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Discussion on Ecumenism

shep4569

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I was being a typical Orthodox nerd and searching for music from the Lamentations on Great and Holy Friday, and stumbled on a 3-video series on how Ecumenism is wrong. The videos focused on Orthodox bishops participating in the funeral of Pope JPII and enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI. Apparently this was highly heretical and offensive to the Orthodox christian that posted them, so I thought I might get your opinions.

Personally, I have no problem with Ecumenism, and here's why: our faith will never change. The churches of the world could have meetings for the next thousand years, and Orthodoxy, and all the others, will remain the same. No church is going to voluntarily give up its beliefs and join another church. Can you see Orthodox bishops saying "Hey, we've been wrong for the past two thousand years. Let's all be Roman Catholic now!" I don't think so. So I don't think praying with other Christians constitutes heresy.

Discuss!
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Since nobody is going to change their mind, I think that theological dialogues and joint statements are a waste of time.  However, I think that cooperation in charity and defending common social values has its merits.  Joint prayer strikes me as inappropriate, as it appears to validate heresies, or put all Christian creeds on a level playing field with the true Church.
 

LBK

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shep4569 said:
I was being a typical Orthodox nerd and searching for music from the Lamentations on Great and Holy Friday, and stumbled on a 3-video series on how Ecumenism is wrong. The videos focused on Orthodox bishops participating in the funeral of Pope JPII and enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI. Apparently this was highly heretical and offensive to the Orthodox christian that posted them, so I thought I might get your opinions.
This is not the first time such claims have been raised by certain vested interests (aka certain "traditionalist" Orthodox).  ::) I do not recall seeing much footage of the enthronement of Pope Benedict, but the "Orthodox" clergy present in full vestments at the funeral of Pope John Paul II were Byzantine Catholics, as was officially announced on the sountrack provided by the Vatican source which provided the broadcast. All Orthodox clergy present at the funeral were in their black "civvies", i.e. riassa/rasa and headwear appropriate to clerical rank (no mitres) and pectoral crosses/Panaghias, and seated among the ranks of the non-RC clergy in the general audience, not on stage as the Eastern Catholics were.

NEXT!
 

PeterTheAleut

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I have to ask you what exactly you mean by "ecumenism", since so many different meanings of this word have been used in discussions here at OC.net.
 

Alpo

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Oh this turned out quite fine. I was considering starting topic on ecumenism but it seems like shep4569 has read my thoughts. Now the only thing I need is a little patience to just wait that someone will reads my further thoughts on the subject and writes the correct, convincing and orthodox answers for them.
 

shep4569

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Fr. Anastasios said:
Can we have a link to the videos in question?
First Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOGQVvEU8vY&feature=related

Second Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXphOYp519o&feature=related

Third Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJqgPUSL-_A&feature=related

The author of said videos gives a definition of Ecumenism at the beginning of the first one.

And I agree with Alveus Lacuna. Nobody will change their minds, so we should just cooperate in a spirit of Christian brotherhood. It doesn't mean we have to sympathize with their views. However I don't think signing "joint faith statements" and such do any good. Great, so the pope and EP signed a document that says they both believe in things on which both churches already agree. I don't think I need a paper signed by the pope to tell me he believes in the Holy Trinity.
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Joint prayer strikes me as inappropriate, as it appears to validate heresies, or put all Christian creeds on a level playing field with the true Church.
That strikes me as overgeneralized, unless you would object to, say, Orthodox praying for the lives of the unborn outside abortion clinics next to Catholics and Protestants. If you would object, then, we really needn't go any further here.


 

PeterTheAleut

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shep4569 said:
Fr. Anastasios said:
Can we have a link to the videos in question?
First Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOGQVvEU8vY&feature=related

Second Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXphOYp519o&feature=related

Third Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJqgPUSL-_A&feature=related

The author of said videos gives a definition of Ecumenism at the beginning of the first one.
There's certainly ample reason to object to any ecumenical dialogue or interaction with Rome that compromises our belief in the Orthodox Church as the one (and only) holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, but I think it very important that we base our objections on truth and not on extremist propaganda--yes, I acknowledge that many here will disagree with me that these videos constitute extremist propaganda, but that's an argument for another day ;).  For instance, in the first few minutes of the first video I saw a lot of still photos that would have meant nothing to me, separated as they are from the context of events of which I know nothing.  If not for the additional commentary, I would have no idea what the photos displayed.  I kept on wondering how I could know this commentary can be trusted.

And the videos of Orthodox hierarchs attending the funeral service for Pope John Paul II, the enthronement ceremony of Pope Benedict XVI, and other Roman services, together with video of Orthodox dialogue with the Pope, both within and outside the World Council of Churches...  I'm sure some of us will object even to this level of ecumenical activity just for what it is at face value.  But if you're going to object, at least say that you object to the mere presence of Orthodox bishops at Roman Catholic services, the mere dialogue with Rome, or their mere activity in the WCC.  I really won't argue with this honesty.  However, to brand the mere Orthodox presence at these services joint prayer with Roman Catholics is rather disingenuous, IMO.  Sure, they're there in the audience for all the world to see, but are they actively participating in the services with Catholic clergy of both the Latin and Byzantine Rites?  I don't see any such concelebration.  So how is the mere presence of Orthodox prelates at these services the joint prayer condemned by the canons?  We may also object legitimately to Orthodox membership in the WCC based solely on the expressed mission of those Orthodox who choose to participate, but to label this mere presence as explicit or implicit consent to the ecumenical heresies proclaimed within the WCC, despite the many statements to the contrary by our Orthodox participants in the WCC, is also rather duplicitous, IMO.
 

Anastasios

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It looks like they spliced some of the Synod in Resistance videos into their own videos (which have a catchy sinister sounding soundtrack!)

I think the video "Papocentric Globalism" itself is well produced (as opposed to the photo splice job with sinister soundtrack in the beginning). Clearly 2 of the 3 Orthodox bishops are singing the trisagion chanted by the Eastern Rite Catholics (thus praying with heretics).  Also, this funeral was on Orthodox Palm Sunday that year--I wonder if these bishops skipped liturgy to make this funeral?

I think whether Orthodox hierarchs should attend funerals of non-Orthodox hierarchs is a debatable point, but their attending the enthronement of a heretical bishop, let alone the pope is way over the top.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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rwprof said:
That strikes me as overgeneralized, unless you would object to, say, Orthodox praying for the lives of the unborn outside abortion clinics next to Catholics and Protestants. If you would object, then, we really needn't go any further here.
Honestly, I do not yet know how I feel about joint prayer.  Normally I would not care too much, but some have told me that this is expressly condemned by certain canons.
 

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I have no problem with joint prayer. I do disagree a bit with the Orthodox presence at the enthronement of the pope, but other than that I'd say it's okay. If we say that praying with people from other faiths is heresy, then imagine what our lives would be like. I'd have to tell one of my good friends, who is RC, that I can't attend his wedding next year because he is a heretic. I don't imagine that would go over well...
 

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shep4569 said:
I have no problem with joint prayer. I do disagree a bit with the Orthodox presence at the enthronement of the pope, but other than that I'd say it's okay. If we say that praying with people from other faiths is heresy, then imagine what our lives would be like. I'd have to tell one of my good friends, who is RC, that I can't attend his wedding next year because he is a heretic. I don't imagine that would go over well...
The canons of the Church are clear that praying with heretics is wrong, so it's not really a question of opinion. There are clear reasons why the Fathers taught this; it is for our protection, and to avoid scandal.

Now, attending weddings and funerals is a different story. Such social events are important, and I agree that it would  be difficult not to attend. When I go to heterodox funerals and weddings, though, I do not pray. I am respectful, but do not pray. I want to show love to my non-Orthodox family and friends by going, but I can't join in their prayers, which are often deficient and sometimes blatantly unOrthodox.

The problem with the pope's funeral, which the video was making, is that there are more far reaching connotations in the pope's funeral and the presence of Orthodox bishops is not a simple "they came to pay their respects" but has consequences.
 

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The following block of posts originally submitted to this thread:  Old vs. New Calendar?  - PtA


Jonathan Gress said:
For anyone who wants proof that recognition of heterodox baptism is now the official teaching of the 'mainstream', i.e. 'World', Orthodox churches, here is a statement from SCOBA in 1999:

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html
Please read the document more attentively.   It is impossible to draw your conclusion from this American document.

The document is in fact *pleading* with the Churches of Orthodoxy to recognise heterodox Baptism.

In fact not one Orthodox Church has responded to this plea by the Americans and ALL Orthodox Churches may, and do, baptize the heterodox.
 

Jonathan Gress

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
For anyone who wants proof that recognition of heterodox baptism is now the official teaching of the 'mainstream', i.e. 'World', Orthodox churches, here is a statement from SCOBA in 1999:

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html
Please read the document more attentively.   It is impossible to draw your conclusion from this American document.

The document is in fact *pleading* with the Churches of Orthodoxy to recognise heterodox Baptism.

In fact not one Orthodox Church has responded to this plea by the Americans and ALL Orthodox Churches may, and do, baptize the heterodox.
"The Orthodox and Catholic members of our Consultation acknowledge, in both of our traditions, a common teaching and a common faith in one baptism, despite some variations in practice which, we believe, do not affect the substance of the mystery. We are therefore moved to declare that we also recognize each other's baptism as one and the same. This recognition has obvious ecclesiological consequences. The Church is itself both the milieu and the effect of baptism, and is not of our making. This recognition requires each side of our dialogue to acknowledge an ecclesial reality in the other, however much we may regard their way of living the Church's reality as flawed or incomplete. In our common reality of baptism, we discover the foundation of our dialogue, as well as the force and urgency of the Lord Jesus' prayer "that all may be one." Here, finally, is the certain basis for the modern use of the phrase, "sister churches." At the same time, since some are unwilling to accept this mutual recognition of baptism with all its consequences, the following investigation and explanation seems necessary."

This is obviously a heretical statement, and I don't think you would dare to deny it. If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
This is obviously a heretical statement, and I don't think you would dare to deny it. If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.
Every year or so this happy little club of Americans puts out a statement.  The one which caused the most hilarity in Europe was the one which came to be jocosely known as "When is a Christmation  not a Chrismation?"

Do not make the mistake of thinking that what takes place in the American provinces is of much importance in the Orthodox world.  Not everyone in Europe and the Near East is agog to read the latest thoughts from the United States.

 

Jonathan Gress

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
This is obviously a heretical statement, and I don't think you would dare to deny it. If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.
Every year or so this happy little club of Americans puts out a statement.  The one which caused the most hilarity in Europe was the one which came to be jocosely known as "When is a Christmation  not a Chrismation?"

Do not make the mistake of thinking that what takes place in the American provinces is of much importance in the Orthodox world.  Not everyone in Europe and the Near East is agog to read the latest thoughts from the United States.
Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox? Why have they not condemned this heresy in unambiguous language? Why have they not threatened to break communion? Could it possibly be that your bishops in Europe are equally complicit in the ecumenist heresy, and that is why they are silent?
 

Irish Hermit

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Jonathan Gress said:
If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.
Does the logic hold water?  If silence implies consent then you and your Church are in heresy by your own self-admission.  In 1983 the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece issued an important statement condemning the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.  I am not aware that your Church has denied this and without a rebuttal from your Church we must conclude that your Church has fallen into heresy.




http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm


Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
ACT OF THE HOLY AND SACRED COUNCIL OF THE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE

Protocol Number: 6/13-7-1983

Theme: Condemnation of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism."

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece in its session of July 13, 1983, addressed the theme of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism", and took into account:

a) That the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" teaches an entirely heretical teaching, to wit, that all the groups and factions that follow the old calendar together consist and belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, and it proposes a union of these [factions] according to an ecumenistic perception and not according to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology.

b) That "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is a fruit and product of antichristian Ecumenism, the pan-heresy of our age, which seeks, through the fractions and divisions and the ecclesiological confusion, to distort the Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology and to introduce this heretical teaching into the Uninnovated Church, in order to thereby suffocate it.

c) That the age, in which we are going through, is an age of general apostasy and ecclesiological confusion, which was caused by antichristian Ecumenism. Thus, the criticality of these times requires [from us] especially, a continuous way of life in the pure Confession of the Orthodox Faith and in the teachings of the Church of Christ.

d) That "the chosen vessel," the divine Apostle Paul, commands us all: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood," and continues: "grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:28-30)

e) That many have arisen, speaking perversely, for the purpose of setting aside the Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ, and turn against the divine and Sacred Canons and generally against the Holy and Sacred Tradition, by preaching "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" with bared head, and disturbing the assembly of the faithful.

Since "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is condemned by the consensus of the divine and Sacred Canons and is something foreign and polemical against the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Church of Christ, for this reason, together with our Holy and God-bearing Fathers, holding the divine and Sacred Canons in embrace, in the Holy Spirit we decide:

1. We judge and condemn the so-called “Old Calendarist Ecumenism,” as something foreign to, and incompatible with, the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ.

2. With one mouth and one heart we confess and preach that the Genuine Orthodox Church, which for reasons of discernment is called "uninnovated" or "Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians," is the continuation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, from which [the following] were torn off: firstly, the innovated new calendarist church, through the introduction of the condemned papist innovation [of the calendar], by which Ecumenism entered in 1924; and secondly, the various old calendarist schisms, which were created by their distortion of the Confession – Ecclesiology of the uninnovated Holy Church of Christ.

3. This Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology was printed and preached since 1924, and was Synodically preached in the historic year of 1935. We also keep it, preach it and confess it.

4. With one voice we disapprove and remove any expressions or publications which, regardless of what context or by whom they were written, are unacceptable from an Orthodox perspective and are foreign to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology, and we order that from now on, anything contradictory, whether it be due to carelessness or through human weakness, we regard it as having not been written.

In the year of salvation 1983, on July the 13th (old calendar).

The President:
+ ANDREW of Athens and all Greece

The Members:
+ GREGORY of Messenia
+ MATTHEW of Megaris
+ LAZARUS of Bresthena
+ PACHOMIUS of Argolis
+ THEODOSIUS of Phthiotis
+ TITUS of Kozane

The Chief Secretary
+ Hieromonk Kirykos (Kontogiannis)
 

Irish Hermit

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Jonathan Gress said:
Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?
Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?

 

Jonathan Gress

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.
Does the logic hold water?  If silence implies consent then you and your Church are in heresy by your own self-admission.  In 1983 the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece issued an important statement condemning the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.  I am not aware that your Church has denied this and without a rebuttal from your Church we must conclude that your Church has fallen into heresy.




http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm


Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
ACT OF THE HOLY AND SACRED COUNCIL OF THE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE

Protocol Number: 6/13-7-1983

Theme: Condemnation of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism."

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece in its session of July 13, 1983, addressed the theme of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism", and took into account:

a) That the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" teaches an entirely heretical teaching, to wit, that all the groups and factions that follow the old calendar together consist and belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, and it proposes a union of these [factions] according to an ecumenistic perception and not according to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology.

b) That "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is a fruit and product of antichristian Ecumenism, the pan-heresy of our age, which seeks, through the fractions and divisions and the ecclesiological confusion, to distort the Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology and to introduce this heretical teaching into the Uninnovated Church, in order to thereby suffocate it.

c) That the age, in which we are going through, is an age of general apostasy and ecclesiological confusion, which was caused by antichristian Ecumenism. Thus, the criticality of these times requires [from us] especially, a continuous way of life in the pure Confession of the Orthodox Faith and in the teachings of the Church of Christ.

d) That "the chosen vessel," the divine Apostle Paul, commands us all: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood," and continues: "grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:28-30)

e) That many have arisen, speaking perversely, for the purpose of setting aside the Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ, and turn against the divine and Sacred Canons and generally against the Holy and Sacred Tradition, by preaching "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" with bared head, and disturbing the assembly of the faithful.

Since "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is condemned by the consensus of the divine and Sacred Canons and is something foreign and polemical against the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Church of Christ, for this reason, together with our Holy and God-bearing Fathers, holding the divine and Sacred Canons in embrace, in the Holy Spirit we decide:

1. We judge and condemn the so-called “Old Calendarist Ecumenism,” as something foreign to, and incompatible with, the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ.

2. With one mouth and one heart we confess and preach that the Genuine Orthodox Church, which for reasons of discernment is called "uninnovated" or "Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians," is the continuation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, from which [the following] were torn off: firstly, the innovated new calendarist church, through the introduction of the condemned papist innovation [of the calendar], by which Ecumenism entered in 1924; and secondly, the various old calendarist schisms, which were created by their distortion of the Confession – Ecclesiology of the uninnovated Holy Church of Christ.

3. This Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology was printed and preached since 1924, and was Synodically preached in the historic year of 1935. We also keep it, preach it and confess it.

4. With one voice we disapprove and remove any expressions or publications which, regardless of what context or by whom they were written, are unacceptable from an Orthodox perspective and are foreign to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology, and we order that from now on, anything contradictory, whether it be due to carelessness or through human weakness, we regard it as having not been written.

In the year of salvation 1983, on July the 13th (old calendar).

The President:
+ ANDREW of Athens and all Greece

The Members:
+ GREGORY of Messenia
+ MATTHEW of Megaris
+ LAZARUS of Bresthena
+ PACHOMIUS of Argolis
+ THEODOSIUS of Phthiotis
+ TITUS of Kozane

The Chief Secretary
+ Hieromonk Kirykos (Kontogiannis)
Um I don't understand your point. Are you saying that the belief in Old Calendarist Ecumenism is a heresy? Well I don't believe that, and neither does my church. Do you believe that the concept of OC Ecumenism is a heresy?
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?
Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?
I am being quite logical, unlike you. If your church believed that heterodox baptism was invalid, your church would have condemned those theologians who taught otherwise. Since your church has not, as far as I can see, your church accepts the teaching, although it may not want to make too much of it lest it scare away traditionalists.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
.

Um I don't understand your point. Are you saying that the belief in Old Calendarist Ecumenism is a heresy? Well I don't believe that, and neither does my church. Do you believe that the concept of OC Ecumenism is a heresy?
Yee.  Nearly all Old Calendarists are heretics because they have accepted the ecumenistic Branch Theory of an Invisible Church.  They believe that Churches which are not in communion with one another and in many cases their bishops strongly reject one another, form an invisibly united Church.  This is a purely ecumenistic understanding and heretical.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
I am being quite logical, unlike you. If your church believed that heterodox baptism was invalid, your church would have condemned those theologians who taught otherwise. Since your church has not, as far as I can see, your church accepts the teaching, although it may not want to make too much of it lest it scare away traditionalists.
Are you aware of the Russian Patriarchate's censure of its bishop in Germany who made the mistake of signing an interchurch document which acknowledged Lutheran baptism?


Are you aware that your Church has not rejected the statement by the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that you are heretical by virtue of your Old Calendarist ecumenism?  Are you afraid to upset your traditionalists by offering a rebuttal to this charge of heresy? 
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?
Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?
More to the point, I dare anyone to provide examples (even just one) of canonical Orthodox churches anywhere in the world who would allow anyone of non-Orthodox baptism to receive Holy Communion, unless such individuals have been canonically received (by baptism or chrismation) into the Church. Therefore, Jonathan, a "formal statement" on the part of any Orthodox church is unnecessary, as it is the praxis of the Churches which speak far more loudly. Conversely, there are many instances of Old Calendarist groups insisting on baptism or chrismation of individuals who wish to join such groups, who have earlier in their lives received an Orthodox baptism. Que?
 

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LBK said:
Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?
Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?
More to the point, I dare anyone to provide examples (even just one) of canonical Orthodox churches anywhere in the world who would allow anyone of non-Orthodox baptism to receive Holy Communion, unless such individuals have been canonically received (by baptism or chrismation) into the Church. Therefore, Jonathan, a "formal statement" on the part of any Orthodox church is unnecessary, as it is the praxis of the Churches which speak far more loudly. Conversely, there are many instances of Old Calendarist groups insisting on baptism or chrismation of individuals who wish to join such groups, who have earlier in their lives received an Orthodox baptism. Que?
Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
.

Um I don't understand your point. Are you saying that the belief in Old Calendarist Ecumenism is a heresy? Well I don't believe that, and neither does my church. Do you believe that the concept of OC Ecumenism is a heresy?
Yee.  Nearly all Old Calendarists are heretics because they have accepted the ecumenistic Branch Theory of an Invisible Church.  They believe that Churches which are not in communion with one another and in many cases their bishops strongly reject one another, form an invisibly united Church.  This is a purely ecumenistic understanding and heretical.
That's rich IH. The Old Calendarists are ecumenists, the New Calendarists are not. Care to provide some evidence aside from this 'statement'?

The Matthewite synod that made that proclamation has no authority as far as I'm concerned. They also don't have any authority as far as you're concerned, so I don't understand what you are trying to prove from it. Has the ecumenist synod you're part of ever anathematized the Old Calendarists on the grounds they are ecumenists? I'd be more liable to give heed to that.

We have made no statement on the validity of the mysteries of other OC jurisdictions. The TOC of Greece under Abp Chrysostomos has condemned the teachings of Met Cyprian of Fili on 'sick' and 'healthy' members of the Church (the truth is, you're either a heretic and outside the Church, or you're not), but that's it as far as I know. So since the other TOC jurisdictions apart from the Cyprianites are not under any kind of anathema, on what grounds do you condemn those of us who say their mysteries may be valid?
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I am being quite logical, unlike you. If your church believed that heterodox baptism was invalid, your church would have condemned those theologians who taught otherwise. Since your church has not, as far as I can see, your church accepts the teaching, although it may not want to make too much of it lest it scare away traditionalists.
Are you aware of the Russian Patriarchate's censure of its bishop in Germany who made the mistake of signing an interchurch document which acknowledged Lutheran baptism?


Are you aware that your Church has not rejected the statement by the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that you are heretical by virtue of your Old Calendarist ecumenism?  Are you afraid to upset your traditionalists by offering a rebuttal to this charge of heresy? 
I am also aware that the MP has not censured the American churches for their heretical statements such as the one I cited. I am aware they maintain communion with such open ecumenists, including members of their own synod like Bp Hilarion of Vienna.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx
I do find it difficult to take such an article seriously when the Archbishop of Athens is repeatedly referred to as Anastasios. Last time I checked, the name of the Archbishop of Athens in 2002 was Christodoulos:p
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx
I highly doubt it.  In the article the accusation starts as "the EP and Archbishop Anastasios" gave communion to RCs, then the accusation has to be withdrawn because they find themselves to be mistaken when confronted with His Beatitude's testimony.  It is a (infinitely, technically) shorter leap from "wrong once" to "wrong twice" than it is from "never wrong" to "wrong once."
 

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LBK said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx
I do find it difficult to take such an article seriously when the Archbishop of Athens is repeatedly referred to as Anastasios. Last time I checked, the name of the Archbishop of Athens in 2002 was Christodoulos:p
The accusation is actually leveled against His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and all Albania.
 

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The final concession only refers to Abp Anastasios. The EP is still implicated in administering communion to the heterodox. So LBK, you have your example.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
[Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx
Why should this worry you, JG?  Has not your Church declared that the Holy Mysteries of the Greeks are nothing but bread and wine in a chalice?

For example, one of your nuns the holy abbess Efrosinia has declared that the Serbian Church is no longer Orthodox and no longer has the Holy Mysteries nor the Holy Spirit. I assume she would extend that denial to all the other Orthodox Churches, which means that grace has virtually disappeared from the world, to be found only among a tiny group of whom she approves.

She admits that these days you can hardly get into any Serbian church, so great are the numbers now attending services - but it is all in vain, she says, because "the Holy Spirit has departed."

May the Lord have mercy on this nun and those who follow her and her bishop in Athens.

 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
[Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx
Why should this worry you, JG?  Has not your Church declared that the Holy Mysteries of the Greeks are nothing but bread and wine in a chalice?

For example, one of your nuns the holy abbess Efrosinia has declared that the Serbian Church is no longer Orthodox and no longer has the Holy Mysteries nor the Holy Spirit. I assume she would extend that denial to all the other Orthodox Churches, which means that grace has virtually disappeared from the world, to be found only among a tiny group of whom she approves.

She admits that these days you can hardly get into any Serbian church, so great are the numbers now attending services - but it is all in vain, she says, because "the Holy Spirit has departed."

May the Lord have mercy on this nun and those who follow her and her bishop in Athens.
What matters is not what I think about this event. What matters is what YOU think. Do you believe the mysteries of the Patriarch are true mysteries? Do you not object to the fact that he administered them to the Latins?
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
What matters is not what I think about this event. What matters is what YOU think
So I do not really understand why you are making a fuss.

"Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own."

Proverbs 26:17
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Jonathan Gress said:
What matters is not what I think about this event. What matters is what YOU think
So I do not really understand why you are making a fuss.

"Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own."

Proverbs 26:17
So if I understand the force of that quotation, you would like us traditionalists to leave you ecumenists alone to administer your so-called 'mysteries' to the heretics, partaking together in damnation, rather than try to warn you of the spiritual peril you are in and urge you to return to the fold of the True Church? All right then.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
So if I understand the force of that quotation, you would like us traditionalists to leave you ecumenists alone to administer your so-called 'mysteries' to the heretics, partaking together in damnation, rather than try to warn you of the spiritual peril you are in and urge you to return to the fold of the True Church? All right then.
Dear JG,  I am grateful for your concern.  It worries me that you fall under the 1983 condemnation of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece because you have fallen prey to the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism. 
 

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I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.
Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe.
As the good Father pointed out, the document you are pointing too was not produced or signed off on by American bishops. Indeed the index page on the SCOBA website for this document and others produced by the "The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation" explicitly states:
The members of national bilateral dialogue commissions are sanctioned by the hierarchies of the two churches to examine divisive issues, and to make recommendations regarding ways to overcome them. As such, the agreed statements are issued on the authority of the dialogue commission itself, and do not bind the authorities of either church.
On the other hand, this is the actual teaching of my bishops, synodically agreed upon and easily accessible on the official website:
Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Christian Unity and Ecumenism
http://www.oca.org/DOCencyclical.asp?SID=12&ID=5

For the Orthodox Church, therefore, the only possible unity for Christians and for the Christian Church is the unity of faith to which the apostles, saints and councils of the Church have witnessed, the faith to which they call all men for the sake of their salvation.
Genuine Christian unity is possible only where men are one in Christ and the Holy Spirit, fully united in the truth, love and holiness of God. This unity is possible only in the one Church which Christ founded, against which "the gates of hell shall not prevail." (Matthew 16:18) This unity is possible only in that Church which has preserved whole and unchanged the teachings of Christ and His apostles, prophets, martyrs and saints. This unity is possible only in that Church which continues to proclaim the revelation of God in its fullness, not only in its doctrines and morals, but also in the whole order of spiritual, sacramental and hierarchal church life as established in the apostolic Christian community.
Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, it is our duty as bishops of the Church and guardians of the apostolic faith to confess that the Orthodox Church is the one Church of Christ.
We further deny the possibility of fusing the hierarchal and sacramental structure of the Orthodox Church with a contradictory form of Christian confession, and we categorically reject the use of eucharistic communion and sacramental "intercommunion" as a means of achieving Christian unity. According to the Orthodox Faith, the sacraments and the liturgy of the Church, most specifically the Holy Eucharist, cannot be separated from the very being of the Church, which they exist to manifest. The sacraments are not devotions or psychological symbols. They are the manifestations of the essence of the Church as the Kingdom of God on earth. Outside the unity of faith in the one Church of Christ, which cannot be divided, there can be no sacramental communion and no liturgical concelebration.

Formal liturgical worship which involves the active participation of clergy and laity of different confessions is contrary to the canons of the Orthodox Church. Such liturgical celebration can only create confusion and scandal and serve to project a false impression of the Christian Faith and the nature of the unity which God has given to men in His Church, both to the Christian faithful and to the non-Christians of the world. According to the Orthodox Faith, such liturgical celebration is also a false presentation of men before the heavenly altar of God.
Or in other words, you have borne false witness against my hierarchs.
 
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