Author Topic: Ecumenism  (Read 5620 times)

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Offline Papist

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Ecumenism
« on: February 21, 2008, 03:37:16 PM »
If Ecumenism would be defined as open and honest discussion about what share in common and what divides us, without either side compromising their respective faiths, as well as cooperation, when possible, in the areas of social justice and the defence of the Christian faith against secularism, would anyone have a problem with ecumenism?
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Offline orthodoxlurker

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 03:54:20 PM »
If Ecumenism would be defined as open and honest discussion about what share in common and what divides us, without either side compromising their respective faiths, as well as cooperation, when possible, in the areas of social justice and the defence of the Christian faith against secularism, would anyone have a problem with ecumenism?

I can't imagine anyone would. Personally, I surely wouldn't.

Anathema against ecumenism (ROCOR, 1983) is directed against those who claim that the Church is divided, thus is not One, Holy, Apostolic...

That's what is unacceptable.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 12:37:07 AM »
Sounds like a good idea to me. But the problem is how to get two sides to work together without the discussion breaking down into each calling the other heretics.
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Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 01:55:28 AM »
If Ecumenism would be defined as open and honest discussion about what share in common and what divides us, without either side compromising their respective faiths, as well as cooperation, when possible, in the areas of social justice and the defence of the Christian faith against secularism, would anyone have a problem with ecumenism?

I think you're on to something here, Papist!
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 07:58:01 AM »
Papist my brother that is exactly what I believe ecumenism is meant to be about!
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2008, 02:27:14 AM »
If Ecumenism would be defined as open and honest discussion about what share in common and what divides us, without either side compromising their respective faiths, as well as cooperation, when possible, in the areas of social justice and the defence of the Christian faith against secularism, would anyone have a problem with ecumenism?

I have no problem with co-operation, but why do we have to redefine a word ("Ecumenism") to mean something which it doesn't. We can work together without having to use a word which already has a completely different meaning to describe it.
I think if we use the word "Ecumenism" to describe joint co-operation on issues such as social justice, we will only leave ourselves open to the accusation that a non-dogmatic unity is the ultimate aim of the exercise.
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Offline GiC

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2008, 05:33:28 AM »
I have no problem with co-operation, but why do we have to redefine a word ("Ecumenism") to mean something which it doesn't. We can work together without having to use a word which already has a completely different meaning to describe it.
I think if we use the word "Ecumenism" to describe joint co-operation on issues such as social justice, we will only leave ourselves open to the accusation that a non-dogmatic unity is the ultimate aim of the exercise.

Then what, exactly, is your definition of ecumenism, if not co-operation and dailogue amongst different faiths or denominations?
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2008, 05:59:45 AM »
Then what, exactly, is your definition of ecumenism, if not co-operation and dailogue amongst different faiths or denominations?

The trouble with the word "Ecumenism" is that it has so many meanings. Here are some web definitions:
Quote

ec·u·me·nism
   1.  A movement promoting unity among Christian churches or denominations.
   2. A movement promoting worldwide unity among religions through greater cooperation and improved understanding.
http://www.answers.com/topic/ecumenism
In definition (1), what is meant by "unity"? Let's look at the definition of "unity" from the same source:
Quote

u·ni·ty  (yū'nĭ-tē) n., pl. -ties.

   1. The state or quality of being one; singleness.
   2. The state or quality of being in accord; harmony.
   3.
         1. The combination or arrangement of parts into a whole; unification.
         2. A combination or union thus formed.
   4. Singleness or constancy of purpose or action; continuity: “In an army you need unity of purpose” (Emmeline Pankhurst).

   5.
         1. An ordering of all elements in a work of art or literature so that each contributes to a unified aesthetic effect.
         2. The effect thus produced.
   6. One of the three principles of dramatic structure derived by French neoclassicists from Aristotle's Poetics, stating that a drama should have but one plot, which should take place in a single day and be confined to a single locale.
   7. Mathematics.
         1. The number 1.
         2. See identity element.
http://www.answers.com/unity


So from this, can we understand that "Ecumenism" is the Churches in the "state of being in accord"? Or is Ecumenism the Churches "in the state of being one" Church? Or is Ecumenism "a combination of fragments of Churches to form a whole Church"?....
When there is one clear definition of "Ecumenism", I'll decide whether or not I will use it. Until then, I'm happy to call dialogue and co-operation: "dialogue and co-operation".
« Last Edit: February 23, 2008, 06:03:03 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Papist

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2008, 03:49:07 PM »
I have always understood Ecumenism to be what i described above. That is why I have never had a problem with it.
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Offline Mickey

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2008, 04:39:50 PM »
I have always understood Ecumenism to be what i described above. That is why I have never had a problem with it.
Now you know there is more than one understanding.

Offline GiC

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2008, 04:42:51 PM »
The trouble with the word "Ecumenism" is that it has so many meanings. Here are some web definitions:In definition

Well, yes, if we want to analyze etymology there are several potential meanings; heck, it could mean that we want to bring everyone under the control of the Roman Empire. But, practically speaking, there is a rather well established definition of ecumenism, defined by those actually involved in the ecumenical movement, and this definition is 'dialogue and co-operation'.
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Offline Papist

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2008, 05:46:47 PM »
Now you know there is more than one understanding.
Yes I realize this. And that is the problem. When I see Eastern Orthodox Christians arguing about it, I think they often are talking past eachother becasue they are talking about different things. Not an insult. Just an observation.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2008, 12:39:15 AM »
But, practically speaking, there is a rather well established definition of ecumenism, defined by those actually involved in the ecumenical movement, and this definition is 'dialogue and co-operation'.

"Those involved in the ecumenical movement" include the World Council of Churches. Their understanding of ecumenism includes joint worship. In 1998, a PanOrthodox meeting of WCC delegates from the Orthodox Churches issued the "Thessaloniki Statement" prior to the 1998 Harare Assembly of the WCC which included the following declaration:
Quote
All the Orthodox Churches are requested to send official delegates to the VIII Assembly of the WCC in Harare, December 1998, with the aim of expressing their concerns as follows:
   1. Orthodox delegates participating at Harare will present in common this Statement of the Thessaloniki Pan-Orthodox Meeting.
   2. Orthodox delegates will not participate in ecumenical services, common prayers, worship and other religious ceremonies at the Assembly.
   3. Orthodox delegates generally will not take part in the voting procedure except in certain cases that concern the Orthodox and by unanimous agreement. If it is needed, in the plenary and group discussions, they will present the Orthodox views and positions.
   4. These mandates will be maintained until a radical restructuring of the WCC is accomplished to allow adequate Orthodox participation. http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=3676
The need for such a statement by the Orthodox delegates is a clear indication that the WCC has a very different view of what Ecumenism is to what the Orthodox delegates perceive it to be.
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Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2008, 12:37:00 AM »
The need for such a statement by the Orthodox delegates is a clear indication that the WCC has a very different view of what Ecumenism is to what the Orthodox delegates perceive it to be.

Very true.  It's interesting that the Orthodox are a real thorn in the side of the WCC.  The WCC need the Orthodox, because without them, the WCC loses credibility and becomes essentially a pan-Protestant club.  The Orthodox are, for all intents and purposes,  the only "ancient" and "catholic" group participating in the WCC.  If they left, only high church Anglicans and some Lutherans would be in any sense representative of a "catholic" approach to worship.  So the WCC often has to hold its nose and pay attention to Orthodox requests and demands.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 12:43:12 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2008, 12:40:14 AM »
... it could mean that we want to bring everyone under the control of the Roman Empire.

Wouldn't that just make your millenium.   :laugh:  ;)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 12:41:10 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2008, 04:45:41 PM »
(Note: Let me preface the remarks below by saying that I'm only going to speak about the Catholic Church and the Catholic p.o.v.  I suspect that what I'm going to say could also be said of the Orthodox Church and the Orthodox p.o.v.; but I don't want to be presumptuous, never having been Orthodox.)

I don't have a problem with ecumenism in and of itself; but it can definitely be a problem when ecumenism becomes a sort of a rally cry.

Same thing, I think, with the un-ecumenical side. For example, take this quote from Phil Blosser concerning the 869 Council of Constantinople. (I'll spare you my opinion of Mr. Blosser.)

Quote
While ecumenically-minded scholars such as Dvornik have written irenically in support of the thesis of abrogation by John VIII, others such as Venance Grumel and Martin Jugie have defended the thesis of non-abrogation and ecumenicity of the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869-870) as the Eighth Ecumenical Council of the Church.

I wouldn't exactly call that a rallying cry against "ecumenism"; but it is interesting the way he used "ecumenically-minded" for a little rhetorical spin. After reading that sentence, it's not hard to imagine Blosser's readers saying to themselves "Well of course Dvornik would say that. He's one of those ecumenists."


Getting back to the general situation, I think that what both the "ecumenical" side and the "un-ecumenical" side need to realize is that there's one Catholic Church. Neither side can say "We're the real Catholics, and those [un-]ecumenical Catholics aren't."

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Offline orthodoxlurker

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2008, 07:52:11 PM »
Allow me to make some input

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/artemije_thess.aspx

Quote
There were similar reviews and reproves from individuals and groups within the Serbian Orthodox Church itself. Worthy of mention is a text by novice-monk Ilija entitled "Nešto gore i od ekumenizma" ("Something even worse than ecumenism"), where he presents horrible testimony about ecumenical prayers by Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Muslims at the beginning of 1992 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In connection with this, we wrote a brief commentary, "Bog se ne da ružiti" ("God cannot be corrupted") in which we point out that this kind of trampling on the traditions of the Holy Fathers and the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church leads directly, by God’s allowance, to inter-ethnic conflict and bloodshed.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2008, 10:19:20 PM »
^^ I'm certainly prepared to stipulate that Catholics and Orthodox praying together is very wrong if one assumes that we don't worship the same God. But I just don't accept that assumption -- and apart from oc.net I know very few people who do accept it.

As for Orthodox or Catholics praying with Muslims, I agree that that is wrong. I would point out, however, that that isn't ecumenism.

With regard to "this kind of trampling on the traditions of the Holy Fathers and the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church leads directly, by God’s allowance, to inter-ethnic conflict and bloodshed", do you have an argument to make, or do we just have to take your word for it? (Keep in mind that most of us don't have direct access to God's mind.)

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Offline orthodoxlurker

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2008, 06:41:35 AM »
I'm certainly prepared to stipulate that Catholics and Orthodox praying together is very wrong if one assumes that we don't worship the same God. But I just don't accept that assumption -- and apart from oc.net I know very few people who do accept it.

I must say I find it completely wrong if an Orthodox is going around saying to a RC that you worship a different God. But after a comprehensive debate over filioque I find it extremely difficult for an Orthodox to say he is certain that we worship the same God.

But that isn't the question here from my perspective.

It's that filioque is under anathema(s), so the question of God we worship is not necessarily posed.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2008, 07:09:34 AM »
Getting back to the general situation, I think that what both the "ecumenical" side and the "un-ecumenical" side need to realize is that there's one Catholic Church. Neither side can say "We're the real Catholics, and those [un-]ecumenical Catholics aren't."

I think the problem goes much deeper, Peter, and I think it gets back to the different understandings of the word "ecumenism".
Two years ago on this forum, I suggested we need to look for a different word other than "ecumenism" for this very reason (see the thread "Ecumenism"- should we use a different word? )
I think people are actually talking past each other because they have different understandings of the word "ecumenism" and are using it in different senses. Technically, someone who is "un-ecumenical" is an "anti-ecumenist", however, this can mean different things depending on your understanding of "ecumenism". Most "anti-ecumenists" I know in the Orthodox Church are not actually opposed to dialogue and co-operation with the Roman Catholics (or others). So from the point of view of someone who is an "ecumenist" and sees ecumenism as being "dialogue and co-operation", an "anti-ecumenist" is not really an "anti-ecumenist". Likewise, when an Orthodox "anti-ecumenist" states that he opposes "ecumenism", what he's most often talking about is the idea that has come to be known as "Branch theory"- that is, that the Church is somehow divided into "branches" and is not visibly contained entirely in the Orthodox Church. Basically, it's a problem with ecclesiology. For the Church to be truly the Church, it must be: "One" (a singularity), "Holy" (containing the Fullness of Grace), "Catholic" (every local Church under a local Bishop contains the fullness of Grace in itself and is in Communion with every other local Church) and "Apostolic". If we begin to say that the Church is divided into "branches" which are not in Communion with each other, then we are saying that the Church is neither "One", nor "Catholic". This is what most "anti-ecumenists" (including me) actually oppose, not dialogue and co-operation.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 07:10:31 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2008, 05:45:11 PM »
^^ I've been reading (or re-reading) that other thread, and I think you (ozgeorge) hit the nail on the head when you said: "'ecumenism' is not really a doctrine, it is more of a modus operandi".

Indeed. Not a doctrine, but an orientation, attitude, approach, etc.

In many cases, the first step of ecumenism is to remove the "spin" that triumphalism puts into our statements: the make-your-opponent-look-bad without-actually-saying-anything-about-him kind of  thing (e.g. using the "U-word" for Eastern Catholics).
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2008, 05:55:19 PM »
It's that filioque is under anathema(s)

And, from the Catholic p.o.v., the Second Council of Lyons (1274) condemned those "who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son".

Clearly, the filioque is an issue that needs to be addressed prior to any reconciliation between our churches.

(Incidentally, one of my pet peeves is know-it-alls who say "The filioque isn't such a big deal. Catholics and Orthodox should just agree already." or "I don't know why the Orthodox make such a fuss about the way we say the creed. It's just one word different." and other such nonsense.

And know back to your regularly scheduled topic ... )
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2008, 06:11:35 AM »
In many cases, the first step of ecumenism is to remove the "spin" that triumphalism puts into our statements:
Actually I think there is at least two steps before this.
(1) We need to clearly define what ecumenism is and agree on that definition.
(2) In the light of (1), we need to decide whether ecumenism is indeed something we want to work towards.
Otherwise, we are just doing the same ka-ka thing which has led to the "ecumenical vs. anti-ecumenical" disputes we find ourselves in now.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2008, 10:38:25 AM »
In many cases, the first step of ecumenism is to remove the "spin" that triumphalism puts into our statements:

 Actually I think there is at least two steps before this.
(1) We need to clearly define what ecumenism is and agree on that definition.

Interesting. So basically you're criticizing me for expressing an opinion on what "ecumenism" entails, on the grounds that "we" haven't yet agreed on a definition of "ecumenism"?

(2) In the light of (1), we need to decide whether ecumenism is indeed something we want to work towards.

Mmm ... This might be a good time for a little reality-check: While I certainly respect the authority you wield on oc-net, I'm not exactly lying awake at night thinking "What if I think that 'ecumenism' is a good thing, but ozgeorge decides that it isn't? We've got to agree on that."

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Offline drewmeister2

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2008, 11:34:30 AM »
Here is a good YouTube video concerning ecumenism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-RdNeKlFs8
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2008, 05:02:23 PM »
Interesting. So basically you're criticizing me
Can you point out where I have criticized you please?
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2008, 05:17:48 PM »
Here is a good YouTube video concerning ecumenism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-RdNeKlFs8
Thanks for that! I have just been reading about Fr. George Calciu's tortures under the Pitesti Experiment in "The Orthodox Word" and have read "The Inner Universe", so it was interesting to hear his voice.
What Elder Cleopa says in the video succinctly describes the Ecclesiological problem raised by Ecumenism based on the "Branch Theory"- and to accept it would mean that the Church is nowhere and non-existent. This is why we need to clearly define what we mean when we say "Ecumenism". These holy Elders clearly understand Ecumenism to be something which is based on a belief that the Orthodox Church is somehow only "part" of the Church (with only "part" of the Truth, and only "part" of the fullness of Grace) or that the Orthodox Church is only one of "several" whole Churches with different dogmas.
So clearly, I'm not the only one with an issue about the meaning of "Ecumenism".
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 07:18:33 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline drewmeister2

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2008, 08:10:26 PM »
Thanks for that! I have just been reading about Fr. George Calciu's tortures under the Pitesti Experiment in "The Orthodox Word" and have read "The Inner Universe", so it was interesting to hear his voice.
What Elder Cleopa says in the video succinctly describes the Ecclesiological problem raised by Ecumenism based on the "Branch Theory"- and to accept it would mean that the Church is nowhere and non-existent. This is why we need to clearly define what we mean when we say "Ecumenism". These holy Elders clearly understand Ecumenism to be something which is based on a belief that the Orthodox Church is somehow only "part" of the Church (with only "part" of the Truth, and only "part" of the fullness of Grace) or that the Orthodox Church is only one of "several" whole Churches with different dogmas.
So clearly, I'm not the only one with an issue about the meaning of "Ecumenism".

You're welcome!  The only other thing I will add so I don't get in a long debate about this, is that I do believe these elders are addressing ecumenism as being a problem that is currently affecting the Church.  What I mean is, is that I have heard some say (and I am not saying you are part of this group that believes this) that such elders condemn ecumenism but they aren't really applying it as if it actually a problem that exists in Orthodoxy, they are just condemning ecumenism in case it were to ever be a problem in Orthodoxy.  I think when you look at the way they said what they said in that video it is clear they see that something isn't quite right in Orthodoxy right now, ie, ecumenism is a problem even in the Orthodox Church, and thus they are outspoken against it.   
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2008, 08:36:48 PM »
ecumenism is a problem even in the Orthodox Church, and thus they are outspoken against it.   
I agree, but I keep finding myself having to qualify what I mean by this. "Ecumenism" as a modus operandi based on the belief that there is more than one Church or that the Body of Christ is fragmented and needs to be put back together in order to be whole is based on an heretical belief. This type of "ecumenism" is heretical.
However, this thread was opened with the suggestion that "ecumenism" is simply "dialogue and co-operation". Now, the holy Elders are not opposed to dialogue and co-operation as these things cannot possible be heresies. What they oppose is the "agenda" behind ecumenism- that is, the heretical teaching that the Church is not One and undivided.
Now, because the word "ecumenism" is so ambiguous, "un-ecumenical" can be a criticism that one is uncharitable and unwilling to dialogue and co-operate. But this is not what the "un-ecumenical" side mean at all. What they mean is that they oppose an heresy which teaches the existence of a fragmented Church or a multiplicity of Churches, and that the only way for these Churches or parts of Churches to become "one" is by lowering themselves to the level of the lowest common dewnominator.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2008, 09:54:22 AM »
However, this thread was opened with the suggestion that "ecumenism" is simply "dialogue and co-operation".

I'm glad you brought that up; I've been meaning to respond to that post.

Here's what Papist said:

If Ecumenism would be defined as open and honest discussion about what share in common and what divides us, without either side compromising their respective faiths, as well as cooperation, when possible, in the areas of social justice and the defence of the Christian faith against secularism, would anyone have a problem with ecumenism?

First I would suggest that cooperation is closely related to ecumenism, but not a part of ecumenism strictly speaking.

To define ecumenism as "open and honest discussion about what we share in common and what divides us" is, I think, closer to the truth. Even better is Bishop Youssef's statement: "Ecumenism is the openness to listen to others' opinions and have frank discussions while trying to reach solutions to the issues at hand." (emphasis added)

If I might try to add my own humble thoughts to His Grace's, I would suggest it's like the difference between a courtroom with one attorney and a courtroom with two attorneys. I.e. an un-ecumenical mind is like a courtroom with a judge, jury, and a lawyer for the prosecution; an ecumenical mind is like a courtroom with all those things plus a lawyer for the defense.

To me the problem, when there is one, is not ecumenism in and of itself (in my analogy, the presence of the defense lawyer), but simply the failure to use good judgment (rather like a naive jury reaching a wrong decision because of a slick defense argument), and presto another Branch Theorist is born.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 09:56:24 AM by PJ »
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2008, 10:13:32 AM »
On a slightly different note ... I'd like to add that, while I sometimes object to liberties taken by anti-ecumenists in their use of the word "ecumenism" -- for example, Anastasios' proposal that it's a "convenient umbrella" for Branch Theorism, prayer with heretics, neo-Latinism, and modernism -- I have to admit that ecumenists sometimes take liberties of their own in applying the word "ecumenical" (in a positive sense of the term).

For example, I really cringe whenever I hear the term applied to e.g. Fr. Taft. (For anyone unfamiliar with the work of the Catholic priest Fr. Robert Taft, let me provide just one detail: A few years ago, an interviewer pointed out to Fr. Taft that the Russian Orthodox Church was against the idea of the Ukrainian Catholic Church being elevated to a patriarchate. The "ecumenist" responded "The further you go East from anywhere, the worse everything gets, except the food. Logic gets worse, rationality gets worse, and everything ultimately winds up in hysteria and emotionalism. It's futile to try and reason about this. The Catholic church should not even try to persuade the Orthodox to accept the patriarchate. To hell with Moscow.") More generally speaking, it often seems like the title "ecumenist" is automatically awarded to anyone who accuses the other side of not being ecumenical enough.

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« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 10:20:47 AM by PJ »
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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2008, 12:43:36 PM »
For me, the following anonymous quote (http://aggreen.net/ecumenism/ecumenism.html) pretty much sums up my take on ecumenism:

"Ecumenism for the Eastern Orthodox did not begin with the Roman Catholic Second Vatican Council. It is the Eastern Orthodox churches' work to embrace estranged communions as (possibly former) beneficiaries of a common gift, and simultaneously to guard against a promiscuous and false union with them. The history of the relationship between Eastern Orthodoxy and the Oriental Orthodox churches is a case in point. Likewise, the Eastern Orthodox have been leaders in the Interfaith movement, and some Orthodox patriarchs enlisted their communions as charter members of the World Council of Churches. Nevertheless, the Orthodox have not been willing to participate in any redefinition of the Christian faith toward a reduced, minimal, anti-dogmatic and anti-traditional Christianity. Christianity for the Eastern Orthodox is the Church; and the Church is Orthodoxy—nothing less and nothing else. Therefore, while Orthodox ecumenism is "open to dialogue with the devil himself", the goal is to reconcile all non-Orthodox back into Orthodoxy."
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 12:45:56 PM by Heracleides »
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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2008, 12:47:28 PM »
I agree, but I keep finding myself having to qualify what I mean by this. "Ecumenism" as a modus operandi based on the belief that there is more than one Church or that the Body of Christ is fragmented and needs to be put back together in order to be whole is based on an heretical belief. This type of "ecumenism" is heretical.
However, this thread was opened with the suggestion that "ecumenism" is simply "dialogue and co-operation". Now, the holy Elders are not opposed to dialogue and co-operation as these things cannot possible be heresies. What they oppose is the "agenda" behind ecumenism- that is, the heretical teaching that the Church is not One and undivided.
Now, because the word "ecumenism" is so ambiguous, "un-ecumenical" can be a criticism that one is uncharitable and unwilling to dialogue and co-operate. But this is not what the "un-ecumenical" side mean at all. What they mean is that they oppose an heresy which teaches the existence of a fragmented Church or a multiplicity of Churches, and that the only way for these Churches or parts of Churches to become "one" is by lowering themselves to the level of the lowest common dewnominator.

I agree, that these elders are indeed saying that when ecumenism preaches that Orthodoxy is not one and undivided, it is for sure a heresy.  I agree with you too, being an old calendarist myself, that we are un-ecumenical in asmuch as we condemn the belief that Orthodoxy isn't the fullness of the Truth, or that the other churches are able to provide salvation, etc, but of course we have no problem in talking with those who are sincere in rejecting their heresy and wish to return to the one true Church.  
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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2008, 03:09:04 PM »
If I might try to add my own humble thoughts to His Grace's, I would suggest it's like the difference between a courtroom with one attorney and a courtroom with two attorneys. I.e. an un-ecumenical mind is like a courtroom with a judge, jury, and a lawyer for the prosecution; an ecumenical mind is like a courtroom with all those things plus a lawyer for the defense.
If I may borrow your analogy of a courtroom for a moment, I would say the reverse is true. An "ecumenical mind" which automatically labels anyone as having an "un-ecumenical mind" without enquiring what they mean when they oppose "ecumenism" has judged and condemned them without allowing any reply. Therefore an "ecumenical mind" is like a court with with a prosecution and no defence.
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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2008, 03:35:11 PM »
If I may borrow your analogy of a courtroom for a moment, I would say the reverse is true. An "ecumenical mind" which automatically labels anyone as having an "un-ecumenical mind" without enquiring what they mean when they oppose "ecumenism" has judged and condemned them without allowing any reply. Therefore an "ecumenical mind" is like a court with with a prosecution and no defence.

I actually agree with you. We should be sober and charitable and take the time to understand others and their positions.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2008, 04:24:02 PM »
We should be sober and charitable and take the time to understand others and their positions.

I agree.
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Re: Ecumenism
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2008, 07:09:08 PM »
Heracleides,

Yes, that is a good quote.

I would add that even for Catholics, ecumenism didn't start with Vatican II; rather I would say that Vatican II revived Catholic ecumenism from the coma-like state it had been in for a few centuries (the dialogue in the 1920s between Cardinal Mercier and the Anglicans being a noteworthy exception).

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