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Ecumenism Awareness: General Articles on Ecumenism

Introductions and Overviews

Ecumenism: by Metropolitan Vitaly; presented to the Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. This is not just another diatribe against ecumenism. Met. Vitaly offers a very unique and historically-based perspective that is highly worth reading.

"The attempt to align the Orthodox Church with such a movement does not benefit the Orthodox in any way. With the disdain that the 'Orthodox' Ecumenists show for Tradition and the very provocative manner in which they trample on the sacred Canons, they scandalize the Orthodox people and cast many down into the abyss of unbelief and perdition."

Orthodox Tradition and Modernism (Etna, CA: The Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1992), p. 34.

The Missionary Origins of Modern Ecumenism: Milestones Leading up to 1920, by Fr. Peter Heers. A talk delivered at the Academic Conference "The Mission of the Orthodox Church and The World Council of Churches", Athens, May 15, 2005.

Ecumenism as an Ecclesiological Heresy, translated from the Greek periodical Hagios Kyprianos.

Orthodox Ecumenism As A Divisive Force, an excerpt from Ecumenism Examined, by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos.

What Are the Goals of Ecumenism?, by Hieromonk Savva (of Serbia).

Hope - Chapter 99 from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, by Hieromonk Damascene.

A Sorrowful Epistle: (1969), the first of three by Metropolitan PHILARET of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (a.k.a. the ROCA). This is especially helpful for tracing the historical development of the Ecumenical movement. Fr. Alexander Schmemann, in his 1970 reply to this epistle, called it a "perfectly canonical and traditional stand."

The Price of Ecumenism: How Ecumenism Has Hurt the Orthodox Church, by Fr. John Reeves, an OCA priest. A clarion call to Orthodox about the dangers inherent in mid-1990's Ecumenism as expressed by the WCC and the NCC. Fr. John Reeves writes how it is a shock to see how the original Protestant Christian emphasis on traditional Trinitarian theology has devolved into a catch-all of current trends in earth-goddess, great spirits, non-Trinitarian, undoctrinal, eclectically mixed "liturgical" communion services that evidently mean something different to each participant. Behind his gentle and restrained presentation of degrading incidents toward Orthodox clergy, one senses a heartfelt call that Orthodox clergy should withdraw completely and at once from these organizations that have given up all pretense of being Christian. Fr. John also gave a similar version of this article as a talk at the 2004 conference in Thessaloniki entitled Ecumenism: Origins, Expectations and Disenchantment.

The Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement: this article first appeared in the November 1996 edition of "Diocesan News For Clergy and Laity" (Volume 4, Number 11), printed and distributed by the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver. As you can see, there are many in the GOA who take issue with ecumenism and the Balamand Agreement, though the latter is defended on the official GOA website (see Balamand section).

The 70th Anniversary of the Pan-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople: A Major Step on the Path Towards Apostasy (Part I), by Bishop Photius of Triaditsa. Part II. This is a lengthy and scholarly treatise outlining the historical road of Constantinople's fall to the heresy of ecumenism.

BEM and Orthodox Spirituality: by [Arch]bishop Chrysostomos. This is one of the most important articles about ecumenical issues and orientation that I have ever read. He clearly and patristically lays the foundation for true ecumenical outreach and argues that first and foremost this outreach must be grounded in an authentic Orthodox self-awareness. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the problem of ecumenism.

Eucharistic Ecumenism: an Orthodox Tradition Q&A, Vol. XV, No. 1.

A Letter to Thomas Merton, by Eugene [Fr. Seraphim of Platina] Rose. A critique of Merton's views on Christianity and "social mission," the Apocalypse, and Antichrist. A profoundly insightful work that is related to the ecumenistic spirit of our age and the true practice of Orthodox Christianity.

Two Significant Articles on Orthodoxy and Ecumenism: contrasting views on the contemporary Ecumenical Movement.

More Articles on Ecumenism and Modernism

On Compromise in the Hierarchy During the Communist Yoke: Excerpts from Two Books by Fr. Roman Braga.

The Epistles of Metropolitan Philaret, a collection of these classic open letters to various Orthodox hierarchs

Should the Church Be In Step With the Times?, a classic essay by the ever-memorable Archbishop Averky.

The Psychological Anatomy of Ecumenism: a powerful and insightful article by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna.

Concerning "Super-Correctness": A Word of Warning to Christians of the West, by Metropolitan Cyprian.

"Super-Correctness": Chapter 63 from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, by Hieromonk Damascene.

Orthodox Unity Today, by Bishop Photios of Triaditza (trans. from French by Abp. Chrysostomos)

Holy Zeal, by Archbishop Averky of Jordanville. A classic sermon for our times.

Zeal and Love, by Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili.

The Unity of Dogma and Love, trans. by Hieromonk Patapios.

Orthodoxy and Fundamentalism: The Fundamentalism of the Orthodox Ecumenists, by Archimandrite Cyprian Agiokyprianites

The Royal Path: True Orthodoxy in an Age of Apostasy, by Fr. Seraphim Rose Platina.

"For There Must Be Also Heresies Among You...", by Archbishop Averky.

The Sunday of Orthodoxy and the Current State of Affairs, by Photios Kontoglou.

Does the Orthodox Church Proselytize?: A Q&A from The Shepherd.

How Should We Conduct Ourselves in Speaking with the Non-Orthodox? In May, 2005, a meeting of the World Council of Churches was held in Greece. A bishop of the Church of Greece, anticipating that many non-Orthodox participants would be visiting parishes within his diocese, sent the following encyclical to his flock.

The Tragedy of Our Uniate Brothers, by Hieromonk [now Bishop] Auxentios

Comments on Current Events

The Church of the Fathers: Reflections of American Clergy and Others on Orthodox Ecclesiology

Synodal Announcement (1994), concerning a dubious Encyclical of the Orthodox Church of Crete. An instructive exposé of ecumenical politics.

Towards the "Eighth" Ecumenical Council: St. Herman of Alaska Monastery (1976).

Letter from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Diodoros I: to the Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatios IV, May 17, 1997.  See also his Firm Declarations presented at a meeting of all the Patriarchs at the Phanar in 1992.

"A result of [modernism] is the confusion and disturbance which exist among the Orthodox, the disregard and disdain for Tradition on the part of many, and the projection of mistaken, dangerous and subversive views. It is urgent, then, that this topic be studied very attentively. Only when this happens, and the correct answers are given and passed on, will it be possible for mutual understanding, unanimity and peace to come about among the Orthodox, and for the great danger, which Orthodoxy faces today from all kinds of plotters against her, to be put off."

—Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, Orthodox Tradition and Modernism, p. 7.

A Short Response to Father Thomas Hopko's Defense of Ecumenism, by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna.

Ecumenism and the New Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece. From Orthodox Tradition, Vol. XVII, Nos. 2 & 3 (2000).

Looking Back on Harare: The Eighth General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Harare, Zimbabwe: The Presence of Orthodox Ecumenists a Disappointment. (Fall, 2000)

The Peace of Assisi and the Peace of Christ: Internal and External Peace and the Loss of the Organic Unity of Worship, Ethos, and Dogma. (January, 2002)

Concerning the Intercommunion that Took Place in Ravenna, 2002: An Article and Exchange of Letters.

The Serbian Church and Ecumenism

Uneasiness About Modernism and Ecumenism in the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate. Included in this section because of two main sections in the article: The Origin of the WCC, and The Relation of the Serbian Orthodox Church to the WCC.

Ecumenism Marches On: The World Council of Churches: A Visible Expression of the Una Sancta?: The Patristic Position and the Witness of Archimandrite Justin (Popovich)

On A Summoning of the Great Council of the Orthodox Church: by the Blessed Justin (Popovich).

The Official Conclusions of the September, 2004 conference "Ecumenism: Origins, Expectations, Disenchantment", sponsored by the School of Pastoral Theology, The Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki, Greece. Among the concluding proposals of the conference participants we read:

"That it be made manifest to church leaders everywhere that, in the event that they continue to participate in, and lend support to, the pan-heresy of Ecumenism - both inter-christian and inter-religious - the obligatory salvific, canonical and patristic course for the faithful, clergy and laity, is excommunication: in other words, ceasing to commemorate bishops, who are co-responsible for, and co-communicants with, heresy and delusion. This is not a recourse to schism but rather to a God-pleasing confession, just as the ancient Fathers, and bishop-confessors in our own day have done, such as the esteemed and respected former Metropolitan of Florina, Augustinos, and the Fathers of the Holy Mountain (Athos)."

The Georgian Church and Ecumenism

Georgian Orthodox Church to leave WCC and CEC: from the GOARCH World News web site.

Open Letter of the Georgian Orthodox Monastics, to Patriarch Ilia II, upon their breaking communion with him over the heresy of ecumenism. This God-pleasing act of resistance, sanctioned by Holy Tradition (esp. Canon XV of the First-Second Synod) led to the Georgian Church's recent separation from the World Council of Churches.

Commentary from Greece on the Departure of the Georgian Church from the WCC: a very insightful article that helps put the events in a proper perspective.