Christos anesti!  Alithos anesti!

As in all religious groups, in canonical Orthodoxy you will find a spectrum of approaches to other religious groups, from fervent opposition and isolationism to full embrace, and from the laity to Patriarchs, with a variety of justifications offered for each position.

Ironically, Orthodox in ecumenism have a reputation for arrogance and aloofness – I know not least because I thought them so as a Protestant reading about them in the church press in the ’90s!  While I believe it’s possible to present Orthodoxy more positively than our reputation, sometimes it seems like President Harry Truman: “‘Give ’em hell, Harry,’ his supporters would say.  And Truman would say, ‘I never give ’em hell.  I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.”’  “The truth” is that Orthodoxy’s historical approach to other Christian bodies has been similar to Rome’s as well as that of some Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches: to consider itself THE Church of Christ* and all others in error and/or schism ultimately from it, to which they need to return to have the best chance of Salvation.  (They got it from us! 😉 )  It is also true that many Orthodox in ecumenism are taking other approaches, otherwise for certain we would have been long since disinvited!

(*–Ideally Orthodox say so adding ‘humbly, by God’s Graciousness and no doing of our own, we being so sinful, imperfect, political, etc etc, that Orthodoxy’s preservation is nothing less than a miraculous work of God and a sign from Him that there’s something of worth here!’)

  1. Are you kidding me?

    “It is also true that many Orthodox in ecumenism are taking other approaches, otherwise for certain we would have been long since disinvited!”

    Does it essentially follow that the “other Orthodox” are taking a different approach based on their willingness to meet in ecumenical gatherings?

    A pressing question on the minds of some (myself included) is how much latitude is truly allowed in some of these matters.

    {Slightly edited by Moderator.}

  2. Leo Peter O'Filon

    Greetings and welcome!

    Sorry I had to delete your URL, but this is a blog for all ages, and it contained profanity.

    If you’re asking if I’m presuming Orthodox in Ecumenism are taking an approach to it different from Orthodoxy’s historical approach to non-Orthodox Christians, based on their willingness to meet in ecumenical gatherings … I’d have to say no. I’ve read some of the documents and statements, and without a doubt they are different from the histories Orthodox take in with their mothers’ milk, about 1,000 years of combatting “heretics and schismatics” in the First Christian Millennium.

    Of course, maybe those histories and hagiographies are superficial or ‘introductory’ in nature, and there was alot more “nuance” going on then, that one would study at the graduate or seminary level, say. I don’t know, but I do know that some former heretics returned to the Church en masse as overlapping jurisdictions, and were only gradually re-integrated into the continuously-Orthodox bishoprics and ecclesiastical provinces around them. What-all that entailed, and what preceded it, I don’t know. The standard story, of course, is that recanting error would’ve been included on the part of the former heretics. But I must confess that all the nitty-gritty details and negotiations, I don’t know at this time.

    The pressing question of latitude in “dialogue” with non-Orthodox groups, I also don’t know; I have no “inside information.” This is t/Traditionally a responsibility of Orthodox Bishops and Synods, or conducted under their oversight. They are the chief teachers, and interpreters of Church rules (Canons). But “unions” they agree to, like everything else, would need to be “received” by the fullness (pleroma) of The Orthodox Church, and might be rejected, as the several attempts at reunion with Rome were rejected, if the fullness of The Orthodox Church discerns that they do not conform to Holy Orthodox Tradition and “the Faith once delivered to the Apostles.”

  3. beebop

    Dialoge in love, OK, Communion not OK.
    Its just that simple.

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