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Poll
Question: Do you agree with Ecumenism between the EO, RC & OO traditions?
Yes to all - 35 (48.6%)
No to all - 19 (26.4%)
EO & OO only - 17 (23.6%)
EO & RC only - 1 (1.4%)
OO & RC only - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 72

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Author Topic: Ecumenism vs anti-Ecumenism  (Read 10850 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sinful Hypocrite
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #225 on: August 08, 2013, 06:19:45 PM »

Yes, That is the rhetoric exactly the same I have heard from Catholics and Protestants.

Why is not Love of your fellow Christian part of that, or what good are you if you only love those who love you, and I do not see love in what I read about other Christian faiths here, course I have heard the same from the other sides and I tell them the same as you.

What does it profit us to act this way when we may be wrong, just as we have been about many things in the past.
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« Reply #226 on: August 08, 2013, 07:13:39 PM »

I agree with Neil.  This thread is mentally debilitating.  I have avoided it like the plague until now.  I think it should be closed by the moderators fwiw.   
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« Reply #227 on: August 08, 2013, 09:01:40 PM »

Read Cavaradossi's posts if you want to know what the "unity of faith" language REALLY means. Find me one Father who said that such language meant ecumenism (or unity with other denominations/sects) and I'll recant right here in this thread.

Will Jesus do?

Luke 9
49 John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us." 50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you."

Apology accepted.


St. Augustine interprets this passage not to mean that schism and heresy are excusable and good, but rather that those who perform works in Christs' name should not be forbidden from doing so, insofar as they spread the name of Christ in so doing.

Quote
But, in good truth, the sense intended to be conveyed is just this, that, so far as a man is not with Him, so far is he against Him; and again, that, so far as a man is not against Him, so far is he with Him. For example, take this very case of the individual who was working miracles in the name of Christ, and yet was not in the company of Christ's disciples: so far as this man was working miracles in His name, so far was he with them, and so far he was not against them. But, inasmuch as they had prohibited the man from doing a thing in which, so far forth, he was really with them, the Lord said to them, "Forbid him not." For what they ought to have forbidden was what was outside their fellowship, so that they might bring him over to the unity of the Church, and not a thing like this, in which he was at one with them, that is to say, so far as he commended the name of their Master and Lord in the casting out of devils. And this is the principle on which the Catholic Church acts, not condemning common sacraments among heretics; for in these they are with us, and they are not against us. But she condemns and forbids division and separation, or any sentiment adverse to peace and truth. For therein they are against us, just because they are not with us in that, and because, not gathering with us, they are consequently scattering.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602405.htm

The same most blessed and august Augustine commenting on the parallel passage from the Gospel of Mark also teaches that the man was akin to the unbaptized who help do the works of Christ (Mark 9:41), but not like heretics (Mk 9:42), who unlike this man are deserving of scorn (or in the words of Christ, to have a millstone hung around their necks and be cast into the depths of the sea). However, St. Augustine also very plainly states that those who are not incorporated into the unity of Christ's Body ought not think that they are safe and secure in their position.

Quote
This makes it plain that even this man, whose case John had taken up, and thus had given occasion for the Lord to commence the discourse referred to, was not separating himself from the society of the disciples to any such effect as to scorn it like a heretic. But his position was something parallel to the familiar one of men who, while not going the length yet of receiving the sacraments of Christ, nevertheless favour the Christian name so far as even to receive Christians, and accommodate themselves to them for this very reason, and none other, that they are Christian; of which type of persons it is that He tells us that they do not lose their reward. This does not mean, however, that they ought at once to think themselves quite safe and secure simply on account of this kindness which they cherish towards Christians, while at the same time they are neither cleansed by Christ's baptism, nor incorporated into the unity of His body.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602406.htm

And St. Cyril in his commentary on the same passage, gives no indication at all that it could mean that those outside of the Church are capable of doing pleasing works in Christs' name, but rather he understands the passage to mean that one needs not clerical status within the Church in order to work miracles, but that even the laity may do this. Accordingly, he interprets the phrase, "not walking with us," to mean that the apostles meant that the man had not been ordained to the office of an Apostle or teacher, writing:

Quote
What therefore is the meaning of his "not walking with us," or what is the force of the expression? Look then; for I will tell you as well as I can. The Saviour gave the holy Apostles authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all disease and all sickness among the people. And so they did; nor was the grace given them ineffectual. For they returned with joy, saying; "Lord, even the devils are subject to us in Thy name." They imagined, therefore, that leave was given not to any one else but to themselves alone to be invested with the authority which He had granted them. For this reason they draw near, and want to learn, whether others also might exercise it, even though they had not been appointed to the apostleship, nor even to the office of teacher.

St. Cyril finishes his homily on this passage by encouraging the faithful to seek after the ministry and wonder-working grace of those living holy lives within the Church, and who hold to the Orthodox faith (as opposed to seeking after heretics outside of the Church).

Quote
But when thou seest one who has been brought up in the church, innocent, simple, without hypocrisy, whose mode of life is worthy of emulation, who is known of many as the companion of holy monks, who flees from the arts of the city, who is fond of desert places, who loves not gain, nor schisms, and, besides all this, has a correct faith, and is made honourable by the grace of Christ, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, so as to be even able to work those things that are by Christ; unto such a one draw near with confidence: he shall pray for thee purely, and his grace shall minister unto thee. For the Saviour and Lord of all grants the requests of those who ask Him: by Whom and with whom to God the Father be praise and dominion, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen.

Frankly your cocky if not infantile attitude is unwarranted, especially when you are twisting the scriptures in heretical ways foreign to the interpretations of holy fathers and to the mind of the Orthodox Church.

Not trying to get into a fight here, but last sentence was unexpectedly harsh.
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« Reply #228 on: August 08, 2013, 09:04:43 PM »

Ecumenists really like straw men.

And anti-ecumenists don't?

Neil, why are you so bitter about James and I when you've shown respect and admiration for those even more polemical than us? What about Fr. Ambrose? He thought about the same of your communion as I do.

I definitely didn't always see eye-to-eye with Fr. Ambrose, but I do miss his input. Occasionally I'll say to myself "I wonder what Fr. Ambrose would post on such-and-such thread."
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« Reply #229 on: August 08, 2013, 09:16:01 PM »

Neil, why are you so bitter about James and I

Don't forget me! (See below.)

they say the same things about us, so all you are doing is choosing sides, only God can see the truth.

This, also, seems rather pretentious to me.

And, thanks, too, to Peter - now I know that it's pretentious to think that only God can see the truth - here I was thinking that He might be better placed to do that than we mortals - now, I know better. We Catholics can see that just as well as He can, apparently - and not a complete surprise either, seeing as we're the Chosen Ones  Grin.
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« Reply #230 on: August 08, 2013, 09:27:28 PM »

why are you so bitter about James and I

James and me.

 
Quote
when you've shown respect and admiration for those even more polemical than us?

More polemical than we.
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« Reply #231 on: August 08, 2013, 09:32:51 PM »

Do public elementary schools (or even private elementary schools) teach English grammar anymore?  I went to a Catholic parochial school for those years, and we learned all sorts of grammar, diagramming sentences, etc.  But when I went to public high school, I was always the best English student because no one seemed to know anything about the language other than how to clumsily aks (sorry, ask) girls out on dates and understand the rejection they were offered in return. 
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« Reply #232 on: August 08, 2013, 09:36:42 PM »

Do public elementary schools (or even private elementary schools) teach English grammar anymore?

They try to but usually the teachers are as much in the dark as the students. I'd be willing to bet that William's error with accusative and nominative case can be blamed on some adult teaching him that it's always "so-and-so and I".
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« Reply #233 on: August 08, 2013, 10:28:13 PM »

why are you so bitter about James and I

James and me.

 
Quote
when you've shown respect and admiration for those even more polemical than us?

More polemical than we.

True.
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« Reply #234 on: August 08, 2013, 10:49:20 PM »

Not trying to get into a fight here, but last sentence was unexpectedly harsh.

Perhaps you are right (I have always found you to be most reasonable, and always capable of putting a good new perspective on things, even if your good observations can be lost on many), but I stand by my statement. Some in this thread have been quoting the scriptures in order to support what amounts to ecclesiological heresy, and I find it most disconcerting.
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« Reply #235 on: August 08, 2013, 11:02:11 PM »

He offered we a sandwich.

Eh, not gonna happen.
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« Reply #236 on: August 08, 2013, 11:11:41 PM »

He offered we a sandwich.

Eh, not gonna happen.

I guess they really don't teach grammar anymore.  What a pity. 
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« Reply #237 on: August 08, 2013, 11:15:33 PM »

He offered we a sandwich.

Eh, not gonna happen.

I guess they really don't teach grammar anymore.  What a pity. 

LOL, no, they don't teach we to sound stupid.
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« Reply #238 on: August 08, 2013, 11:52:22 PM »

Not trying to get into a fight here, but last sentence was unexpectedly harsh.

Perhaps you are right (I have always found you to be most reasonable, and always capable of putting a good new perspective on things, even if your good observations can be lost on many), but I stand by my statement. Some in this thread have been quoting the scriptures in order to support what amounts to ecclesiological heresy, and I find it most disconcerting.
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« Reply #239 on: August 09, 2013, 01:15:12 AM »

He offered we a sandwich.

Eh, not gonna happen.

I guess they really don't teach grammar anymore.  What a pity. 

LOL, no, they don't teach we to sound stupid.

Stupid don't make it , bro.
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« Reply #240 on: August 09, 2013, 05:34:23 AM »

Frankly your cocky if not infantile attitude is unwarranted, especially when you are twisting the scriptures in heretical ways foreign to the interpretations of holy fathers and to the mind of the Orthodox Church.

I was just reading the other day about the Arian Emperor Valens, and how during a trip through the empire he would have his court (Arian) theologians interrogate the locals. When the (Nicene) locals were found to be "incompetent" they were replaced with Arian bishops (Or, in at least one case, the Nicene clergy were gathered on a ship and "accidentally" burned at sea.) When they got to St. Basil the Great, the Arian theologians were quite impressed with him, and recommended that whatever his theological beliefs, it would be wise to use him for the good of the empire rather than deposing him. The emperor agreed, providing financial support to St. Basil's charitable works and giving him some political work to do for the empire. St. Basil apparently thought it a smart move not to refuse the money or work from the Arian emperor, even stained as they were with the blood of Nicene martyrs.
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« Reply #241 on: August 09, 2013, 05:40:36 AM »

LOL, no, they don't teach we to sound stupid.

Funny things is that nobody would say "they don't teach we" but many people would say "they don't teach you and I".
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« Reply #242 on: August 09, 2013, 06:59:10 AM »

(I have always found you to be most reasonable, and always capable of putting a good new perspective on things, even if your good observations can be lost on many)

Well thank you. Who knows, maybe I'm not as despicable a person as I thought I was 30 or so posts ago.
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« Reply #243 on: August 09, 2013, 09:21:56 AM »

Read Cavaradossi's posts if you want to know what the "unity of faith" language REALLY means. Find me one Father who said that such language meant ecumenism (or unity with other denominations/sects) and I'll recant right here in this thread.

Will Jesus do?

Luke 9
49 John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us." 50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you."

Apology accepted.


St. Augustine interprets this passage not to mean that schism and heresy are excusable and good, but rather that those who perform works in Christs' name should not be forbidden from doing so, insofar as they spread the name of Christ in so doing.

Quote
But, in good truth, the sense intended to be conveyed is just this, that, so far as a man is not with Him, so far is he against Him; and again, that, so far as a man is not against Him, so far is he with Him. For example, take this very case of the individual who was working miracles in the name of Christ, and yet was not in the company of Christ's disciples: so far as this man was working miracles in His name, so far was he with them, and so far he was not against them. But, inasmuch as they had prohibited the man from doing a thing in which, so far forth, he was really with them, the Lord said to them, "Forbid him not." For what they ought to have forbidden was what was outside their fellowship, so that they might bring him over to the unity of the Church, and not a thing like this, in which he was at one with them, that is to say, so far as he commended the name of their Master and Lord in the casting out of devils. And this is the principle on which the Catholic Church acts, not condemning common sacraments among heretics; for in these they are with us, and they are not against us. But she condemns and forbids division and separation, or any sentiment adverse to peace and truth. For therein they are against us, just because they are not with us in that, and because, not gathering with us, they are consequently scattering.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602405.htm

The same most blessed and august Augustine commenting on the parallel passage from the Gospel of Mark also teaches that the man was akin to the unbaptized who help do the works of Christ (Mark 9:41), but not like heretics (Mk 9:42), who unlike this man are deserving of scorn (or in the words of Christ, to have a millstone hung around their necks and be cast into the depths of the sea). However, St. Augustine also very plainly states that those who are not incorporated into the unity of Christ's Body ought not think that they are safe and secure in their position.

Quote
This makes it plain that even this man, whose case John had taken up, and thus had given occasion for the Lord to commence the discourse referred to, was not separating himself from the society of the disciples to any such effect as to scorn it like a heretic. But his position was something parallel to the familiar one of men who, while not going the length yet of receiving the sacraments of Christ, nevertheless favour the Christian name so far as even to receive Christians, and accommodate themselves to them for this very reason, and none other, that they are Christian; of which type of persons it is that He tells us that they do not lose their reward. This does not mean, however, that they ought at once to think themselves quite safe and secure simply on account of this kindness which they cherish towards Christians, while at the same time they are neither cleansed by Christ's baptism, nor incorporated into the unity of His body.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602406.htm

And St. Cyril in his commentary on the same passage, gives no indication at all that it could mean that those outside of the Church are capable of doing pleasing works in Christs' name, but rather he understands the passage to mean that one needs not clerical status within the Church in order to work miracles, but that even the laity may do this. Accordingly, he interprets the phrase, "not walking with us," to mean that the apostles meant that the man had not been ordained to the office of an Apostle or teacher, writing:

Quote
What therefore is the meaning of his "not walking with us," or what is the force of the expression? Look then; for I will tell you as well as I can. The Saviour gave the holy Apostles authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all disease and all sickness among the people. And so they did; nor was the grace given them ineffectual. For they returned with joy, saying; "Lord, even the devils are subject to us in Thy name." They imagined, therefore, that leave was given not to any one else but to themselves alone to be invested with the authority which He had granted them. For this reason they draw near, and want to learn, whether others also might exercise it, even though they had not been appointed to the apostleship, nor even to the office of teacher.

St. Cyril finishes his homily on this passage by encouraging the faithful to seek after the ministry and wonder-working grace of those living holy lives within the Church, and who hold to the Orthodox faith (as opposed to seeking after heretics outside of the Church).

Quote
But when thou seest one who has been brought up in the church, innocent, simple, without hypocrisy, whose mode of life is worthy of emulation, who is known of many as the companion of holy monks, who flees from the arts of the city, who is fond of desert places, who loves not gain, nor schisms, and, besides all this, has a correct faith, and is made honourable by the grace of Christ, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, so as to be even able to work those things that are by Christ; unto such a one draw near with confidence: he shall pray for thee purely, and his grace shall minister unto thee. For the Saviour and Lord of all grants the requests of those who ask Him: by Whom and with whom to God the Father be praise and dominion, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen.

Frankly your cocky if not infantile attitude is unwarranted, especially when you are twisting the scriptures in heretical ways foreign to the interpretations of holy fathers and to the mind of the Orthodox Church.
It is really too much effort for me to get worked up or upset over your last comment, but I think perhaps you have misconstrued my position. I am not recommending we all just ignore doctrine, hold hands, sing "Kumbaya" and pretend that we are all one big happy family.  As I said earlier in the thread, I believe ecumenism means to bring others closer to the Orthodox Church, even if we don't get them in full communion.  For those who may be unfamiliar to Orthodoxy and through conversation bring them to a greater understanding of what it is and perhaps correct some of the doctrinal disagreements and work to bring them to great common ground can hardly be considered heretical.  We ought never to compromise our beliefs, but that doesn't mean we can't work and dialogue with those outside the Church.  Walking around calling everyone schismatic heretics is not exactly what Christ meant when He said "Go you into all the world and preach the gospel."  I have that this post has not come across as cocky and infantile.  If so, I apologize.  Smiley
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« Reply #244 on: August 09, 2013, 10:24:08 AM »

It is really too much effort for me to get worked up or upset over your last comment, but I think perhaps you have misconstrued my position. I am not recommending we all just ignore doctrine, hold hands, sing "Kumbaya" and pretend that we are all one big happy family.  As I said earlier in the thread, I believe ecumenism means to bring others closer to the Orthodox Church, even if we don't get them in full communion.  For those who may be unfamiliar to Orthodoxy and through conversation bring them to a greater understanding of what it is and perhaps correct some of the doctrinal disagreements and work to bring them to great common ground can hardly be considered heretical.  We ought never to compromise our beliefs, but that doesn't mean we can't work and dialogue with those outside the Church. 

I know this wasn't addressed to me, but I'd say that it makes sense to me.

Ecumenism for me is much the same, except of course from a different direction i.e. explaining Catholicism to non-Catholics and working together without compromising Catholicism, etc.
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« Reply #245 on: August 09, 2013, 01:30:00 PM »

Dialogue that promotes better understanding between Churches is fine, but most of the "agreed" statements that come out of present ecumenical activity are pointless.

For example, it is pretty bad when a Church signs an "agreed" statement while simultaneously putting a disclaimer on its website copy of that statement that says the document does not actually reflect the teaching of the Church in question.
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« Reply #246 on: August 09, 2013, 01:57:04 PM »

Perhaps we should distinguish between personal ecumenism and Churchwide ecumenism.  I don't think senior Church officials getting together and making joint statements is harmful, although other than showing the faithful that we don't need to grab our torches and pitchforks when "dem Katliks" come around, I don't know if it helps a great deal.  I think personal ecumenism is beneficial and I would use this website as an example.  We all come from a multitude of faith backgrounds here and not in communion with each other, but we have a forum whereby we can discuss our differences and understand a bit better where we each come from, so I would argue that in some way, everyone that participates in this forum is participating in ecumenical dialogue.

*runs for cover from the wrath of William at being labeled as ecumenical*
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« Reply #247 on: August 09, 2013, 02:10:12 PM »

Perhaps we should distinguish between personal ecumenism and Churchwide ecumenism.  I don't think senior Church officials getting together and making joint statements is harmful, although other than showing the faithful that we don't need to grab our torches and pitchforks when "dem Katliks" come around, I don't know if it helps a great deal.  I think personal ecumenism is beneficial and I would use this website as an example.  We all come from a multitude of faith backgrounds here and not in communion with each other, but we have a forum whereby we can discuss our differences and understand a bit better where we each come from, so I would argue that in some way, everyone that participates in this forum is participating in ecumenical dialogue.

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Stop being sensible. This is OC.net.
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« Reply #248 on: August 09, 2013, 02:40:07 PM »

Perhaps we should distinguish between personal ecumenism and Churchwide ecumenism.  I don't think senior Church officials getting together and making joint statements is harmful, although other than showing the faithful that we don't need to grab our torches and pitchforks when "dem Katliks" come around, I don't know if it helps a great deal.

Or, as Apotheoun just wrote, they're actually quite a bad thing, since they confuse people as to what is and is not within our faith. See, for instance, the sad case of a certain Tewahedo archbishop (!) declaring the Immaculate Conception dogma of the Roman Catholics to be Orthodox doctrine! This did not follow an agreed statement signed between the EOTC and the RC that I know of, but I do know that it is the RCC stance that we are very close as apostolic churches, and in that environment, it is absolutely necessary that we be very clear as to what doctrine is theirs and what is ours, and that is why you do see so many clarifications from our priests and bishops regarding what such statements do not mean.

Quote
I think personal ecumenism is beneficial and I would use this website as an example.  We all come from a multitude of faith backgrounds here and not in communion with each other, but we have a forum whereby we can discuss our differences and understand a bit better where we each come from, so I would argue that in some way, everyone that participates in this forum is participating in ecumenical dialogue.

So when are you becoming a non-Chalcedonian?

I'm not sure whether you view every time we talk with one another that (in itself) constitutes ecumenism, but that's the kind of vibe I'm getting from the above paragraph. I'm probably misunderstanding you, so I welcome correction.

As for "personal ecumenism": I live in New Mexico, a very Roman Catholic (and increasingly Protestant/Evangelical and Islamic) state, which is good in some ways and bad in others. Some months ago, I was on foot waiting at a stoplight near the local university. A young man, obviously Catholic (if the rosary hanging from his mirror was any indication), called out to me from his idling truck, "Hey man, you believe in Jesus Christ?" I said yes, and he replied "Woo! Alright! He's coming back soon, y'know. Pray the Hail Mary!" I shrugged and began "Shere ne Maria ti-cherombi ethnesos..."  Wink, to which he replied enthusiastically "Yeah! Maria! It's all about Mary!" Then he drove away, honking his horn enthusiastically.  

Shockingly, I didn't see him at liturgy the following Saturday. Roll Eyes And I have not been to a Roman Catholic mass since July of 2009, when I decided to formally remove myself from communion with Rome (by consciously deciding not to go anymore, I mean) for doctrinal reasons. And I know I'm not the only one to have done so, so I really do wonder what personal interactions between Orthodox and Catholics (what I take to be "personal ecumenism") actually does if they're not already on the same page regarding what it is they're doing (in living as Christians, in evangelizing, etc). And for Orthodox and non-Orthodox, they are not in agreement.
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« Reply #249 on: August 09, 2013, 03:03:29 PM »

Perhaps we should distinguish between personal ecumenism and Churchwide ecumenism.  I don't think senior Church officials getting together and making joint statements is harmful, although other than showing the faithful that we don't need to grab our torches and pitchforks when "dem Katliks" come around, I don't know if it helps a great deal.

Or, as Apotheoun just wrote, they're actually quite a bad thing, since they confuse people as to what is and is not within our faith. See, for instance, the sad case of a certain Tewahedo archbishop (!) declaring the Immaculate Conception dogma of the Roman Catholics to be Orthodox doctrine! This did not follow an agreed statement signed between the EOTC and the RC that I know of, but I do know that it is the RCC stance that we are very close as apostolic churches, and in that environment, it is absolutely necessary that we be very clear as to what doctrine is theirs and what is ours, and that is why you do see so many clarifications from our priests and bishops regarding what such statements do not mean.
While that is an interesting antecdote, you yourself admit it was probably not the result of ecumenical discussions.  Are you telling me that the archbishop was "confused" about what your Church teaches?  If he made a concious decision to follow after RC dogma, that doesn't have anything to do with ecumenism.

Quote
Quote
I think personal ecumenism is beneficial and I would use this website as an example.  We all come from a multitude of faith backgrounds here and not in communion with each other, but we have a forum whereby we can discuss our differences and understand a bit better where we each come from, so I would argue that in some way, everyone that participates in this forum is participating in ecumenical dialogue.

So when are you becoming a non-Chalcedonian?
Why would I become non-Chalcedonian?  As I said before, it is about developing further respect for one another.  If this was 1500 years ago, I would be killing you for your apostate views on Christ.  Would that be preferable to you rather than the current "iniquitous" ecumenical dialogue?

Quote
I'm not sure whether you view every time we talk with one another that (in itself) constitutes ecumenism, but that's the kind of vibe I'm getting from the above paragraph. I'm probably misunderstanding you, so I welcome correction.

As for "personal ecumenism": I live in New Mexico, a very Roman Catholic (and increasingly Protestant/Evangelical and Islamic) state, which is good in some ways and bad in others. Some months ago, I was on foot waiting at a stoplight near the local university. A young man, obviously Catholic (if the rosary hanging from his mirror was any indication), called out to me from his idling truck, "Hey man, you believe in Jesus Christ?" I said yes, and he replied "Woo! Alright! He's coming back soon, y'know. Pray the Hail Mary!" I shrugged and began "Shere ne Maria ti-cherombi ethnesos..."  Wink, to which he replied enthusiastically "Yeah! Maria! It's all about Mary!" Then he drove away, honking his horn enthusiastically.  

Shockingly, I didn't see him at liturgy the following Saturday. Roll Eyes And I have not been to a Roman Catholic mass since July of 2009, when I decided to formally remove myself from communion with Rome (by consciously deciding not to go anymore, I mean) for doctrinal reasons. And I know I'm not the only one to have done so, so I really do wonder what personal interactions between Orthodox and Catholics (what I take to be "personal ecumenism") actually does if they're not already on the same page regarding what it is they're doing (in living as Christians, in evangelizing, etc). And for Orthodox and non-Orthodox, they are not in agreement.
I don't think that every time we speak, it consitutes ecumenism.  Certainly the "random postings" or "picture of the day" threads are not exactly ecumenical, but when we discuss doctrinal issues or teachings of our respective Churchs, it is a type of ecumenism. I think your story about the overly enthusiastic Catholic student is not really relevant to the discussion.  I think more appropriate would be a situation I know of where an Orthodox man had an RC friend who was poking fun at the Orthoodox Church and their "phyletism".  Rather than respond in kind, the Orthodox man invited the RC over to discuss his faith which he did.  The RC man explained why he believed in the RC Church and the Orthodox man explained how the Orthodox look at the Church and why it is not phyletist, the RC man became more interested in Orthodoxy and began first attending a Byzantine Catholic and has now become a catechumen in the Orthodox Church. Obviously from an Orthodox perspective, this would be the best case scenario of personal ecumenism, where you exchange ideas respectfully, but don't give up the tenents of the faith.  Even if the RC man had not come to Orthodoxy, he still would have walked away with a greater respect of it as a Church. This is a true story, btw, I know personally both parties, and I suspect that this situation plays itself out many times over.
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« Reply #250 on: August 09, 2013, 03:33:14 PM »

Perhaps we should distinguish between personal ecumenism and Churchwide ecumenism.  I don't think senior Church officials getting together and making joint statements is harmful, although other than showing the faithful that we don't need to grab our torches and pitchforks when "dem Katliks" come around, I don't know if it helps a great deal.

Or, as Apotheoun just wrote, they're actually quite a bad thing, since they confuse people as to what is and is not within our faith. See, for instance, the sad case of a certain Tewahedo archbishop (!) declaring the Immaculate Conception dogma of the Roman Catholics to be Orthodox doctrine! This did not follow an agreed statement signed between the EOTC and the RC that I know of, but I do know that it is the RCC stance that we are very close as apostolic churches, and in that environment, it is absolutely necessary that we be very clear as to what doctrine is theirs and what is ours, and that is why you do see so many clarifications from our priests and bishops regarding what such statements do not mean.

I just finished reading the letter. (I hadn't heard about this before today.) Sounds like a very sad situation.
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« Reply #251 on: August 09, 2013, 03:37:08 PM »

I don't think that every time we speak, it consitutes ecumenism.  Certainly the "random postings" or "picture of the day" threads are not exactly ecumenical, but when we discuss doctrinal issues or teachings of our respective Churchs, it is a type of ecumenism. I think your story about the overly enthusiastic Catholic student is not really relevant to the discussion.  I think more appropriate would be a situation I know of where an Orthodox man had an RC friend who was poking fun at the Orthoodox Church and their "phyletism".  Rather than respond in kind, the Orthodox man invited the RC over to discuss his faith which he did.  The RC man explained why he believed in the RC Church and the Orthodox man explained how the Orthodox look at the Church and why it is not phyletist, the RC man became more interested in Orthodoxy and began first attending a Byzantine Catholic and has now become a catechumen in the Orthodox Church. Obviously from an Orthodox perspective, this would be the best case scenario of personal ecumenism, where you exchange ideas respectfully, but don't give up the tenents of the faith.  

Except that conversion isn't ecumenism.
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« Reply #252 on: August 09, 2013, 04:07:38 PM »

While that is an interesting antecdote, you yourself admit it was probably not the result of ecumenical discussions.  Are you telling me that the archbishop was "confused" about what your Church teaches?  If he made a concious decision to follow after RC dogma, that doesn't have anything to do with ecumenism.

Forgive me. I should have been more clear that I only meant that as an example of confusion regarding the content of the faith, i.e., the environment mentioned later on in the paragraph which is absolutely nurtured by the Roman Catholic position that we are alike in nearly all respects, only lacking in formal communion, or any number of others ways I've read it expressed by Latins. This idea and its fruits (e.g., archbishops who think that we believe in the IC) are the entire reason why clarifications of what the unwise agreed statements do not mean are necessary in the first place. That is how that particular episode relates to ecumenism, because that kind of thinking is predicated on this sort of base/race-to-the-bottom approach that many have, which segues nicely into...

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Why would I become a non-Chalcedonian?

Because we are the Orthodox Church? What else would expect a non-Chalcedonian to say... Wink

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As I said before, it is about developing further respect for one another.
 

Yeah, and I'm disagreeing with the idea that ecumenism is somehow the way to get us to respect each other. Especially if, as you write later in your reply, you do not view every meeting between Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians (or any other people who are not of your confession) to be ecumenism in itself, then I don't see why it should follow that we have ecumenism to thank or depend on to make that happen. I can and do read what EO (and Catholics, and Protestants, and others) write in this most un-ecumenical of places, and am certainly happy to find and affirm many places in which we can agree. And even if we disagree, I can respect the man or woman, if not the position they hold. That's called basic "not treating other people like garbage because they aren't you". That's not really ecumenism. Ecumenism ultimately seeks the unity of all Christian bodies, and so while there is some sense that all of us are ecumenists, in a much more realistic sense, I don't think any of us would want that if it meant compromise on the truths that we hold as central to our faith. That is, after all, why I am an "Oriental", and you an "Easterner", and a "Latin" a Latin, and so forth.

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If this was 1500 years ago, I would be killing you for your apostate views on Christ.  Would that be preferable to you rather than the current "iniquitous" ecumenical dialogue?

Are these really our only choices? I don't think so.

Quote
I don't think that every time we speak, it consitutes ecumenism.  Certainly the "random postings" or "picture of the day" threads are not exactly ecumenical, but when we discuss doctrinal issues or teachings of our respective Churchs, it is a type of ecumenism. I think your story about the overly enthusiastic Catholic student is not really relevant to the discussion.
 

Good. I meant for it to show how irrelevant our personal interactions are if we are not beginning from a common understanding regarding what Christianity is or should be (hence why I voted for ecumenical talks between EO and OO only in the poll). And even then, I suppose there are limits to what sort of progress (if any) we can expect from them.

Quote
I think more appropriate would be a situation I know of where an Orthodox man had an RC friend who was poking fun at the Orthoodox Church and their "phyletism".  Rather than respond in kind, the Orthodox man invited the RC over to discuss his faith which he did.  The RC man explained why he believed in the RC Church and the Orthodox man explained how the Orthodox look at the Church and why it is not phyletist, the RC man became more interested in Orthodoxy and began first attending a Byzantine Catholic and has now become a catechumen in the Orthodox Church. Obviously from an Orthodox perspective, this would be the best case scenario of personal ecumenism, where you exchange ideas respectfully, but don't give up the tenents of the faith. Even if the RC man had not come to Orthodoxy, he still would have walked away with a greater respect of it as a Church. This is a true story, btw, I know personally both parties, and I suspect that this situation plays itself out many times over.

I don't doubt it. I can think of several people from this very message board who came here as Roman Catholics, atheists, etc. who are now Orthodox through their interactions with Orthodox people here (and several who made the opposite moves), and may God continue to be glorified through them. I guess I don't really consider that ecumenism, though. That seems more just straight apologetics/explanation, unless there was some attempt to find supposed common ground between the two faiths. This inexcusable drive to make common cause at all costs is why I'm against the agreed statements that come out of more official meetings: They strengthen the heterodox in their faith and confuse some Orthodox in theirs. I have no interest in strengthening a church I left because it is wrong (in the case of the RCC), nor any other belief system that is outside of Orthdoxy. If that makes me an anti-ecumenist, then I guess that's what I'll be called, but again, this doesn't stop me from conversing with (or even agreeing with, sometimes) Peter J, Papist, Charles Martel, or any of the other RCs on this board. So I do still wonder about ecumenism as I've understood you as advocating it. I don't need it to be nice or agreeable or not kill people for their heresies or any of the other stuff I read in your replies. Is it that I'm an irredeemable jerk, or are we really that far apart regarding what ecumenism even is?
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« Reply #253 on: August 09, 2013, 05:47:49 PM »

I don't doubt it. I can think of several people from this very message board who came here as Roman Catholics, atheists, etc. who are now Orthodox through their interactions with Orthodox people here (and several who made the opposite moves), and may God continue to be glorified through them. I guess I don't really consider that ecumenism, though.

Agreed.

... this doesn't stop me from conversing with (or even agreeing with, sometimes) Peter J, Papist, Charles Martel, or any of the other RCs on this board.

I am shocked!
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« Reply #254 on: August 09, 2013, 07:09:23 PM »

Do public elementary schools (or even private elementary schools) teach English grammar anymore?  I went to a Catholic parochial school for those years, and we learned all sorts of grammar, diagramming sentences, etc.  But when I went to public high school, I was always the best English student because no one seemed to know anything about the language other than how to clumsily aks (sorry, ask) girls out on dates and understand the rejection they were offered in return. 

There seems to be a prevailing trend that one ought not to dogmatize grammar, which essentially means that grammar is what you make of it. Wut do u think?
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« Reply #255 on: August 09, 2013, 07:10:57 PM »

He offered we a sandwich.

Eh, not gonna happen.

I guess they really don't teach grammar anymore.  What a pity. 

LOL, no, they don't teach we to sound stupid.

Stupid don't make it , bro.

I think "yo" is the proper grammatical ending there.
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« Reply #256 on: August 09, 2013, 07:13:27 PM »

Frankly your cocky if not infantile attitude is unwarranted, especially when you are twisting the scriptures in heretical ways foreign to the interpretations of holy fathers and to the mind of the Orthodox Church.

I was just reading the other day about the Arian Emperor Valens, and how during a trip through the empire he would have his court (Arian) theologians interrogate the locals. When the (Nicene) locals were found to be "incompetent" they were replaced with Arian bishops (Or, in at least one case, the Nicene clergy were gathered on a ship and "accidentally" burned at sea.) When they got to St. Basil the Great, the Arian theologians were quite impressed with him, and recommended that whatever his theological beliefs, it would be wise to use him for the good of the empire rather than deposing him. The emperor agreed, providing financial support to St. Basil's charitable works and giving him some political work to do for the empire. St. Basil apparently thought it a smart move not to refuse the money or work from the Arian emperor, even stained as they were with the blood of Nicene martyrs.

He was biding his time, making more Orthodox bishops to later completely undo the heretics' plans, following the counsel of the Lord to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. Plus, didn't St. Basil prophecy the Arian emperor's forthcoming timely death?
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« Reply #257 on: August 09, 2013, 07:18:46 PM »

Perhaps we should distinguish between personal ecumenism and Churchwide ecumenism.  I don't think senior Church officials getting together and making joint statements is harmful, although other than showing the faithful that we don't need to grab our torches and pitchforks when "dem Katliks" come around, I don't know if it helps a great deal.

Or, as Apotheoun just wrote, they're actually quite a bad thing, since they confuse people as to what is and is not within our faith. See, for instance, the sad case of a certain Tewahedo archbishop (!) declaring the Immaculate Conception dogma of the Roman Catholics to be Orthodox doctrine! This did not follow an agreed statement signed between the EOTC and the RC that I know of, but I do know that it is the RCC stance that we are very close as apostolic churches, and in that environment, it is absolutely necessary that we be very clear as to what doctrine is theirs and what is ours, and that is why you do see so many clarifications from our priests and bishops regarding what such statements do not mean.

Quote
I think personal ecumenism is beneficial and I would use this website as an example.  We all come from a multitude of faith backgrounds here and not in communion with each other, but we have a forum whereby we can discuss our differences and understand a bit better where we each come from, so I would argue that in some way, everyone that participates in this forum is participating in ecumenical dialogue.

So when are you becoming a non-Chalcedonian?

I'm not sure whether you view every time we talk with one another that (in itself) constitutes ecumenism, but that's the kind of vibe I'm getting from the above paragraph. I'm probably misunderstanding you, so I welcome correction.

As for "personal ecumenism": I live in New Mexico, a very Roman Catholic (and increasingly Protestant/Evangelical and Islamic) state, which is good in some ways and bad in others. Some months ago, I was on foot waiting at a stoplight near the local university. A young man, obviously Catholic (if the rosary hanging from his mirror was any indication), called out to me from his idling truck, "Hey man, you believe in Jesus Christ?" I said yes, and he replied "Woo! Alright! He's coming back soon, y'know. Pray the Hail Mary!" I shrugged and began "Shere ne Maria ti-cherombi ethnesos..."  Wink, to which he replied enthusiastically "Yeah! Maria! It's all about Mary!" Then he drove away, honking his horn enthusiastically.  

Shockingly, I didn't see him at liturgy the following Saturday. Roll Eyes And I have not been to a Roman Catholic mass since July of 2009, when I decided to formally remove myself from communion with Rome (by consciously deciding not to go anymore, I mean) for doctrinal reasons. And I know I'm not the only one to have done so, so I really do wonder what personal interactions between Orthodox and Catholics (what I take to be "personal ecumenism") actually does if they're not already on the same page regarding what it is they're doing (in living as Christians, in evangelizing, etc). And for Orthodox and non-Orthodox, they are not in agreement.

+1

It took a priest banging his head on the wall somewhere, but we finally arrived at some sense. Thank you, Dzheremi!
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« Reply #258 on: August 09, 2013, 08:57:21 PM »



Except that conversion isn't ecumenism.

No. It's not, however when folks are so against ecumenism that they hold in their hearts merely the notion that others are heretics and best left alone, learning from the 'other side' becomes difficult if not impossible.

What interested person will continue to search for the right path, if all they get from the people who could share is 'we can't really talk about what we have in common' and judgement.

I do not think people should compromise beliefs but when the mere thought of discussions is a problem....
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« Reply #259 on: August 09, 2013, 10:17:19 PM »

*runs for cover from the wrath of William at being labeled as ecumenical*

You really need to get a grip.
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« Reply #260 on: August 09, 2013, 10:36:49 PM »

*runs for cover from the wrath of William at being labeled as ecumenical*

You really need to get a grip.

That sounds more like the wrath of Storm.
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« Reply #261 on: August 09, 2013, 10:54:59 PM »

Frankly your cocky if not infantile attitude is unwarranted, especially when you are twisting the scriptures in heretical ways foreign to the interpretations of holy fathers and to the mind of the Orthodox Church.

I was just reading the other day about the Arian Emperor Valens, and how during a trip through the empire he would have his court (Arian) theologians interrogate the locals. When the (Nicene) locals were found to be "incompetent" they were replaced with Arian bishops (Or, in at least one case, the Nicene clergy were gathered on a ship and "accidentally" burned at sea.) When they got to St. Basil the Great, the Arian theologians were quite impressed with him, and recommended that whatever his theological beliefs, it would be wise to use him for the good of the empire rather than deposing him. The emperor agreed, providing financial support to St. Basil's charitable works and giving him some political work to do for the empire. St. Basil apparently thought it a smart move not to refuse the money or work from the Arian emperor, even stained as they were with the blood of Nicene martyrs.

He was biding his time, making more Orthodox bishops to later completely undo the heretics' plans, following the counsel of the Lord to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. Plus, didn't St. Basil prophecy the Arian emperor's forthcoming timely death?

Regarding such a prophecy, possibly, I don't recall. I also don't recall if it was this or another Arian Emperor that Sts. Gregory and Basil admitted into the altar and gave communion to, with the saints then afterwards feebly defending their actions with something along the lines of saying that they gave him communion so now he should change his theological opinions. I wonder how that'd fly today with the anti-ecumenists--especially considering that St. Basil was wishy washy regarding the divinity of the Holy Spirit (especially at the time), his relationship/mentorship with Eustathius, etc. It's easy to whitewash all St. Basil's actions in hindsight, I suppose. In any event, my point was that these quotes people bring forth can't be taken in isolation as some kind of proof texts; in real life the saints were often willing to get their hands dirty for a greater good, whatever their general principles in writing might have been.
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« Reply #262 on: August 09, 2013, 11:06:36 PM »

In any event, my point was that these quotes people bring forth can't be taken in isolation as some kind of proof texts; in real life the saints were often willing to get their hands dirty for a greater good, whatever their general principles in writing might have been.

While true, that's just too damn inconvenient. 
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« Reply #263 on: August 09, 2013, 11:23:58 PM »

There seems to be a prevailing trend that one ought not to dogmatize grammar, which essentially means that grammar is what you make of it. Wut do u think?

If people can't be troubled to speak their own language correctly, they shouldn't pontificate on dogmatic pronouncements originally issued in largely dead languages. 
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« Reply #264 on: August 12, 2013, 06:53:46 PM »

*runs for cover from the wrath of William at being labeled as ecumenical*

You really need to get a grip.

That sounds more like the wrath of Storm.

Really? Nobody here has a follow-up comment to that?
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« Reply #265 on: August 12, 2013, 08:34:53 PM »

*runs for cover from the wrath of William at being labeled as ecumenical*

You really need to get a grip.

That sounds more like the wrath of Storm.

Really? Nobody here has a follow-up comment to that?

"Do you know what happens to an ecumenist when he's struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else."
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« Reply #266 on: August 13, 2013, 05:07:54 AM »

*runs for cover from the wrath of William at being labeled as ecumenical*

You really need to get a grip.

That sounds more like the wrath of Storm.

Really? Nobody here has a follow-up comment to that?

"Do you know what happens to an ecumenist when he's struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else."

Smiley
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« Reply #267 on: August 13, 2013, 09:25:39 AM »

And the devil used three tentacles to capture the world.
For the poor atheists Communism, for the rich Masonry and for the believers ecumenism - Monk Paisios of Mount Athos

I am against Ecumenism. Accept others into the Church when they believe only what the Church teaches.
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There is no luck, there is no fate. There are always two ways. One is God's and one is devil's. And in each step of your life you have to pick one, always.
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« Reply #268 on: August 22, 2013, 08:52:47 AM »

And the devil used three tentacles to capture the world.
For the poor atheists Communism, for the rich Masonry and for the believers ecumenism - Monk Paisios of Mount Athos

I am against Ecumenism. Accept others into the Church when they believe only what the Church teaches.

I agree. Ecumenism, at least the way its done today, is not Orthodox.

I believe there are two kinds of ecumenism. One is Orthodox. The other isn't. It comes down to a difference in attitude.

1-Today's "official" ecumenism is not Orthodox, because the mind-set being promoted by the participants allows them to negotiate doctrines, like generals bargaining with territory at the end of a war: "We'll give up this dogma, if you give up that one." The only thing that saves the participating Orthodox churches from being out-and-out heretical, is that, when the reps return with their jury-rigged "joint statements", the churches deny that they represent their "official" position. Then what's the point of all these meetings? to get a few EO theologians with alphabet-soup credentials to compromise their personal faith?

Also, these meetings don't just involve talk, but joint prayers. What good does it do the EO to participate in the prayers of another religion,  when the other hasn't accepted Orthodoxy? This is to admit that the god of the other religion (i.e. God expressed through false doctrines) is the same as the EO God.

This type of ecumenism can trace its origins to the 19th century missionary societies. As Europe's colonial empires spread, missionaries would go forth to convert the "unenlightened" natives. But the contradictory preaching of RCs, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc. made the natives laugh instead of convert. Then, the various Western denominations created "international missionary societies" made up of representatives of a variety of denominations. These groups agreed on a common message, made up of the minimum agreed-upon doctrines, to preach to the natives. That's where the ecumenical movement got its start.

The thinking that allowed this to happen was already there in Freemasonry, with its syncretistic ideas. It has antecedents in those compromising Byzantine Emperors who supported one heresy or another; and in the synretism of the pagan Roman Emperors. It is even found in the Bible, among those apostate Kings of Israel and Judah who worshiped false gods alongside the God of Israel.

2-There is also an Orthodox Ecumenism. That's what led to the Ecumenical Synods. The groundwork for such synods was laid, not by political negotiations, but by resistance to the heresies that necessitated the synod. Such resistance included martyrdoms, but also the more quiet, long-term resistance exemplified by saintly bishops like St. Athanasios and St. Basil the Great.

3-Today, we are witnessing, at least at the "official" level, the first kind of Ecumenism. But at the same time, we are seeing at the popular level, the groundwork for the second, Orthodox ecumenism, being laid. Whenever an EO lives his faith so as to be a good example to those around him, he lays that groundwork.

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« Reply #269 on: August 27, 2013, 03:06:01 AM »

Ecumenism is bad. Look how many support it in this pole. Lord protect us.
The union with other fake churches will become true if only they accept the truth.
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God is Love.
Ό Θεός ἀγάπη ἐστί.
There is no luck, there is no fate. There are always two ways. One is God's and one is devil's. And in each step of your life you have to pick one, always.
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