Ecumenism Awareness: Modernism
A Conversation About Modernism, a helpful
introduction to this issue, compiled from the writings of Fr. Alexander
Orthodox Tradition and Modernism,
a monograph by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos that introduces the
concept of Orthodox Tradition and discusses the modern innovations of
our day. He concludes with a short discussion of ecumenism, for which
modernism is the "midwife." Note: this is copyrighted, as are
all CTOS publications, and is not for redistribution or resale.
Unwavering Fidelity to the Holy Tradition: An
Interview with Dr. Constantine Cavarnos on Photios Kontoglou. From the
Summer 1999 issue of Divine Ascent.
Is This Orthodoxy?:
Or Modernism, Subverting True Orthodoxy, and Unacceptable for the Orthodox Conscience?,
by Father Michael Pomazansky.
Concerning Priests and Holy Tradition: Excerpts from Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit.
Some Remarks to a Priest
Concerning Holy Tradition and Modernism, by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna.
The Second Sorrowful
Epistle of Metropolitan Philaret.
Should the Church Keep in Step with the Times?, a classic
article on modernism by Archbishop Averky of Blessed Memory.
Introduction to Humility, by Bishop [now Archbishop] Chrysostomos
of Etna. This is included here because the cause of much innovation today is pridea
failure to humbly bow before the witness of Holy Tradition and be obedient
to its spiritual guidance. See also this related
excerpt from the book.
On the Keeping of Holy Tradition as "Legalism", by
Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna.
A Few Articles on Specific Modernistic Practices
Proper Clerical Dress: articles from Orthodox Life and Orthodox Tradition.
Uncut Hair and Beard of the Clergy: An Orthodox Tradition Q&A.
Modernistic Fasting Practices.
Kneeling on Sundays.
"If strict perseverance in Tradition does not entail the deadening of the Church,
but on the contrary is absolutely necessary for the preservation and
fruitfulness of the life of the Church, as much again the disregard
for and even partial abandonment of Tradition entails the slackening
of her life and her gradual decomposition."
Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, Orthodox Tradition
and Modernism, p. 18.
"The followers of unenlightened custom are themselves innocent; they merely
accept what has been 'handed down' to them. But not seeing the meaning
and not knowing the sources of what has been handed down, they are easily
led into error, accepting customs which the Church has allowed only out
of her condescension or economy as if they were the best of Orthodoxy,
and also improper customs of recent heterodox origin and inspiration,
together with the pure and meaningful Orthodox customs handed down from
the Holy Fathers. Under strict yet prudent pastors, such people can be
guided in the true path of Orthodoxy; but in our own time of such widespread
irresponsible Church leadership, these people are more often guided gradually
into a path of ever greater and more senseless innovation and reform,
the clearest example of which is perhaps the Greek Archdiocese of America,
where pews, organs, and Uniat spirituality and theology have become the
new 'customs' of an unfortunate people whose Orthodoxy has been stolen
"Today the situation of Orthodoxy is rather different, and much worse, than it
was in the time of the Elder Paisius. In place of the veneer of paganism
and Latinism which never actually touched the heart of Orthodoxy, we have
today a prevailing atmosphere of modernist heterodoxy and senseless "keeping
up with the times" which has pierced the very heart of some Orthodox Churches
so deeply that they will doubtless never recover, and their children are
deprived of Orthodoxy without even knowing what they have lost."
Father Seraphim Rose in his Introduction
to Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky.
"The Sunday evening lecture on Victories of the Orthodox Church over Innovations
and Heresies had a mixed reaction from the faithful. Many of the Greek
Orthodox and Antiochean Orthodox who were in attendance thought this Homily
(Lecture) was too long or too theological, and beyond their understanding.
A deeper investigation revealed that those who complained about the Lecture
truly did not agree with the message and were even offended that Dr. Cavarnos
criticized some of the Orthodox hierarchy. Also, they had never heard
of these Innovations and Heresies that they have grown to accept and love.
No priest or Bishop had ever made them aware of these Innovations."
Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, Victories of Orthodoxy,
p. 84. Final emphasis mine.