The Unity of the Church and the World Conference of Christian Communities

Saint Hilarion (Troitsky)

This is the first audio book offered by the Orthodox Christian Information Center. Please see the Introduction, below, for more on this book.

The entire book is contained in two MP3 files of almost equal length, which can be burned to two CDs for listening in the car or elsewhere.

Introduction to the Audio Edition

This brilliant defense of traditional Orthodox ecclesiology by the Holy New-Martyr Archbishop Hilarion—who received a martyr's crown on December 15th, 1929—, does not seem to be well known, probably owing to its limited publication decades ago by a small monastery press in Canada. As of 2009 it is out of print and was difficult to obtain anywhere except from an online used bookstore.

This is unfortunate, for Saint Hilarion's book is, in my opinion, the best critical analysis ever written of the ecclesiological presuppositions of the Ecumenical Movement. Every Orthodox Christian should read or listen to this book as an antidote to the bacterium of ecumenistic heresy, which has been infecting some Orthodox Christians and dulling their Orthodox consciousness for decades. As Dr. Constantine Cavarnos put it in his book Ecumenism Examined:

"According to the holy Fathers..., a heretical doctrine is a virus, a poison that leads to spiritual infection and results in spiritual death." He later states, "The Latinizing 'Orthodox' Ecumenists...are waiting for the day when the mind-set (phronema) of Orthodox peoples will have become sufficiently blunted to be ready to accept such a diabolic betrayal of the Faith." (pp. 52, 60)

I am convinced that any Orthodox Christian who hears the timeless words of this erudite and Patristic-minded Archbishop, and then hears or reads the statements of our misguided Orthodox ecumenists today—many of whom, unfortunately, are clergy of the highest rank, or who hold teaching positions in Orthodox seminaries—will be shocked and amazed that they have fallen so far from the teaching of the Holy Fathers.

This book—which is actually a letter to an American Protestant—was written in 1917. The English translation by Mrs. Margaret Jerinec was published in 1975 by Monastery Press. I offer it here unabridged as the first in a series of audio books that, with God's help, will be made available on the Orthodox Christian Information Center Web site (www.OrthodoxInfo.com).

In the Introduction to the 1975 edition, the editors point out that:

In the original Archbishop Hilarion often used "Catholic", as is also done in English, to mean Roman Catholic. Hence he speaks of a Catholic priest, or the Catholic mass, etc. In order to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding we have used the term "latin" in all such cases, except when the full term "Roman Catholic" is employed. In one or two instances, the word "catholicism" has been used and this always in the generally accepted use, meaning the faith, practice and system of the Roman Catholic Church. When employed alone the term "catholic" in the present text is therefore to be understood in its proper meaning, that is pertaining to the Catholic Church which is, of course, our own Orthodox Church; the Romans having wrongly appropriated the designation.

The book contains numerous phrases in foreign languages that, for the most part, I did not try to pronounce. As the English translation for these phrases is also provided, I deemed it unnecessary. As well, I did not read his footnotes, which are almost always simply a citation of the source. Please consult the text for these, which is also on OrthodoxInfo.com.

Finally, I ask your forgiveness for any shortcomings or mistakes in my reading. Please pray for me, a sinner.

Patrick Barnes

September 4/17 2009
The Holy Prophets Moses, the Seer of God, and Aaron