The EP shows a side that some of us wish he would show/emphasize more often:
What can the Orthodox faith and testimony give to the youth of Europe? Is it easy to embrace Orthodox concepts and values to a Western European with a Catholic/Protestant background?http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/11/ecumenical-patriarch-speaks-with.html
As I said earlier, all issues are intertwined with each other – socially, economically, and ideologically. Young people feel unsafe. The Orthodox Church has to offer the original faith as it existed during the first ten centuries of our common road with the West. That is to say, the faith and the Church as the true body of Christ. Before the Great Schism of 1054, all of Europe was Orthodox. Therefore, what the Church is called to offer is the simplicity and authenticity of the christian faith. We teach authenticity, ascetic morality and spirituality. All these are missing from the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.
The West was cut off from these values, and this is precisely what justifies the nostalgia that is manifested today. In recent years, more and more liturgical books of the Orthodox Church have been translated and published in foreign countries. Apart from the theological books, one may find spiritual guides in such books as the Philokalia, which is of great interest also to non-Orthodox people. Furthermore, in the Orthodox faith, there is much attention to devotion and worship; and there is greater emphasis on the heart than on the intellect. This is why Orthodoxy may be said to comprise tradition, experience, and condensed wisdom.
Something else interesting:
We advocate that every people should keep a record of its culture, language, etc., that render it distinctive. These elements contribute to the individuality of a people. However, at the same time, we must be creative and not retain these elements in a “closed jar” and reduce them to a form of self-admiration.
You know, the 6th century missionaries Cyril and Methodius were commissioned as delegates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to preach the Gospel to the Slavs. As a result, they created the Cyrillic alphabet. This is something for which the Greek historian Paparigopoulos accused the Patriarchate, claiming that these missionaries did not convert the Slavs into Greek Orthodox. We say this because the Ecumenical Patriarchate saw these people as Slavs; we believed that we must respect them and preach to them in their own language, but not to change them. In this way, we protected both the Greek as well as the Slavic identity. So now all Slavic peoples – Russians, Bulgarians, and Serbs –are grateful to the Mother Church of Constantinople.