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Ecumenism Awareness: Ecumenical Documents and Critiques

These documents are in order, by date. These deal generally with Ecumenism. Some of these documents accurately reflect Orthodox Tradition. Many, however, do not. Read the latter with much discretion, and with reference to traditional Orthodox ecclesiology.

St. Job of Pochaev

Valiant preserver of Orthodoxy in the wake of the infamous Union of Brest

Holy Canons Relating to Ecumenism , excerpted from The Rudder.

Selected Excerpts from the Three Answers, or A Lesson On Endless Dialogue with the Heterodox: in an effort to show others how "ecumenical dialogue" has been conducted properly in the past, I include here selected texts from Dr. Constantine Cavarnos' Ecumenism Examined, Archimandrite Cyprian's Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Movement, and the Three Answers of Patriarch Jeremiah II to the Lutheran Tübingen scholars regarding the "Augsburg Confession" (16th century). See also "St. John of Damascus and the 'Orthodoxy' of the Non-Chalcedonians", in the Monophysite section below.

Patriarchal and Synodical Encyclical of 1848 , A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns."

Patriarchal and Synodical Encyclical of 1895 , A Reply to the Papal Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII (1895) on Reunion.

Patriarchal and Synodical Encyclical of 1920 : this infamous and un-Orthodox document continues to be the platform from which ecumenism is justified by many of the Orthodox Churches (see critique, below). One is forced to ask, "Where are all the other Encyclicals that have been given in the past? Why are only (as of April, 2, 1997) the Encyclicals of 1902 and 1920 on this site? Where are the clear affirmations of the Orthodox Church as the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" as declared in the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs (1848) and the Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895?"

The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920: A Collection of Short Critiques

Masonry: The Official Statement of the Church of Greece (1933) : masonry is one of the foundational religions of the World Council of Churches. For other foundational groups see Met. Vitaly's report entitled "Ecumenism". See also this Pastoral Encyclical on Masonry, Bishop Ephraim of Boston.

The Oberlin Statement , "Christian Unity as Viewed by the Eastern Orthodox Church." Statement of the Representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church in USA at the North American Faith and Order Study Conference, Oberlin, Ohio, September 3-10, 1957.

Ecumenism , by Archbishop Vitaly of Montreal and Canada. Delivered as an official report to the full Sobor (Council) of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (1967).

Uppsala and Orthodoxy , by Fr. Gregory Grabbe. A critique of the WCC Assembly which took place July 4-20, 1968, in Uppsala—an event which marked a turning point in the Orthodox involvement in the Ecumenical Movement.

The Epistles of Metropolitan Philaret : this page contains a series of "Sorrowful Epistles" and other works that were written in the sixties.

Ecumenical Doxology with Archbishop Iakovos , Sunday, January 26, 1969. This was sent by a friend of the Orthodox Christian Information Center. For those who have always wondered what went on at these infamous events, this will be an eye-opener.

The Announcement of the Extraordinary Joint Conference of the Sacred Community of the Holy Mount Athos concerning ecumenism (April, 1980).

Report from the Council of Bishops of 1983. By Archbishop Vitaly of Montreal and Canada. Includes the Anathema issued at that time with later pastoral remarks by Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff.

Firm Declarations of Patriarch Diodoros (1992) : This is the full text of the unwavering positions and Orthodox convictions of the Most Holy Mother of the Churches, the Ancient Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which was deposited and entered into the minutes of the assembly of Orthodox leaders at the Phanar on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, 1992, by His Most Reverend Beatitude, the Venerable Patriarch Diodoros I. This is especially helpful for understanding the controversial issue of protracted "dialogue" with the heterodox.

The Balamand Agreement (1993) : the full text of this ecumenical document along with numerous critiques.

A Brief History of the WCC and the Relation of the Serbian Orthodox Church to the WCC : A report written at the request of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Church and submitted to the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate on November 17, 1994, by Bishop Artemije, a spiritual son of Blessed Justin (Popovich). The report follows a short article entitled "Uneasiness in the Serbian Patriarchate."

The Thessaloniki Summit (May, 1998) : "The Inter-Orthodox Meeting on Evaluation of New Facts in the Relations of Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Movement." The original report, with critical notes.

The Statement on the Relationship of the Orthodox Church to the World Council of Churches (June, 1998) : by the Orthodox Theological Society in America (OTSA). The original report, with critical notes.

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 Official Statement from Mt. Athos on the Pope's Visit to the Phanar (2006).

An Open Letter to the Holy Abbots and the Holy Representatives of the Sacred Twenty Monasteries in the Holy Community of the Holy Mount Athos. The So-Called "Kelliotes Letter" (December, 2006).