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« on: June 06, 2003, 05:51:44 PM »

Orthodox participation in ecumenical movement: "There is no alternative to
dialogue"

World Council of Churches
Update 03-27
For Immediate Use
6 June 2003
cf. Press Release, PR-03-20, of 28 May 2003

An appeal to the Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox churches to reconsider
their return to the broad ecumenical world family was addressed by the
participants at an international academic symposium held in Thessaloniki
from 1-3 June.

The request is contained in a letter addressed to H.B. Patriarch Maximos of
Bulgaria and H.B. Catholicos Elias, Patriarch of Georgia, signed by
participants at a symposium organized by the Aristotle University of
Thessaloniki's Theological Faculty. With the blessing of H.B.
Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, the symposium tackled
the theme "Orthodox Theology and Ecumenical Dialogue: Problems and
Perspectives".

In their letter to the heads of Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox churches,
based on "hope and Christian love", participants at the symposium "make an
appeal, out of that love and with deep respect, that your Holy Church review
and reconsider its active participation in the multilateral and bilateral
dialogues and conversations, and also its return to the broad ecumenical
world family".

Both Churches withdrew from the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1998.
However, after the WCC Central Committee received last August the
substantial report from the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation,
there are "new possibilities for taking seriously and dealing responsibly
with Orthodox concerns", the letter said.

The letter was approved with applause by participants in the symposium,
namely professors from Thessaloniki's Theological Faculty and members of the
Steering Committee of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in
the WCC. While those signing the letter recognize that "the path of
inter-Christian dialogue is difficult" they manifest their unanimous
agreement that "there is no alternative to dialogue".

The affirmation echoed statements made by Archbishop Christodoulos at the
event's opening. "In spite of the negative experience we have acquired all
these years, we view the future of the theological dialogues, and generally
our collaboration with our non-Orthodox brothers and sisters, with
optimism," he said. And regarding theological dialogues in particular,
Archbishop Christodoulos said "...we are not allowed to stop the dialogue
and break down the bridges of communication between Christians".

Recalling that the Church of Greece is "a founding member of the WCC of
which it remains a full member till today", the Archbishop of Athens said
work carried out by the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the
WCC is a "pleasant development" that "created hopes that as Orthodox we can
have an equal voice with the Protestants". "I think that new bases have been
created for our presence in WCC", he stated.

At the same time that he voiced his "hope that more effective contribution
of the Orthodox in the decisions and activities of WCC will take place in
the future," Archbishop Christodoulos did not shy away from self-criticism:
"If we, Orthodox, are indifferent and we voluntarily stay in the margin, or
if we are divided depending on the narrow interest of our local Church, we
must not complain for the situation in the WCC. The wrong is not always on
the others."

In his presentation, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr. Konrad Raiser
emphasized the importance of the Orthodox contribution to the WCC during a
public lecture at the symposium's closing ceremony. The extensive summary
began with "the fundamental decision on the part of the Orthodox churches to
assume a leading role in giving shape to the modern ecumenical movement",
translated in the encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of
Constantinople that proposed the establishment of a "league (fellowship)
between the churches" for the first time in 1920.

According to Raiser, perhaps the most important Orthodox contribution to the
WCC was the "consistent _expression of the Orthodox commitment to the
ecumenical fellowship of churches, which has been re-affirmed in response to
questions and sometimes harsh criticism from within". And the "second major
Orthodox contribution to unfolding the self-understanding of the WCC" was to
establish the christocentric affirmation of its Basis (the confession of
"the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour") in a Trinitarian setting ("to
the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit").

Raiser also referred to several other Orthodox contributions, such as the
awareness of conciliarity - "the fact that the church in all times needs
assemblies to represent it and has in fact felt this need" - as "a
fundamental dimension in the understanding of the church"; the decisive
influence of Orthodox thinking in the convergence documents on Baptism,
Eucharist and Ministry, "particularly in terms of emphasis on the role of
the Holy Spirit"; and the "understanding of the missionary vocation of the
church as well as of its diaconal service".

"There is no doubt for me that the active presence of the Orthodox churches
in the WCC has been essential in shaping the understanding of our common
ecumenical calling", stated Raiser towards the end of his presentation. And
now, "the Special Commission and its recommendations have moved us to the
point where the Orthodox contribution to the life and work of the WCC can be
developed in fresh and constructive ways", he concluded.

Besides professors and members of the WCC Steering Committee, the symposium
and discussions were attended by representatives of other churches and
academic institutions, a number of Orthodox priests and students, and
several WCC staff members.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Office,
tel: +41 (0)22 791 64 21 / 61 53


**********

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in
more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian
traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works
cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly,
which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally
inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by
general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.


World Council of Churches
Media Relations Office
Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
Fax: (41 22) 798 1346
E-mail: media@wcc-coe.org
Web: www.wcc-coe.org

PO Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
 
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2003, 06:07:12 PM »

Yeah. I got this emailed to me today from the GOA.

I wrote them back:

"I just received your press release: PR-03-20, of 28 May 2003 -- Orthodox participation in ecumenical movement:'There is no alternative to dialogue'.  
As a member of St. Sophia Cathedral in Washington, DC. I want to stress my dismay at the GOA's participation in this "ecumenical movement". No Orthodox Christian Church has any business being involved with the WCC. As Orthodox, we are specifically forbidden to be involved with heretics and schismatics."

I also wrote them to object to SCOBA and the Leadership 100 presenting MD Senator Sarbanes with an award (3 weeks AFTER he voted AGAINST the bill to outlaw Partial-Birth abortion in the Senate)

The GOA has just become so corrupt. I am really dismayed by their actions.  Huh
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2003, 06:50:34 PM »

Yeah. I got this emailed to me today from the GOA.

I wrote them back:

"I just received your press release: PR-03-20, of 28 May 2003 -- Orthodox participation in ecumenical movement:'There is no alternative to dialogue'.  
As a member of St. Sophia Cathedral in Washington, DC. I want to stress my dismay at the GOA's participation in this "ecumenical movement". No Orthodox Christian Church has any business being involved with the WCC. As Orthodox, we are specifically forbidden to be involved with heretics and schismatics."

I also wrote them to object to SCOBA and the Leadership 100 presenting MD Senator Sarbanes with an award (3 weeks AFTER he voted AGAINST the bill to outlaw Partial-Birth abortion in the Senate)

The GOA has just become so corrupt. I am really dismayed by their actions.  Huh


I agree with you. I commend the patriarchs of Bulgaria and Georgia for withdrawing from that organization that has done nothing for Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2003, 07:44:55 PM »

Ummmm, I don't dispute that it's wrong to be syncretistic but the Orthodox participants I know in the WCC spend all of their time witnessing to Orthodoxy and rejecting heretical Protestant teachings.  The WCC is pretty ticked off at the Orthodox right now because of recent Orthodox rejections of proposed "common ecclesiological statements."

There is no canon against being INVOLVED with heretics, only praying with them.

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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2003, 10:53:41 PM »

I personally don't see why my Church is involved with the WCC... but I don't see what's wrong with it either.  There's nothing wrong with discussing as long as we make no compromize.  My preist said that he was at some dialog thing, and there was no problem convincing the Protestants of the need for Sacraments, Liturgy, priesthood, etc, but that it's not like the local Baptist Church is going to buy into it when they're having fun on their own, so it doesn't go very far.  It's not like we're legitimizing the Protestants by engaging in dialog and saying "no, you're wrong" and not budging on any element of the Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2003, 11:39:08 PM »

Quote
our collaboration with our non-Orthodox brothers and sisters

Say what?

Which "non-Orthodox brothers and sisters?"

The ones who deny the deity of Christ?

The ones who deny that Christ is really present in the Eucharist?

The ones who mock the veneration of the Blessed Theotokos and the saints?

The ones who deny the Virgin Birth?

The ones who deny the Second Coming, the Resurrection, the Last Judgment, and the reality of everlasting life?

The ones who ordain women and practicing homosexuals to the priesthood/ministry?

Those "non-Orthodox brothers and sisters?"

I cannot see ANY good coming from Orthodox involvement in the Ecumenical Movement. It legitimizes heretical parasynagogues that call themselves "churches" and gives the impression that the phantom-Church-of-all-believers ecclesiology is true.

Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2003, 12:05:21 AM »

Quote
Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

Which is what Orthodox in the WCC have been telling them since the beginning, when Fr. Florovsky had them insert in the founding document of the WCC that the WCC is not "a parachurch or the Body of Christ, and participation therein does not mean that an ecclesial body accepts the status of another ecclesial body."  Oh and a Church must must officially believe in the Trinity to be in the WCC, by the way. That individual bishops of some Churches deny this stuff is a shame but does not mean that any church calling itself Christian has the same voice in the WCC.

anastasios
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2003, 07:45:38 AM »

I cannot see ANY good coming from Orthodox involvement in the Ecumenical Movement. It legitimizes heretical protosynagogues that call themselves "churches" and gives the impression that the phantom-Church-of-all-believers ecclesiology is true.

Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

So that they can tell you the same thing? They'll be happy enough to take their faith elsewhere.
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2003, 07:54:19 AM »

I cannot see ANY good coming from Orthodox involvement in the Ecumenical Movement. It legitimizes heretical protosynagogues that call themselves "churches" and gives the impression that the phantom-Church-of-all-believers ecclesiology is true.

Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

So that they can tell you the same thing? They'll be happy enough to take their faith elsewhere.


I think that's his point; who needs to talk when we fundamentally disagree.  I don't see a problem with talking but it is against common sense for us to pretend we believe things we don't.

I also don't think your parallel totally works since you guys invented the Branch Theory, which lead to the WCC, whereas the Orthodox do not buy into it (although some Orthodox are willing to believe you are part of the Church via baptism but only imperfectly [similar to the Catholic POV] and although most Orthodox will respect you enough to admit that you have an eclessial reality).  Yet to think that we are all trying to "reach unity" is to most Orthodox offensive as unity is something that *is*.  You either believe in an Orthodox way or you don't.

I myself am very much in support of Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism and I don't mind accepting the fact that there might be some Anglican positions that Orthodox can learn from.  But on the whole our belief systems are too far apart.  Sure I can welcome you, Keble, as a Christian brother and I will even visit your Church (as opposed to others here) BUT I can't pretend that modern Anglicanism is going to somehow reach a consensus one day with Orthodoxy.  It looked possible in Bulgakov's days but things changed big time.  It's not fair to either of our religious "systems" to try and syncronize them, because they both lose their core realities (I am not talking about the central tenents that we share such as Trinity but rather our core defining characteristics).

Sure, I hope I am wrong and we can all be one but as I said before I think it is a mistake to "seek unity" when unity is something that is a reality that one participates in, not creates.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2003, 08:12:34 AM »

I myself am very much in support of Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism and I don't mind accepting the fact that there might be some Anglican positions that Orthodox can learn from.  But on the whole our belief systems are too far apart.  Sure I can welcome you, Keble, as a Christian brother and I will even visit your Church (as opposed to others here) BUT I can't pretend that modern Anglicanism is going to somehow reach a consensus one day with Orthodoxy.  It looked possible in Bulgakov's days but things changed big time.  It's not fair to either of our religious "systems" to try and syncronize them, because they both lose their core realities (I am not talking about the central tenents that we share such as Trinity but rather our core defining characteristics).

Well, you're not going to like to hear this, but.............

This is the accountability issue again. Orthodoxy refuses to be accountable for their doctrines to anyone else. Therefore, as Orthodoxy continues to develop, there's nothing but the Holy Spirit to keep people in check, and people are good at ignoring the Holy Spirit.

What I consistently find in Orthodoxy is that there is a strong impetus to write things back into dogma that even Orthodoxy, when it is kept honest, admits can never be dogmatic. It produces "contrasts" between it and the West that are fallacious. It retreats into a romanticized world of Medieval Russia and Byzantine Greece, ignoring the deep transgressions of the Gospel those worlds contained.

Dialogue with the West can help prevent this-- not necessarily because there is the possibility of agreement, but because at least the most preposterous nonsense can be suppressed. Dialogue with the real West can help quash the fantasy romance with the "Saxon Orthodox Church". It can force Orthodoxy to tell the truth about its various Protestant detractors instead of ascribing the faults of one to all. It can force Orthodoxy to keep its own history straight.
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2003, 08:30:41 AM »

Again, from my good friend Anastasios:

Quote
I myself am very much in support of Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism and I don't mind accepting the fact that there might be some Anglican positions that Orthodox can learn from.  But on the whole our belief systems are too far apart.  Sure I can welcome you, Keble, as a Christian brother and I will even visit your church (as opposed to others here) BUT I can't pretend that modern Anglicanism is going to somehow reach a consensus one day with Orthodoxy.  It looked possible in Bulgakov's days but things changed big time.  It's not fair to either of our religious "systems" to try and synchronize them, because they both lose their core realities (I am not talking about the central tenets that we share such as Trinity but rather our core defining characteristics).

Excellent!

Quote
It looked possible in Bulgakov's days but things changed big time.

Even back then it was possible if and only if Anglicanism as a whole had decided to repudiate Protestantism and its sequential errors of Modernism (Broad Churchmanship). Obviously that didn't happen and is even less likely now.

Quote
This is the accountability issue again. Orthodoxy refuses to be accountable for their doctrines to anyone else. Therefore, as Orthodoxy continues to develop, there's nothing but the Holy Spirit to keep people in check, and people are good at ignoring the Holy Spirit.

I object to this because by arguing for this you are making the secular world your magisterium.

But...

Quote
What I consistently find in Orthodoxy is that there is a strong impetus to write things back into dogma that even Orthodoxy, when it is kept honest, admits can never be dogmatic. It produces "contrasts" between it and the West that are fallacious. It retreats into a romanticized world of Medieval Russia and Byzantine Greece, ignoring the deep transgressions of the Gospel those worlds contained.

Agreed.

Quote
... at least the most preposterous nonsense can be suppressed. Dialogue with the real West can help quash the fantasy romance with the "Saxon Orthodox Church".

Agreed.

A way out of this trap is to remember that the faith is universal - catholic - and includes but transcends East and West, as well as orthodox.
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2003, 08:45:05 AM »

Quote
This is the accountability issue again. Orthodoxy refuses to be accountable for their doctrines to anyone else. Therefore, as Orthodoxy continues to develop, there's nothing but the Holy Spirit to keep people in check, and people are good at ignoring the Holy Spirit.

I object to this because by arguing for this you are making the secular world your magisterium.

Um, well, I don't believe in a Magisterium in the sense that Catholicism uses it. I don't believe in an earthly Court Of Last Resort, but only a heavenly one.

I suppose what I'm trying to say here needs a lot of qualification and explanation, which I don't have time to give now in detail. Different sorts of issues need different sorts of approaches (the issue of veneration of ikons, for example, gets fought out on a practical level and is really incapable of resolution as a result).

Often enough, however, the arguments do step into areas in which the secular world is entirely competent. The various historical claims are an example of this. One does not even have to be a Christian at all to see that the Orthodox Saxon Church is a fantasy. And again, when argumentation is involved, it is a principle thereof that if the opposition works your argument forward from your precepts, he should always arrive at your answer.

That's what I mean about accountability. Not that Orthodoxy is necessarily bound to (for instance) adopt protestant views about extra-scriptural tradition, but that when arguments are made from tradition, they must be rightly made as arguments.
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2003, 09:27:39 AM »

Quote
Often enough, however, the arguments do step into areas in which the secular world is entirely competent. The various historical claims are an example of this. One does not even have to be a Christian at all to see that the Orthodox Saxon Church is a fantasy. And again, when argumentation is involved, it is a principle thereof that if the opposition works your argument forward from your precepts, he should always arrive at your answer.

I think I can agree with that.
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2003, 09:48:01 AM »

A way out of this trap is to remember that the faith is universal - catholic - and includes but transcends East and West ...

But does that not argue for Western Rite Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2003, 10:17:56 AM »

Quote
But does that not argue for Western Rite Orthodoxy?


I see the logic if one believes Eastern Orthodoxy equals the sum and total of the Church but IMO Western Rite Orthodoxy is still historically and socially fake.

Pretty, and quite orthodox, but artificial.

The particularly Western Catholic traditions appropriated by the Orthodox who do this never were part of the churches under the Byzantine or Russian empires.

Isn't appropriating another church's traditions and claiming them as though they were one's own all along what 'Uniatism' was all about?

Remember the furore online when somebody on EWTN called Hagia Sophia big-C Catholic?

Same thing, really.

Anyway, that topic already has its own thread.
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2003, 07:04:34 PM »

I've added a comment about the Western Rite aspects of this in the other thread.
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2003, 10:16:59 PM »

I cannot see ANY good coming from Orthodox involvement in the Ecumenical Movement. It legitimizes heretical protosynagogues that call themselves "churches" and gives the impression that the phantom-Church-of-all-believers ecclesiology is true.

Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

So that they can tell you the same thing? They'll be happy enough to take their faith elsewhere.



They needn't bother. We should take ours elsewhere first.
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2003, 10:26:43 PM »

Quote
From Linus7:
Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

Quote
From Anastasios: Which is what Orthodox in the WCC have been telling them since the beginning, when Fr. Florovsky had them insert in the founding document of the WCC that the WCC is not "a parachurch or the Body of Christ, and participation therein does not mean that an ecclesial body accepts the status of another ecclesial body."

Hmmm . . . is that what Archbishop Christodoulos was doing when he talked about "our non-Orthodox brothers and sisters"?

Do you think such statements make Orthodox ecclesiology crystal clear? Or do they not rather create the impression that we are all just one, big, happy Christian family?

Quote
Oh and a Church must must officially believe in the Trinity to be in the WCC, by the way. That individual bishops of some Churches deny this stuff is a shame but does not mean that any church calling itself Christian has the same voice in the WCC.

And China has an officially democratic constitution.  Roll Eyes




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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2003, 07:41:39 AM »

I cannot see ANY good coming from Orthodox involvement in the Ecumenical Movement. It legitimizes heretical protosynagogues that call themselves "churches" and gives the impression that the phantom-Church-of-all-believers ecclesiology is true.

Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

So that they can tell you the same thing? They'll be happy enough to take their faith elsewhere.



They needn't bother. We should take ours elsewhere first.

Now Linus, think for a minute: how is that in any way what Jesus told you to do?
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2003, 12:58:06 AM »

I cannot see ANY good coming from Orthodox involvement in the Ecumenical Movement. It legitimizes heretical protosynagogues that call themselves "churches" and gives the impression that the phantom-Church-of-all-believers ecclesiology is true.

Protestants need to be told that they are outside the Church.

So that they can tell you the same thing? They'll be happy enough to take their faith elsewhere.



They needn't bother. We should take ours elsewhere first.

Now Linus, think for a minute: how is that in any way what Jesus told you to do?


"And to the angel of the church at Pergamos write,
'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 'I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth' " (Rev. 2:12-16).


Evidently doctrine does matter to the Lord.

It is one thing to hold out the love of God and the Gospel offer of salvation to the whole world, which involves the preaching of repentance.

It is quite another to participate in the WCC and NCC, organizations that have the word Churches in their titles, as if every group represented therein were in fact a church, i.e., part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

Charters notwithstanding, that is the impression that is created.

"Do not be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits' " (1 Cor. 15:33).

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14).

"But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us" (2 Thess. 3:6).


We are not to withdraw from the WCC and the NCC because we are somehow superior to the other members; we should withdraw because their doctrines are corrupt and will eventually infect us.

The best witness to Protestantism is to remain true to the Apostolic Tradition. Bestowing the title of "brother and sister" on those who teach gross error is not the right way. It is simply a crowd-pleasing lie.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2003, 12:59:20 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2003, 07:41:02 AM »

When one party has reached the stage of calling the rest of Christendom "unbelievers", the conversation has passed into "free-for-all" territory. If I were really an unbeliever, I wouldn't bother with this board.

As for the passage from the Revelation, my comment on that is to be found under the "denominations" thread.
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2003, 11:35:54 AM »

Linus,

Although I agree with you over Keble in areas of ecclesiology, I must say that I think you are taking things a little too far.

The Protestants today are not generally heresiarchs: they are not the ones who broke from the Church to found their churches, but rather are simply following the beliefs that were passed down to them. Therefore while I believe objectively speaking they are wrong, I do not believe it is fair to apply those passages about unbelievers to them.  I think better would be to apply the passage where the disciples are told by Jesus to not hinder the guy casting out demons in Jesus' name who is nevertheless not one of "the group" or the passage in Mat. 25 where the people being saved don't know what they could have done to "merit" it.

As I have said before many times, Orthodox participation in the WCC does not lead to synchetism, as the Orthodox participants by and large stand firm.  And given that most Orthodox laity don't take the WCC seriously anyway, why is so much energy focused on this body?  I don't believe that a group like the WCC will lead to Christian unity BUT I do believe it is good to be confronted with other Christians.  Perhaps Keble is right that it leads to better accountability for Orthodoxy. While I can't say that Orthodoxy has anything doctrinally to learn from Non-Orthodox I certainly believe that it can learn practical things and also even ways to better articulate the doctrines in our present circumstances.  Being around Protestants helps.  Look at the Old Believers, who DID totally cut themselves off: now they are a sect that is irrelevant to the modern world.  We can't end up like them.

anastasios
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2003, 12:12:08 PM »

My conscience is very much on the side of the Churches of Bulgaria and Georgia. I believe that initially the Orthodox Church participation in the WCC was in a different manner from all other members. The Orthodox representation would sit aside as observers to the meetings and afterwards produce an Orthodox positional paper on the issues discussed. This approach seemed proper to me and a healthy exercise. Rather than negotiate, the Orthodox were presenting their views in an almost advisory capacity. To the extent that their participation may have changed in nature, I would view this as a negative.  I cannot tell from the published reports if things have indeed so changed. If so, well, the ROCOR parish two miles from my current EP parish may grow by one.
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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2003, 12:42:44 PM »

As I recollect the Catholic Church's participation in the WCC is of this limited observer status.
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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2003, 08:10:31 PM »

Why are Orthodox bothering with the WCC? My observations are:

1. The term "World Council of Churches" is unnaceptable to Orthodox theology because "Churches of God" (as we say in the church services) relate to Chritian Orthodox Churches that are unified, are the one body and share in the grace of the Holy Spirit.

2. Nothing positive (in terms of the hetredox coming to the faith) has eventuated with Orthodox being involved.

3. The WCC seek a common goal of renewal of faith (as outline by their objectives on their webpage). What renewal of faith does the Orthodox Faith require?

I would urge the remaining Orthodox still participating in the Ecumenical Movement to withdraw and take the example of these churches that have withdrawn. I express my disgust at the Aristotle Theological University of Thessaloniki (which I have visited) for their support of the WCC. A big smack for all of them there!
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2003, 08:25:23 PM »

3. The WCC seek a common goal of renewal of faith (as outline by their objectives on their webpage). What renewal of faith does the Orthodox Faith require?

Well, judging from the state of nominally Orthodox countries, apparently quite a lot.
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« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2003, 09:11:37 PM »

3. The WCC seek a common goal of renewal of faith (as outline by their objectives on their webpage). What renewal of faith does the Orthodox Faith require?

Well, judging from the state of nominally Orthodox countries, apparently quite a lot.


Do you mean the ones recovering from years of Communist oppression and martyrdom?

Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2003, 09:52:17 PM »

3. The WCC seek a common goal of renewal of faith (as outline by their objectives on their webpage). What renewal of faith does the Orthodox Faith require?

Well, judging from the state of nominally Orthodox countries, apparently quite a lot.


Do you mean the ones recovering from years of Communist oppression and martyrdom?

Hypo-Ortho

Greece?
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« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2003, 09:54:53 PM »

England?
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« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2003, 10:54:42 PM »

Quote
The Protestants today are not generally heresiarchs: they are not the ones who broke from the Church to found their churches, but rather are simply following the beliefs that were passed down to them.

I am not damning them to hell. I am simply saying we should not be unequally yoked with them in an organization misleadingly called the World Council of Churches.

I pray that they (and we) will all be saved.

Quote
Therefore while I believe objectively speaking they are wrong, I do not believe it is fair to apply those passages about unbelievers to them.  I think better would be to apply the passage where the disciples are told by Jesus to not hinder the guy casting out demons in Jesus' name who is nevertheless not one of "the group" or the passage in Mat. 25 where the people being saved don't know what they could have done to "merit" it.

I think much of the leadership of liberal mainline Protestant denominations does qualify for the title of "unbelievers." A tree is known by its fruit, and leaders by their words, as well as their actions.

The guy Jesus told the disciples not to hinder was casting out demons, not ordaining women and practicing homosexuals to the priesthood and the episcopate or introducing "gender neutral" language to the Bible.

If we are to be "ecumenical" I think our time would be better spent working on our relationships with the RCC and the Oriental Orthodox.
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« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2003, 06:31:05 AM »

3. The WCC seek a common goal of renewal of faith (as outline by their objectives on their webpage). What renewal of faith does the Orthodox Faith require?

Well, judging from the state of nominally Orthodox countries, apparently quite a lot.


Do you mean the ones recovering from years of Communist oppression and martyrdom?

Hypo-Ortho

Greece?


That's odd. All the churches I have been to have been packed every Sunday (standing room only Wink) plus there are always a good number of people along for vespers on Saturday afternoon. Also, my wife often gets along to the liturgy on weekday mornings and tells me that there are always a good number of people. I have also visited a fair number of monasteries in my area and see that many of the monks and nuns are young people, so the monasteries are not in danger of dying out any time soon.

Of course I am only speaking for Thessaloniki, the situation may be quite different elsewhere though that is not what I hear.

I'm curious as to your sources Keble?

John.
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« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2003, 09:49:43 AM »

I can't claim a reliable or certain source on Greek religion-- if the churches are packed, so much the better. My impression may well be mistaken.
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