Discussion on Ecumenism

PeterTheAleut

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Jonathan Gress said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Jonathan Gress said:
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?
Well, my point is you should take the words of Chalcedon literally, that is, the words 'two natures', because St John took them literally,
And St. John of Damascus is an infallible authority on how to understand Chalcedonian dogma properly?  I don't think so.

As an aside, why do you go to St. John of Damascus to tell you what the Oriental Orthodox believe when you can ask the Oriental Orthodox for yourself, right here on this forum?  Is someone who was never OO more qualified to tell you what OO believe than the OO themselves?

Jonathan Gress said:
and if you like I will find and quote as many Fathers as I can who take the words literally.
Spare me. ::)  I've already argued with someone else that a list of all those Fathers who support your case does not make an authoritative consensus.

Jonathan Gress said:
Find me a Father after Chalcedon who did not take them literally, but taught that it was permissible to speak of one nature of Christ.
You still miss the point that the words are merely an attempt to express a Christology that is essentially inexpressible.  So why do you hold so stubbornly to such a literalist interpretation of dogma that you fail to see its spirit?  Isn't this what we accuse fundamentalists of doing?
 

Jonathan Gress

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PtA, I don't presume to know what the 'spirit' behind the Chalcedonian dogma is. As you say yourself, the Truth in its fullness is ineffable. Therefore, what hope have I to know the Truth? By holding unswervingly to the dogmas in the precise wording the Fathers have bequeathed me, since the Holy Spirit has deemed it right to express the Truth to me in those words. Therefore, if the OO don't accept the words of the Ecumenical Synods, I don't consider them Orthodox.

If you don't trust St John of Damascus, who do you trust? Please, I want to know what authority you are drawing upon.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Jonathan Gress said:
PtA, I don't presume to know what the 'spirit' behind the Chalcedonian dogma is. As you say yourself, the Truth in its fullness is ineffable. Therefore, what hope have I to know the Truth? By holding unswervingly to the dogmas in the precise wording the Fathers have bequeathed me, since the Holy Spirit has deemed it right to express the Truth to me in those words.
Can the fullest essence of a Christology be summed up in its entirety by a few words?

Jonathan Gress said:
Please, I want to know what authority you are drawing upon.
The authority to ask questions.
 

Jonathan Gress

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“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
 

Salpy

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PeterTheAleut said:
As an aside, why do you go to St. John of Damascus to tell you what the Oriental Orthodox believe when you can ask the Oriental Orthodox for yourself, right here on this forum?  Is someone who was never OO more qualified to tell you what OO believe than the OO themselves?
What Jonathan is doing supports what I said earlier about some people treating the Fathers of their Church as infallible.  I can understand and even respect their not wanting to admit too easily that one of the Fathers of their Church was wrong about something.  

However, like you I have a problem with someone trusting a non-OO over an OO to tell them what the OO Church believes when it is a misrepresentation of our beliefs.  I feel like asking them, "If you believe your Church Fathers to be incapable of error, how can you blame the Roman Catholics for having a similar belief about their popes."  People can make errors.
 

minasoliman

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John Larocque said:
OK... I dug up some more stuff on RCC/OO ecumenism. I don't know if it will answer minasoliman's query but I hope it helps. There's also a bit more with the Assyrians.

Big Ecumenical Link

In 1973, Pope Paul VI took the next step in this direction by formulating a new, extensive Christological statement along with the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The “Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and of the Pope of Alexandria Shenouda III” states:

In accordance with our apostolic traditions transmitted to our Churches and preserved therein, and in conformity with the early three ecumenical councils, we confess one faith in the One Triune God, the divinity of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word of God, the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance, who for us was incarnate, assuming for Himself a real body with a rational soul, and who shared with us our humanity but without sin. We confess that our Lord and God and Saviour and King of us all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God with respect to His Divinity, perfect man with respect to His humanity. In Him His divinity is united with His humanity in a real, perfect union without mingling, without commixtion, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. His divinity did not separate from His humanity for an instant, not for the twinkling of an eye. He who is God eternal and invisible became visible in the flesh, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. In Him are preserved all the properties of the divinity and all the properties of the humanity, together in a real, perfect, indivisible and inseparable union.44
Here we have agreement upon an expression that is “along the lines of” Chalcedon. The essence of Chalcedon, including some of the language, has been retained without requiring all of the language. Divinity and humanity are both preserved without using “in two natures” or “from two natures” or any other statement that one or the other party would consider objectionable. In fact, the problematic word “nature” is nowhere used. In place of this is simpler language that avoids the historical confusion—“humanity” instead of “human nature” and “divinity” instead of “divine nature.” Moreover, Pope Paul VI respected the heritage of the Coptic tradition by agreeing to language that takes great pains to emphasize the unity of Christ, including the metaphor that, in Christ, divinity and humanity did not separate even “for the twinkling of an eye.” It is worth noting that elsewhere the declaration also affirms the use of θεοτόκος for Mary.
That's the agreement that is being questioned right now, not that it's wrong, but the sincerity behind it.

Here's a recent article by a Copt in California:

http://www.lacopts.org/news/a-report-concerning-the-dialogue-of-the-syrian-and-the-assyrian-churches
 

PeterTheAleut

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Jonathan Gress said:
“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8 ), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
So I guess there's no use then in discussing whether the official Orthodox churches have fallen to the heresy of ecumenism (as regards specifically their relations with the OO), since you and we can't even agree as to how to properly understand the dogmatic proclamations of Chalcedon that are so foundational to both sides of this debate.
 

minasoliman

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Jonathan Gress said:
It's all right Fr George. I already have the answer I wanted.
I think we have to back and read this sentence very carefully.  It's no longer about the truth, it's about what "he wants."  He wants the OO's to be Monophysites and Eutychians.  He wants the OO's to profess a heterodox belief against Christ, against his own church.  He wants that, and no matter what proofs you can give him, he wants that delusion.  And what a delusion it is, because despite the fact that NO ANSWER was given, somehow, no answer to him meant a "no."

So, perhaps we have his answer too.  The answer is what he wants, not what is true.  If that is the case, then there's no more point in asking him anything.  Let him want destruction and non-salvation on others, because it pleases his own heart, and any other question therefore would trouble him.

Lord have mercy on any soul who wishes heresy upon others.  May we never want to murder other souls.
 

ialmisry

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Jonathan Gress said:
“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
You really should read these things, or check them out before you post. You just make our point.


The last one is indeed from the Fourth Council, but it is the reading of the transcript of the Council of Constantinople of 448, which in turn is reading the Formula of Reunion, the statement of the Antiochian bishops who rejected Ephesus I which Theodoret of Cyrus put together and St. Cyril adopted in his epistle to Patriarch John of Antioch.  And it is refering to the Creed of Nicea I, quite a few syllables of which were changed at Constantinople I
http://books.google.com/books?id=6IUaOOT1G3UC&pg=PA182&dq=Council+of+Chalcedon+single+syllable&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

It is rather odd that you should quote what in essense is a document like the ones we have signed with the OO, getting behind terminology to the Faith the terminology is supposed to express.  Terms were made for the Faith, and not the Faith for terms.
 

minasoliman

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ialmisry said:
Terms were made for the Faith, and not the Faith for terms.
Indeed!  'Was the Sabbath for man, or man for the Sabbath?' (Christ)
 

ialmisry

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Jonathan Gress said:
Here's something else that might be of interest. St John speaks directly about St Cyril's formulation:

Chapter XI.—Concerning the Nature as viewed in Species and in Individual, and concerning the difference between Union and Incarnation: and how this is to be understood, “The one Nature of God the Word Incarnate.”

Nature is regarded either abstractly as a matter of pure thought (for it has no independent existence): or commonly in all subsistences of the same species as their bond of union, and is then spoken of as nature viewed in species: or universally as the same, but with the addition of accidents, in one subsistence, and is spoken of as nature viewed in the individual, this being identical with nature viewed in species. God the Word Incarnate, therefore, did not assume the nature that is regarded as an abstraction in pure thought (for this is not incarnation, but only an imposture and a figment of incarnation), nor the nature viewed in species (for He did not assume all the subsistences): but the nature viewed in the individual, which is identical with that viewed in species. For He took on Himself the elements of our compound nature, and these not as having an independent existence or as being originally an individual, and in this way assumed by Him, but as existing in His own subsistence. For the subsistence of God the Word in itself became the subsistence of the flesh, and accordingly “the Word became flesh” clearly without any change, and likewise the flesh became Word without alteration, and God became man. For the Word is God, and man is God, through having one and the same subsistence. And so it is possible to speak of the same thing as being the nature of the Word and the nature in the individual. For it signifies strictly and exclusively neither the individual, that is, the subsistence, nor the common nature of the subsistences, but the common nature as viewed and presented in one of the subsistences.

Union, then, is one thing, and incarnation is something quite different. For union signifies only the conjunction, but not at all that with which union is effected. But incarnation (which is just the same as if one said “the putting on of man’s nature”) signifies that the conjunction is with flesh, that is to say, with man, just as the heating of iron implies its union with fire. Indeed, the blessed Cyril himself, when he is interpreting the phrase, “one nature of God the Word Incarnate,” says in the second epistle to Sucensus, “For if we simply said ‘the one nature of the Word’ and then were silent, and did not add the word ‘incarnate,’ but, so to speak, quite excluded the dispensation, there would be some plausibility in the question they feign to ask, ‘If one nature is the whole, what becomes of the perfection in humanity, or how has the essence like us come to exist?’ But inasmuch as the perfection in humanity and the disclosure of the essence like us are conveyed in the word ‘incarnate,’ they must cease from relying on a mere straw.” Here, then, he placed the nature of the Word over nature itself. For if He had received nature instead of subsistence, it would not have been absurd to have omitted the “incarnate.” For when we say simply one subsistence of God the Word, we do not err. In like manner, also, Leontius the Byzantine considered this phrase to refer to nature, and not to subsistence. But in the Defence which he wrote in reply to the attacks that Theodoret made on the second anathema, the blessed Cyril says this: “The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself.” So that “the nature of the Word” means neither the subsistence alone, nor “the common nature of the subsistence,” but “the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word.”

It has been said, then, that the nature of the Word became flesh, that is, was united to flesh: but that the nature of the Word suffered in the flesh we have never heard up till now, though we have been taught that Christ suffered in the flesh. So that “the nature of the Word” does not mean “the subsistence.” It remains, therefore, to say that to become flesh is to be united with the flesh, while the Word having become flesh means that the very subsistence of the Word became without change the subsistence of the flesh. It has also been said that God became man, and man God. For the Word which is God became without alteration man. But that the Godhead became man, or became flesh, or put on the nature of man, this we have never heard. This, indeed, we have learned, that the Godhead was united to humanity in one of its subsistences, and it has been stated that God took on a different form or essence, to wit our own. For the name God is applicable to each of the subsistences, but we cannot use the term Godhead in reference to subsistence. For we are never told that the Godhead is the Father alone, or the Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone. For “Godhead” implies “nature,” while “Father” implies subsistence, just as “Humanity” implies nature, and “Peter” subsistence. But “God” indicates the common element of the nature, and is applicable derivatively to each of the subsistences, just as “man” is. For He Who has divine nature is God, and he who has human nature is man.

Besides all this, notice that the Father and the Holy Spirit take no part at all in the incarnation of the Word except in connection with the miracles, and in respect of good will and purpose.
That's nice.  Now, that contradicts the OO understanding of nature how?
 

Jonathan Gress

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Well then, we can agree to talk about the EO/OO discussions some other time and place. While there are many conservative New Calendarists who agree with the Old Calendarists that the OO are not Orthodox, and that therefore the decision of the Synod of Antioch constitutes granting communion to heretics, you may disagree with that, although you'd have to agree it constitutes granting communion to schismatics.

Two other principle pieces of evidence for ecumenism are the WCC and the lifting of the anathemas by Patriarch Athenagoras in 1965. We can discuss those.

I know that the latter has been disputed by those who claim that the anathemas never existed. This seems to me very strange: why didn't they make that argument back in 1965? It would surely have been a more straightforward way of claiming that the Roman Church had never been anathematized by the Eastern Church, and that therefore the two could be considered estranged 'sister' churches, as the Balamand conference determined.

Another argument is that they did exist, but that they were only leveled against the legates, Cardinal Humbert et al. This seems a little disingenuous, since the papal legates were not representing themselves, but the Pope. And that argument needs to confront the fact that the Patriarch ceased to commemorate the Pope from that time on. Was that just a coincidence, and did the Patriarch simply forget to mention the Pope's name?

The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Jonathan Gress said:
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
But are we agreed on the idea that membership in an organization means de facto submission to all of the organization's founding principles?  I know you've argued this with us before, but I'm not sure we had ever come to an agreement with you on this.  Until we agree on what membership in the WCC really means, I'm not sure an argument equating membership in the WCC with ecumenist heresy will be very convincing.
 

Jonathan Gress

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PeterTheAleut said:
Jonathan Gress said:
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
But are we agreed on the idea that membership in an organization means de facto submission to all of the organization's founding principles?  I know you've argued this with us before, but I'm not sure we had ever come to an agreement with you on this.  Until we agree on what membership in the WCC really means, I'm not sure an argument equating membership in the WCC with ecumenist heresy will be very convincing.
I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.
 

minasoliman

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Jonathan Gress said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Jonathan Gress said:
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
But are we agreed on the idea that membership in an organization means de facto submission to all of the organization's founding principles?  I know you've argued this with us before, but I'm not sure we had ever come to an agreement with you on this.  Until we agree on what membership in the WCC really means, I'm not sure an argument equating membership in the WCC with ecumenist heresy will be very convincing.
I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.
I think the WCC failed to force its decisions on the Orthodox.  For instance, the late HE Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios wrote on article on why the Orthodox Church does not believe in "Eucharistic hospitality" and his tone was quite unforgiving.
 

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minasoliman said:
Jonathan Gress said:
I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.
I think the WCC failed to force its decisions on the Orthodox.  For instance, the late HE Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios wrote on article on why the Orthodox Church does not believe in "Eucharistic hospitality" and his tone was quite unforgiving.
You would probably remember that a few years back the Secretary General of the WCC launched an unexpected and stinging attack on the Orthodox at the WCC for not taking communion at WCC services nor offering it to other members.  Most likely what Paulous Mar Gregorios wrote was in response to that.
 

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Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/self-understanding-vision/orthodox-participation.html

The Orthodox churches were part of the WCC from its beginning. Along the way, they raised certain questions about WCC positions and practices. In response to these questions, the WCC's 8th assembly in December 1998 created a Special Commission to address Orthodox concerns about WCC membership and the council's decision-making style, public statements, worship practices and other issues.

The commission's report was received in 2002 and key recommendations went to the WCC's 9th assembly for approval. Its main recommendations related to:

- the centrality of ecclesiology: the commission reminded WCC member churches that their commitment to the fellowship of churches implies a corresponding commitment to the study of ecclesiology, or what it means to be the church;
- praying together: having affirmed the need to pray together, the commission suggested that worship at WCC gatherings like assemblies, central committee meetings and other large-profile meetings be clearly defined as either "confessional" or "interconfessional" common prayer;
- taking decisions: the council was to move from majority rule to a "consensus" form of decision-making.

The commission also challenged the WCC to design new categories of membership through which churches may participate in the council.

The commission's suggestions and recommendations provide WCC member churches with new opportunities for growing together. The period until the 2006 assembly allowed the council to test how these recommendations would work in practice.

The special commission's proposals on consensus decision-making, for example, were tested at the 2005 central committee meeting, and the method was then used at the WCC's 9th assembly in 2006. Recommendations on common prayer were also applied at the 9th assembly, where the prayer life was organized as either inter-confessional or confessional services.

The 9th assembly affirmed "this important achievement of the Council deepens the relationships among member churches and helps dispel misperceptions between families of churches".

It stressed the importance of the commission's work and of subsequent efforts to "grow into the consensus process of discernment for decision-making, and engage in the reconfiguration of the ecumenical movement". It also welcomed revisions to the constitution and rules of the WCC on consensus and a clarified understanding of membership in the WCC.

Click to read more on the process and documentation

 
Related documents

Final Report of the Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC
The report of the Special Commission was submitted to the central committee at its meeting in September 2002. The meeting received the report and recommended a series of actions. Subsequently, in following up the work of the Special Commission, the central committee took concrete actions on decision-making and membership matters in its meeting in February 2005.

The importance of the Orthodox contribution to the WCC
Public lecture by Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser at an international symposium on "Orthodox theology and the future of ecumenical dialogue: perspectives and problems", Thessaloniki, Greece, 1-3 June 2003

Interim report of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation
Report to the WCC central committee, Potsdam, Germany, 2001

More documents

 

Papist

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Irish Hermit said:
Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/self-understanding-vision/orthodox-participation.html

The Orthodox churches were part of the WCC from its beginning. Along the way, they raised certain questions about WCC positions and practices. In response to these questions, the WCC's 8th assembly in December 1998 created a Special Commission to address Orthodox concerns about WCC membership and the council's decision-making style, public statements, worship practices and other issues.

The commission's report was received in 2002 and key recommendations went to the WCC's 9th assembly for approval. Its main recommendations related to:

- the centrality of ecclesiology: the commission reminded WCC member churches that their commitment to the fellowship of churches implies a corresponding commitment to the study of ecclesiology, or what it means to be the church;
- praying together: having affirmed the need to pray together, the commission suggested that worship at WCC gatherings like assemblies, central committee meetings and other large-profile meetings be clearly defined as either "confessional" or "interconfessional" common prayer;
- taking decisions: the council was to move from majority rule to a "consensus" form of decision-making.

The commission also challenged the WCC to design new categories of membership through which churches may participate in the council.

The commission's suggestions and recommendations provide WCC member churches with new opportunities for growing together. The period until the 2006 assembly allowed the council to test how these recommendations would work in practice.

The special commission's proposals on consensus decision-making, for example, were tested at the 2005 central committee meeting, and the method was then used at the WCC's 9th assembly in 2006. Recommendations on common prayer were also applied at the 9th assembly, where the prayer life was organized as either inter-confessional or confessional services.

The 9th assembly affirmed "this important achievement of the Council deepens the relationships among member churches and helps dispel misperceptions between families of churches".

It stressed the importance of the commission's work and of subsequent efforts to "grow into the consensus process of discernment for decision-making, and engage in the reconfiguration of the ecumenical movement". It also welcomed revisions to the constitution and rules of the WCC on consensus and a clarified understanding of membership in the WCC.

Click to read more on the process and documentation

 
Related documents

Final Report of the Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC
The report of the Special Commission was submitted to the central committee at its meeting in September 2002. The meeting received the report and recommended a series of actions. Subsequently, in following up the work of the Special Commission, the central committee took concrete actions on decision-making and membership matters in its meeting in February 2005.

The importance of the Orthodox contribution to the WCC
Public lecture by Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser at an international symposium on "Orthodox theology and the future of ecumenical dialogue: perspectives and problems", Thessaloniki, Greece, 1-3 June 2003

Interim report of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation
Report to the WCC central committee, Potsdam, Germany, 2001

More documents
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Irish Hermit

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Papist said:
Irish Hermit said:
Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/self-understanding-vision/orthodox-participation.html
Cool.
Well, the documents show the error in the contention that the Orthodox have been willing to compromise their ecclesiological understanding by participating in the WCC. 
 

PeterTheAleut

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Jonathan Gress said:
The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.
Maybe if we're trying to convince you of this.  However, you also need to convince us of your thesis that the Orthodox members of the WCC are bound by these principles.  Insofar as you are trying to convince us of anything, the burden of proof is on you to offer up evidence for your point of view.
 
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