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Author Topic: Ecumenism Examined, by Constantine Cavanos  (Read 565 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: November 02, 2010, 03:41:57 AM »

Ecumenism Examined: A Concise Analytical Discussion of the Contemporary Ecumenical Movement, by Constantine Cavarnos

In this book Cavarnos examines ecumenism from a more moderate traditionalist stance: ie. he is against ecumenism, but does not go as far as many traditionalists. The basis of the book was a lecture that he gave in 1996. He starts out the book by giving a history of his writing on ecumenism, and how his opinions had been received (pp. vii-viii, 11-24).

Chapter 1 is titled “Towards a Definition of Ecumenism”. Despite the name, he doesn‘t define ecumenism. What he does do is blame the ecumenists for his inability to define it: “It is a phenomenon, or rather group of phenomena, whose ultimate aim or goal the Ecumenists have not endeavored to explain in clear, unambiguous terms.” (p. 27) He also mentions an outline of various forms of ecumenism given by Fr. Georges Floors (pp. 26-27).

In Chapter 2 Cavarnos decries the calendar change, saying that this demonstrates that “we have a clear instance of Orthodox Ecumenism as a divisive movement among the Orthodox.” (p. 33) He mentions ecumenists praying with others (p. 34) and says that canons are being “disregarded” (p. 34) and argues that “When we pray together with others, it is essentially presupposed that the others with whom we pray have precisely the same Faith that we have…” (p. 35)

Cavarnos says that “the Holy Canons are the laws of the Church, and as such must be respected and obeyed,” (p. 35) though he makes no attempt to deal with the idea that it is the bishops who make decisions about applying the canons. He then goes on to tell us of some historical ecumenical happenings, and to list those Orthodox who are “Anti-ecumenists,” such as St. Justin Popovich. (pp. 36-43)

In Chapter 3 Cavarnos explains why he is so opposed to ecumenism: “participation involved repeated ‘dialogues’ with the heterodox, especially with Roman Catholic prelates; and history has taught the Orthodox, especially the Greeks, that such dialogues end for the Orthodox disastrously… when the Church of Rome engages in dialogues with the representatives of the Orthodox Church, the aim of the Roman Church is the subjugation of the Orthodox Church to the Pope… so far as dialogue with various Protestant denominations are concerned, history teaches us that they are destined to failure…” (pp. 44-46)

Cavarnos also criticizes “doctrinal minimalism,” which he says “consists in proposing that controversial points--that is, differences in doctrine--be considered ‘non-essential’ and therefore things not to be discussed in Ecumenical dialogues.” (p. 47) And he argues that “exposure again and again through dialogues to this minimalist, relativistic mentality has a blunting effect on the Orthodox phronema or mindset…” (p. 47)

Cavarnos then goes on to quote saints about how we should avoid heretics (pp. 48-50), saying that heresy is “a virus, a poison that leads to spiritual infection and results in spiritual death.” (p. 52)  In this chapter Cavarnos also makes the argument that ecumenists teach the branch theory (p. 56).

All of this is not to say that Cavarnos thinks that we should cease communication totally; rather, he says that we should limit “Ecumenical dialogues” to no more than one or two (p. 48), following the advice of St. Paul: “A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition abandon” (Tit. 3:10).

Cavarnos finished the book by saying that ecumenists haven’t defined the term “union of the Churches,” (p. 59) and then says that ecumenists are secretly plotting a “false union” with Rome, even though they “do not dare at present to say this openly.” (p. 60) The ecumenists are waiting for the minds of the Orthodox faithful to be “sufficiently blunted,” so that they will “accept such a diabolic betrayal of the Faith.” (p. 60)
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synLeszka
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 04:14:02 AM »

Perhaps this author should ask, is heresy hereditary is it past down in a testament?
How do Roman Catholics become heretics? Is it our baptism which creates this heresy?

Anyways, how is it that a heresy such as Roman Catholicism can survive and not wither away? Does not the Holy Spirit uphold my Church?
The vivacity of the Roman Catholic Church is a sign that the Holy Spirit is still present in it.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 04:14:55 AM by synLeszka » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2010, 04:22:29 AM »

Anyways, how is it that a heresy such as Roman Catholicism can survive and not wither away? Does not the Holy Spirit uphold my Church?
The vivacity of the Roman Catholic Church is a sign that the Holy Spirit is still present in it.

First, I certainly do not agree with everything the author says in that book. Having said that, couldn't a half dozen religions apply this idea that you are using to themselves?
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synLeszka
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2010, 04:29:57 AM »

Anyways, how is it that a heresy such as Roman Catholicism can survive and not wither away? Does not the Holy Spirit uphold my Church?
The vivacity of the Roman Catholic Church is a sign that the Holy Spirit is still present in it.

First, I certainly do not agree with everything the author says in that book. Having said that, couldn't a half dozen religions apply this idea that you are using to themselves?
But most of those religions do not claim to have been founded by the Apostles. The tradition of the Roman Catholic Church is Apostolic. The Roman Catholic Church has continually taught the Apostolic Tradition since its foundation by Christ. Taking into fact that the faithful of the ancient Churches divided along ethnic lines instead of maintaining unity we have the modern situation.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2010, 04:47:33 AM »

Anyways, how is it that a heresy such as Roman Catholicism can survive and not wither away? Does not the Holy Spirit uphold my Church?
The vivacity of the Roman Catholic Church is a sign that the Holy Spirit is still present in it.

First, I certainly do not agree with everything the author says in that book. Having said that, couldn't a half dozen religions apply this idea that you are using to themselves?
But most of those religions do not claim to have been founded by the Apostles. The tradition of the Roman Catholic Church is Apostolic. The Roman Catholic Church has continually taught the Apostolic Tradition since its foundation by Christ. Taking into fact that the faithful of the ancient Churches divided along ethnic lines instead of maintaining unity we have the modern situation.

Most religions claim something along the same lines as Apostles: men hand selected by God, or specially inspired by God, or whatever. As for Catholicism teaching the Apostolic Tradition... we'll have to agree to disagree on that one  Wink
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 07:53:32 AM »

Perhaps this author should ask, is heresy hereditary is it past down in a testament?
How do Roman Catholics become heretics? Is it our baptism which creates this heresy?

Anyways, how is it that a heresy such as Roman Catholicism can survive and not wither away? Does not the Holy Spirit uphold my Church?
The vivacity of the Roman Catholic Church is a sign that the Holy Spirit is still present in it.

Budhism, Hinduism are non-Christian religions which are older than Christianity itself? Why haven't they withered away?

Islam, which can justifiably be seen as an Arabic adaptation of Nestorian teachings, has not withered away. Why?

Several heresies of the first millenia are still alive in the oriental churches. Why haven't they withered away?

Some, like arianism even "resurrect" now and then.. see the Jehovah Witnesses. Why doesn't it simply stay buried?

Paganism not only did not die but was revived in the Renassaince and many today are still neo-Pagans. Why hasn't it withered away?

The cult of man of some of the old philosophers not only survived the Christian historical period, but is defensably the prevailing ideology in Europe and elsewhere. Why hasn't it withered away?

That something thrives is not proof of truth.
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Many Energies, Three Persons, Two Natures, One God.
John Larocque
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 09:11:48 AM »

Islam, which can justifiably be seen as an Arabic adaptation of Nestorian teachings, has not withered away. Why?

One apologist (RC source) that I scanned when I was younger essentially stated that once the Christians had given themselves over to various heresies in North Africa, Syria, Egypt etc.... they were ripe for Islamic conquest.

Given this line of reasoning, one can imagine Islam making serious inroads into a de-Christianized and secular materialist Europe.

One of the prevailing Old Testament narratives is that of Israel, having failed to obey God's prophets and commandments, being allowed to suffer at the hands of her neighbours, and to be set into captivity.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 09:14:57 AM by John Larocque » Logged
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