature and history of the Orthodox Church. It constitutes the consistent expression of the apostolic faith within new historical conditions, in order to respond to new existential demands." (Third Preconciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, 1986, para. 3)

16. The Orthodox Churches understand the WCC as churches gathered in faithfulness to the calling of the Holy Spirit that we are all invoking. The WCC in a unique way has become part of the life and experience of our churches.

II. Some problems for the Orthodox in the WCC
17. It is in this spirit that the Orthodox consider the issue of the involvement of the WCC with other religions. Commitment to dialogue among Churches with the goal of the unity of all Christians can and should be extended to dialogue with other religious traditions. The Orthodox have a long and living experience with members of other religions. Respect for the humanity of others and their sincerely held convictions calls for increased efforts at understanding and peaceful relations, and, wherever possible and appropriate, cooperation in areas of mutual concern. But this cannot mean that Christian churches acting through WCC agencies should be compromised in their central Christian commitments. The Orthodox hold that any syncretistic accommodation in WCC activities is inappropriate and contradicts the central affirmations and goals of the ecumenical endeavour. In particular, the recent practice of having representatives of other faith traditions at Assemblies and other expressions of ecumenical endeavour is welcomed, so long as the representatives of other religions are not invited to serve on drafting committees for the preparation of WCC documents. The dialogue with other religions ought not to compromise the identity of the WCC as a council of Christian churches, as it serves to broaden the understanding of the member churches regarding the variety of religious and non-religious stances in the world today and in promoting dialogue between Christians and members of other religions.

18. The Orthodox welcome the efforts of the WCC to address the question of the relationship of the churches to the world and are grateful for the many opportunities given us to explore that relationship in programmes such as "Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation". However, the theme of the Seventh Assembly, "Come, Holy Spirit - Renew the Whole Creation", as it was developed in some expressions, provokes us to express convictions about the topic. The Orthodox understand the Kingdom of God as God's ruling power over the whole world. The saving work of Jesus Christ has broken the power of evil and the demonic in the world, and the work of the Holy Spirit is to manifest God's Kingdom and lordship as an active reality transforming and transfiguring the world to the full service of God and His purposes. Thus, the whole creation is sustained and renewed by the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit dwells uniquely and in fullness in the life of the Church enabling the fullness of communion between God and humanity together with the rest of creation. The Orthodox hold that extreme emphasis on either of these poles is a distortion of the Christian faith and would call upon the WCC to cultivate an awareness in its deliberations of the Holy Spirit's action both within the Church and in the whole of creation. Further, acknowledgement of the Holy Spirit's leading of the churches to new and fresh understandings and experiences ought not to be presented as invalidating or contradicting the guidance of the Holy Spirit given to the Church in the past as embodied in the Church's Tradition. God's Kingdom is a reality already present, but which must also be progressively fulfilled and revealed. We urge the WCC through its agencies not to allow itself to succumb to extremist tendencies in either direction when it considers the relationship of the churches to the world.

19. The Orthodox Tradition is full of examples of involvement in activities of a social character and in an active defense of the dignity of the human person. This is recalled in the "Decisions of the Third Preconciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference" where it is stated that "The Orthodox Church appreciates this multidimensional activity of the WCC and fully cooperates in [these] fields, within the limits of her possibilities" (para. 9). However, on several occasions, the Orthodox have had to react against a tendency within the WCC towards a one-sided "horizontalism" which tends to disconnect social, political, environmental problems from our commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Such one-sided horizontalism suggests an acceptance of an autonomy of secular life. The Orthodox believe that no aspect of life is autonomous or disconnected from the Christians' confession of the Incarnation and its consequence: the gift of the divine life in the image of the Holy Trinity. It is because we believe in the Incarnation and the Trinity that we are committed to problems of justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

20. The Orthodox must once again reiterate their position on the meaning of the eucharistic communion as it regards the nature of the Church and the ecumenical endeavour. The Eucharist is the supreme expression of the unity of the Church and not a means towards Christian unity. Shared belief, shared ecclesial order, shared ecclesial identity are manifested and expressed in their fullness through the Eucharist. Given this understanding of the Eucharist there is only Eucharistic Communion, and there cannot be something called "Inter-communion" since that term together with the practice it designates is a contradiction. To share in the common cup while still maintaining fundamental differences in faith, order and ministry does not make sense to the Orthodox, because it violates a major element of the meaning and significance of the Eucharist. We genuinely suffer about the fact that sharing the chalice is not yet possible in our ecumenical striving and regret misunderstandings on this matter which may have occurred during our ecumenical pilgrimage in the WCC. Thus, in our presently still divided condition, the Orthodox may not in conscience extend or respond to invitations involving "eucharistic hospitality". We look forward to the day when our shared faith, order and fellowship will require and permit sharing the common cup as the highest manifestation of our unity.

III. Towards an improved Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement
21. The Orthodox Church as a koinonia of local churches transmits the teaching of the Church to the people of God (pleroma) on the local and regional levels. Its contribution to the ecumenical vision can only be articulated and fulfilled when it is involved on the "ground" level sharing and exchanging relationships with other Christian churches and movements in a common action, witness, concerns, etc.

22. The Orthodox think that their participation in the ecumenical movement would be greatly improved if more attention were devoted to a preparation of clergy and lay men and women in ecumenical issues. Living as we do in pluralistic societies, all aspects of our Christian life have an ecumenical dimension which requires training and education at all levels. Ecumenical participation would also be helped if the Orthodox learned to know more about one another to make inter-Orthodox collaboration more fruitful.

23. In the last decades, there has been a new interest in the Orthodox faith on the part of many. It is the duty of the Orthodox to respond to this by taking very seriously their responsibility to witness to Orthodoxy in its purity. This implies a permanent distinction between the fundamental and the secondary, a continuous effort to live in accordance with the doctrines confessed in the concrete aspects of daily life. In other words, an improved Orthodox participation in the ecumenical search for the unity of Christians so that our witness to the world may be credible implies a continuous conversion of the Orthodox to a permanently purified Orthodoxy.

24. The process of a continuous deepening of their own Orthodoxy should lead the Orthodox not simply to respond to the questioning of an ever renewed historical context but to take initiatives themselves in many areas of modem life. This would certainly contribute to improve Orthodox involvement in the WCC and prevent some of the misunderstandings that the Orthodox so often deplore.

25. It is our belief that the Orthodox have much to contribute in the ecumenical movement. It is therefore highly desirable that they develop more and more a witnessing, missionary mentality.

26. This is all the more necessary in a context where proselytism in various forms is rife. Many Orthodox churches, due to persecution, have been weakened and their weakness is a prey to these various form of proselytism. The latter should be denounced with utmost vigour. In particular, the Orthodox should call their partners in ecumenical dialogue to denounce themselves the unfair action of some of their own "missionaries", thus avoiding a flagrant contradiction between official language among "sister churches" called to a "common witness" and actual practice which amounts to "unchurching" the Orthodox Christians.

27. However, apart from the indispensable protests, the most potent answer to these deplorable situations is a recovery of a purified, well-informed, responsible Orthodoxy on the part of the Orthodox concerned. In carrying out this work, they need the help of all, in particular the assurance of their partners in the WCC.

"May we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be sustained to renew the commitment of all Christians towards the visible unity."
http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/ecumenical-movement-in-the-21st-century/member-churches/special-commission-on-participation-of-orthodox-churches/sub-committee-ii-style-ethos-of-our-life-together/16-09-91-inter-orthodox-consultation-after-the-canberra-assembly.html

In other words, he has no standing to enforce an authority he does not recognize, nor to demand compliance to his understanding of documents he repudiates by Orthodox who have unequivocally said that Orthodoxy supercedes any said document of said authority.

He has made serious accusations that would require depositions of the vast majority, if not all, of the bishops of Russia, the defrocked of the vast majority, if not all, of the Orthodox priests of Russia and the excommunication of the vast majority of the Russian Orthodoxy Faithful.  No, posting even a thousand documents that depend on his interpretation over the MoP interpretation will not support his allegations.

So he thinks that the Orthodox Church of Russia has betrayed the True Faith.  So do the rest of the Protestants.  Oh, well.

Btw, has it been answered why, if the Soviets were so in favor of the WCC, and in such control of the Moscow Patriarchate, why did it take 11 years for the PoM to join?

And I'm waiting for this explaination:

 You are aware that you must not be in communion with heretics, are you not? So, what exactly are you doing in the World Council of Churches? Perhaps it is not in fact a heretical body after all, despite appearances to the contrary. In that case, why are you even making a fuss about the WCC? Clearly there is no actual heresy going on, because you are still in communion with all these alleged heretics.

Jonathan,

I have to confess that I have no idea what you are saying.   I think we have reached a stage where you need to provide definitions.  What do you mean by "being in communion with"? 

Quote
You can't admit on the one hand that the WCC is heretical and then be a member of it!

Why not?   Are you not here with us on this board where the majority of us are heretical in the view of the GOC but you are more than happy to be a member here and discuss things with us.  Are you "in communion" with us in global Orthodoxy because you are speaking with us?

The bishop whom you commemorate, in whose name you celebrate the liturgy, is he a member of a Synod that is a member of the WCC? That is, does he himself participate in ecumenist gatherings, or is he otherwise in communion (that is, shares the chalice or concelebrates) with bishops who participate in these gatherings? Those who participate in the WCC in person do so in the name of their entire Church, so everyone else in communion with these participants can also be said to be members of the WCC. If you don't like being a member of the WCC, then you need to break communion with these participants. That is, you must separate and stop commemorating the bishop who is also a member and must go under a bishop from a Synod that is not a member.

Jonathan I am not sure if this point has been brought up earlier on in the thread but I think you would need to address this fact in context to your statement above.    The "jurisdictions" in communion with each other are all part of the same undivided Church.  I think you agree with this principle, no?

Your GOC was in communion with ROCOR when ROCOR was in full communion with the Jerusalem Patriarchate and the Serbian Patriarchate.  This means that your Bishops, through ROCOR, were communing from the same chalice as those who are members of the WCC.   In fact, here is a statement from Fr. Seraphim Rose in an essay written during the very late 70's that presents major problems with your statement above.

Orthodox Facing the 1980's



". . . Metropolitan [Philaret] has warned other Orthodox Christians of the disastrous results of their ecumenical course if they continue; but at the same time our bishops have refused to cut off all contact and communion with Orthodox Churches involved in the Ecumenical Movement, recognizing that it is still a tendency that has not yet come to its conclusion (the Unia with Rome) . . ."
 
How do you reconcile this contradicion to your current claim?

Fr. Ambrose has simply asked for a document signed/issued/approved by Russian Orthodox Church and held valid by her today that doesn't need "the betrayal of Orthodoxy interpreted into it.  It shouldn't be that hard, if things are as Jonathan claims.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 10:59:00 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Pravoslavbob

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,395
  • Out for a stroll...
  • Faith: Orthodox Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Antioch
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #264 on: July 30, 2009, 11:48:18 PM »
In the past the Orthodox felt obliged to make their own "separate statements" on matters debated in the WCC. In the last decades, growing together in ecumenical fellowship, they abandoned this practice and took part in the production of common statements. The present situation causes some uneasiness among the Orthodox. This has led them to issue some reminders about the basic criteria of their participation. Some suggest a resumption of "separate statements" because the Orthodox point of view is insufficiently reflected. Most feel that separate statements would be unfortunate for the nature of ecumenical work. New ways have to be found to implement the Orthodox view in drafting committees, issue-related consultations and WCC governing bodies.

As a matter of fact, the "common statement" situation is a big thorn in the side for many Protestants in the WCC.  They basically have to agree to making statements that are  acceptable to the Orthodox.  This is because the members of the WCC know that they need the Orthodox for credibility:  without them, the WCC is just a big pan-Protestant club, with the exception of a few more traditionally-minded Anglicans and Lutherans.  The Orthodox are really insisting on not compromising in this area and this is really causing Protestants a lot of chagrin. 
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 11:52:40 PM by Pravoslavbob »
Atheists have noetic deficiencies.


Don't believe everything you think.


The more I know, the less I know.   ;)

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,543
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #265 on: July 31, 2009, 12:11:47 AM »
What are the doctrinal compromises in the Russian Church caused by its involvement in ecumenism?   Could anyone please cite them and also it would be great if some substantiation is included.
I think Jonathan has already cited them and given substantiating evidence.  You just won't accept what he's given you.  As Fr. Anastasios has already said, if you don't want to believe Jonathan, that's your prerogative, but he's under no obligation to argue ad nauseum with you, nor is anyone else obliged to argue on his behalf.

No, Fr Anastasios, Jonathan has in no way provided evidence of doctrinal compromise or heresy on the part of the Russian Church, only a skewed interpretation of sections of WCC statements (which are little more than motherhood statements, anyway), which no canonical Orthodox church has ever incorporated into its praxis or preaching. EVER. And, as we have seen recently, both with the case in Germany of the "recognition" of Lutheran baptism, and with a case some years ago of a bishop in Greece who dared to serve Liturgy in modern Greek (though this is not strictly a doctrinal matter), episcopal oversight has been diligent and swift in correcting such errors.

I have had lifelong involvement with both canonical Greek and canonical Russian churches. What would comprise doctrinal compromise? Here are but a few examples:

Allowing non-Orthodox to receive Holy Communion in an Orthodox church. Allowing non-Orthodox clergy to co-serve, fully vested, at Divine Liturgy. Allowing female priests. Expressing ambivalence or outright denial of any of the precepts of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, or in changing of any part of this Creed. Baptising people in the name of "the Creator, Liberator and Sustainer". Denying that the contents of the chalice is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. Modifying the liturgical and iconographic deposit of the church to incorporate novel doctrines. Etc, etc.

Where is the evidence within the praxis of the canonical Russian church that any of the above has happened, or, more importantly, are part of Russian Church practice since their association with the WCC?
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #266 on: July 31, 2009, 12:19:42 AM »
Fr. Ambrose has simply asked for a document signed/issued/approved by Russian Orthodox Church and held valid by her today that doesn't need "the betrayal of Orthodoxy interpreted into it.  It shouldn't be that hard, if things are as Jonathan claims.
But what good is an officially signed document if the parties to said document have visibly acted in contradiction to said document as if that document means nothing, as Jonathan claims?  I'm not saying I agree with anything Jonathan has asserted here, and I do see that much of what he has presented has been filtered through his interpretation of events, but I do understand what he is arguing and that no signed document is going to dissuade him from his accusations if he sees the blatant double-speak he sees.  By insisting upon nothing more and nothing less than a formally signed document, Irish Hermit (or whoever is asking for said document) is stacking the deck to rule out automatically any evidence that Jonathan can use to support his allegation that Moscow has engaged in hypocritical double-speak.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #267 on: July 31, 2009, 12:25:11 AM »
What are the doctrinal compromises in the Russian Church caused by its involvement in ecumenism?   Could anyone please cite them and also it would be great if some substantiation is included.
I think Jonathan has already cited them and given substantiating evidence.  You just won't accept what he's given you.  As Fr. Anastasios has already said, if you don't want to believe Jonathan, that's your prerogative, but he's under no obligation to argue ad nauseum with you, nor is anyone else obliged to argue on his behalf.

No, Fr Anastasios, Jonathan has in no way provided evidence of doctrinal compromise or heresy on the part of the Russian Church, only a skewed interpretation of sections of WCC statements (which are little more than motherhood statements, anyway), which no canonical Orthodox church has ever incorporated into its praxis or preaching. EVER. And, as we have seen recently, both with the case in Germany of the "recognition" of Lutheran baptism, and with a case some years ago of a bishop in Greece who dared to serve Liturgy in modern Greek (though this is not strictly a doctrinal matter), episcopal oversight has been diligent and swift in correcting such errors.

I have had lifelong involvement with both canonical Greek and canonical Russian churches. What would comprise doctrinal compromise? Here are but a few examples:

Allowing non-Orthodox to receive Holy Communion in an Orthodox church. Allowing non-Orthodox clergy to co-serve, fully vested, at Divine Liturgy. Allowing female priests. Expressing ambivalence or outright denial of any of the precepts of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, or in changing of any part of this Creed. Baptising people in the name of "the Creator, Liberator and Sustainer". Denying that the contents of the chalice is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. Modifying the liturgical and iconographic deposit of the church to incorporate novel doctrines. Etc, etc.

Where is the evidence within the praxis of the canonical Russian church that any of the above has happened, or, more importantly, are part of Russian Church practice since their association with the WCC?
So you're not convinced, because you have joined Irish Hermit in stacking the deck so you cannot lose this argument.  I'm not convinced by Jonathan's evidence, but I don't deny that he has provided the evidence that was sought of him.  If you don't see Jonathan as having given evidence of what you seek, that's your prerogative to see his evidence that way.  But I'm not going to insist that Jonathan engage you in an endless argument just to please you.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Pravoslavbob

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,395
  • Out for a stroll...
  • Faith: Orthodox Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Antioch
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #268 on: July 31, 2009, 12:27:51 AM »
Allowing non-Orthodox to receive Holy Communion in an Orthodox church.

I've never seen this happen myself, but unfortunately I have it on pretty good authority that this has started to happen in some places (though not in the Russian Church, AFAIK, and it is not as yet very widespread).  And I'm not just talking about the current Antiochian crisis, either.


Quote
Allowing non-Orthodox clergy to co-serve, fully vested, at Divine Liturgy.

Again, I have it on good authority that this has happened, not in the Russian Church, and not at liturgy, but at weddings and baptisms, though not frequently.  Perhaps my comments here are red herrings in a sense, because they do not directly address the question at hand, that being the attitude of the Russian Church to ecumenism. But jurisdictions that are in communion with the Russians have begun to tolerate things  that I think they should not, and this is troubling.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 12:30:27 AM by Pravoslavbob »
Atheists have noetic deficiencies.


Don't believe everything you think.


The more I know, the less I know.   ;)

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,543
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: The Russian Orthodox Church on Ecumenism
« Reply #269 on: July 31, 2009, 12:28:44 AM »
Fr. Ambrose has simply asked for a document signed/issued/approved by Russian Orthodox Church and held valid by her today that doesn't need "the betrayal of Orthodoxy interpreted into it.  It shouldn't be that hard, if things are as Jonathan claims.
But what good is an officially signed document if the parties to said document have visibly acted in contradiction to said document as if that document means nothing, as Jonathan claims?  I'm not saying I agree with anything Jonathan has asserted here, and I do see that much of what he has presented has been filtered through his interpretation of events, but I do understand what he is arguing and that no signed document is going to dissuade him from his accusations if he sees the blatant double-speak he sees.  By insisting upon nothing more and nothing less than a formally signed document, Irish Hermit (or whoever is asking for said document) is stacking the deck to rule out automatically any evidence that Jonathan can use to support his allegation that Moscow has engaged in hypocritical double-speak.

This is exactly why I have taken the different approach of asking for proof of a change of praxis or preaching of the Russian church. Such evidence would be far more indicative of "doctrinal innovation". To paraphrase Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady":

Words, words, words
I'm so sick of words
I get words all day through
Is that all you blighters can do?

SHOW me now!!
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?