Paragraph 14 of the document quotes Pope John Paul II: “The ecumenical
endeavor of the Sister Churches of East and West, grounded in dialogue and
prayer, is the search for perfect and total communion which is neither
absorption nor fusion but a meeting in truth and love.”
But how is a union in the truth possible when differences in dogmas are
sidestepped and both Churches are described as sisters despite the
The Truth of the Church is indivisible because it is Christ Himself. But
when there are differences in dogmas there cannot be unity in Christ.
From what we know about Church History, Churches were called Sister
Churches when they held the same faith. Never was the Orthodox Church called
a sister of any heterodox churches, regardless of the degree of heterodoxy or
cacodoxy they held.
We ask ourselves a basic question: have religious syncre-tism and
doctrinal minimalism--the byproducts of secularization and humanism--perhaps
influenced the Orthodox signers of the document?
It is apparent that the document adopts, perhaps for the first time by
the Orthodox side, the position that two Churches, the Orthodox and Roman
Catholic, together constitute the One Holy Church or are two legitimate
expressions of her.
Unfortunately, it is the first time that Orthodox have offi-cially
accepted a form of the branch theory.
Permit us to express our deep sorrow over this in as much as this theory
comes into screaming conflict with Orthodox Tradition and Consciousness up to
We have many witnesses to the Orthodox Consciousness that our Church
alone constitutes the One Holy Church, and they are recognized as
pan-Orthodox in authority. They are the:
1. Council of Constantinople, 1722;
2. Council of Constantinople, 1727;
3. Council of Constantinople, 1838;
4. 1848 Encyclical of the Four Patriarchs of the East and
5. Council of Constantinople, 1895.
These Councils decreed that only our Holy Orthodox Church constitutes the One
The 1895 Council of Constantinople summarizes all of the preceding
Councils: “Orthodoxy, that is, the Eastern Church, justly boasts in Christ
that she is the Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the first nine
centuries of Christianity and is therefore the One, Holy, Catholic, and
Apostolic Church of Christ, the ‘pillarand bulwark of truth.’ And the
present Roman Church is the church of innovationism and adulteration of the
writings of the Church Fathers and the distortion of the Holy Scriptures and
the decrees of the Holy Councils. Justly and for good reason it was denounced
and is denounced as long as it persists in its delusion. ‘Better a
praiseworthy war,’ says St. Gregory of Nazianzus, ‘than a peace separated