The Pan-Orthodox Conference & Church Unity

As the Orthodox amongst  you would know, the Orthodox Church holding two preparatory meetings later this year in preparation for a pan-Orthodox conference. The topics to be discussed are:

1. The Orthodox diaspora, where the jurisdiction over the Orthodox flock beyond national borders will be defined. According to the canons now in effect, before the growth in the phenomenon of emigration the faithful outside of their home country belong to the ecumenical patriarchate. (Tim’s note: I do not agree with the second sentence here)

2. The manner of recognizing the status of autocephalous Church.

3. The manner of recognizing the status of Church autonomy.

4. Dypticha, meaning the rules of mutual canonical recognition among the Orthodox Churches.

5. Establishing a common calendar for feasts. For example, some Churches celebrate the Nativity on December 25, others 10 days later.

6. Impediments and canonicity of the sacrament of matrimony.

7. The question of fasting in the contemporary world.

8. Relationships with the other Christian confessions.

9. The ecumenical movement.

10. The contribution of the Orthodox in affirming the Christian ideals of
peace, fraternity, and freedom.

This is something that fills me with great joy, as there are many questions and issues that we need to resolve.  My hopes and prayers are that it would take a strong step towards getting rid of the uncanonical and unorthodox situation of overlaping jurisdictions in the Diaspora.  After all, the fact that in Sydney we have a Greek Diocese, a Russian Dioceses, a Serbian Diocese, and Antochian Dicoese etc – when WE ARE ALL THE SAME CHURCH – goes against 1900 years of church teaching and practices, goes against what Christ commanded on the unity of the church, and goes against pretty much every single church canon. Unfortunately, I doubt we’re ready for this yet – people tragically link Orthodoxy and nationalism far too closely in the diaspora, and can not put their own petty nationalistic feelings aside to embrace the unity of the Holy Orthodoxy and Catholic Apostolic Church. Plus, Constantinople I doubt will have the humility to backtrack from its interpretation of certain ancient canons which they claim gives it jurisdiction over pretty much everything not in the old world. But it certainly is a step in the right direction.

On the matter of unity however, I feel I must comment with great sadness on the fact that rumours are already spreading on how this is a part of some secret conspiracy to betray Orthodox beliefs, will abolish many traditions, capitulate to the heresy of Rome etc.

The motives and intent  creating such rumours are clear, and the fact people are spreading such things pains and saddens me more than you can now. The prideful arrogance of people who wish to create divisions rather than seeing to find that which as Orthodox unites us goes against every moral principle of the church.

St. Cyprian states “He cannot possess the garment of Christ who parts and divides the Church of Christ” – yet what are the people spreading these rumours – just like the schismatics who sowed the seeds of hatred and discord about the joyous reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with the Mother Church – are doing nought but rendering asunder the Church of Christ.

St. John Chrysostom, one of the greatest of all Church fathers wrote, “To make a schism in the Church is no less an evil than to fall into heresy”. And people are doing this.

What causes these acts? Well, it would seem n ot much has changed in the last 1500 years. Then as in now “Nothing will so avail to divide the Church as love of power.” (St. John continued) However, let all know that “Nothing so provokes God’s anger as the division of the Church. Though we have achieved ten thousand glorious acts, yet shall we, if we cut to pieces the fullness of the Church, suffer punishment no less sore than they who mangled His body?”.

Note – again – if we have achieved 10000 glorious acts, if we cause division in the church we will suffer punishment with the greatest of sinners.

St. John makes the following analogy: “Tell me, suppose a subject of some king, though he did not join himself to another king, nor give himself to any other, yet should take and keep hold of his king’s royal purple, and should tear it all from itsclasp, and rend it into many shreds ; would he suffer less punishment than those who join themselves to the service of another? And what, if withal he were to seize the king himself by the throat and slay him, and tear his body limb from limb, what punishment could he undergo, that should be equal to his deserts? Now if in doing this toward a king, his fellow-servant, he would be committing an act too great for any punishment to reach; of what hell shall not he be worthy who slays Christ, and plucks Him limb from limb? of that one which is threatened? No, I think not, but of another far more dreadful.”

What are the people who are sowing divisions in the Orthodox Church doing but this very thing? Through their own arrogance and lust for power they are attempting to tear the Church – the Body of Christ – asunder.

I have many differences disagreements with the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s views on various issues of the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical throne.  Similarly I disagree with some of their ecumenical activities. But in order to fear-monger about this, and to try to scare people into creating more divisions among the Orthodox goes against the very fabric of our faith.

In the  Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, during the Eucharistic prayers we pray “unite us all to one another who become partakers of the one Bread and the Cup in the communion of the one Holy Spirit. Grant that none of us may partake of the holy Body and Blood of your Christ to judgment or condemnation, but that we may find mercy and grace with all the saints, who through the ages have pleased You: forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, teachers, and every righteous spirit made perfect in faith.”

Let us hope our prayers are answered.

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23 Responses to “The Pan-Orthodox Conference & Church Unity”

  1. maximos Says:

    Well expressed Tim.

  2. Panagiotis Dimitriadis Says:

    Your concern that schism be avoided, or rather not fostered at all, is, of course, to be commended. However, you should take into consideration the following.

    Two saints of our day have written and spoken against the convening of this Pan-Orthodox synod, so-called by many of those preparing it “The 8th Ecumenical Council”. St. Justin Popovich wrote not one but two letters to the Holy Synod of the Serbian Church warning them that this council, with the way it is being approached and prepared and with the subjects chosen, will only RESULT in schism and, something more – heresy. His letters have been translated and published in English by an Australian publisher.

    Elder Athanasios of Stomios (Mytilianaios) has also spoken against this synod and separately come to much of the same conclusions as St. Justin. Elder Athanasios is considered by many in Greece a “new Chyrsostom” with his more than 8000 published homilies interpreting Holy Scripture. His views on this synod are therefore of great value.

    Having this in mind, perhaps you ought to be more circumspect and reserved in your estimation of the synod and its prospects and, following these towering theologians of Patristic stature in our own day, write to warn your fellow Orthodox Christians of the dangers inherent in a false synod – one that could try to change basic teachings about the ecclesiology of the Church, the ascetic practices of the Church and more.

  3. Tim Andrews Says:

    Panagiotis, thank you for your comments. I certainly agree that if done incorrectly negative consequences can results – the 1923 Congress being a prime example.
    However, if done properly – and I think the way this is being organised avoids many of the pitfalls in the 1923 model – I feel it really does provide a great opportunity to foster unity in the Church.
    Several questiosn to you:

    1)Do you accept that the various participants together make up the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church? I would assume so – as such, what is the harm in trying to build unity between the branches through conferences? Is there any alternative? If not – what is your reasoning?

    2)Do you think the current situation in the dioceses with overlapping jurusdictions is acceptable? If so, how do you reconcile this with the canons and tradition on church unity? If not, how other than a pan-orthodox conference do you think unity can be achieved?

    3)What heresies or changes to church teachings do you think such a Pan-Orthodox conference would propogate? You say taht it could “try to change basic treaching about the ecclesiology of the Church, the ascetic practices and more” – what do you base this upon?

  4. Panagiotis Dimitriadis Says:

    Dear Timothy,

    It is good you mentioned 1923 “Pan-Orthodox” Congress which was held under the leadership of that most remarkable hierarch-mason Meletios Metaxakis, perhaps the only man in the history of the Church to be “elected” to 4 different episcopates in his lifetime.

    It is, in fact, the idea of holding an “Eighth Ecumenical Council” originated with just such a circle of men as that which was before and with and followed Meletios Metaxakis. They have been talking about holding this council for more than 100 years. And, so, to properly understand the present efforts it is good to know the “pre-history” and the origins of the effort. A good read on this subject is “The Missionary Origins of Modern Ecumenism: Milestones leading up to 1920” by Fr. Peter Alban Heers and publsihed by Uncut Mountain Press.

    But, to answer your questions:

    1. Of course, the Orthodox Church – the Autocelphalous Churches in Communion – is the One Church – the one and Only Body of Christ. But, within this Body there have been false councils before which were, however, rejected by the pleroma of the faithful. According to two of the most renowned and respected theologians and saints of our day this present attempt at a council is not only not a good idea – as it is being planned and by whom it is being planned (the Phanar and co.) – but will lead to schism and heresy. Specifically, they say that our present crop of hierarchs are compromised by the heresy of ecumenism – an ecclesiological heresy which denies the uniqueness of the Church and accepts delusion and truth. These bishops, they believe, will not carry out decisons guided by the Spirit of Truth and this false council will lead to schism, because the faithful will not and cannot accept its decisions. This is what they say and we should be humble to listen to what they have said – Saint Justin Popovich and Elder Athanasios Mytlianaeos.

    2. No, the current situation is not acceptable. But, I am not sure that the successors of the man who, in large degree, enabled the current mess in the “diaspora” will correct it. Specifically, the EP is concerned with holding on to its overseas holdings and expanding them. They talk about is their power, their rights, etc. They seldom if ever speak in a spiritual way, in a humble way, about finding a solution in the “diaspora.” If their are not worthy bishops who will take on their papism and reject their power grabs – Finland, Estonia, The Ukraine (?) etc., what can we expect from the council? A Pan-Orthodox council is theoretically the answer to the mess. Today, as it stands – at least in the Greek-speaking lands – I do not believe – along with the saints I mentioned – that the decision will be of the Holy Spirit and give joy to the faithful.

    3. For starters I expect them to change the ascetic discipline of the Church in areas such as fasting, making the Orthodox Church to resemble to weak and inffectual papal spirituality – fish on fridays, etc. The bishops one encounters in the “old world” – many of them, anyway, lead a life that is far from the ascetic practices of the Saints.

    Moreover, however, I expect that this lot of bishops could easily adopt ecumenistic-heretical ideas about the Church and the non-Orthodox, if not also the religions of the world. I expect the heretical idea of a “baptismal unity” of all Christians could be adopted. I expect that the heretical teaching of the current Patriarch of Constantinople that the Orthodox Church and Papal confession together are responsible for the One Church and, what’s more, that the papists mysteries are true, real, effectual – The Mysteries of the Church – will be condoned and not condemned.

    And more.

  5. Tim Andrews Says:

    Sorry – have been frightfully busy last week or so – shall respond in detail as soon as I get the chance – thank you for the comments though!

  6. Neil Manthorpe Says:

    The Pan-Orthodox conference is about to start. I think it is good that the local Churches are trying to resolve some of the anomalies that have grown up in the 20th Century. It is strange for one sitting outside to see the Orthodox Church so divided in its behaviour. The Russian Church will stop the worst excesses of Constantinople. However, I fear that the outcome will be more disagreement rather than less and harder lines of division drawn – many of them “political” rather than ecclesiological.

    Of course, the outcome will not be the 8th Ecumenical Council unless the overwhelming majority of Bishops (and priests and laity) accept it as such).

  7. John Says:

    I am an Eastern Rite Catholic and stumbled on your website. I note with interest the upcoming Pan Orthodox conference. I am a little bit distressed by some of the comments talking about “papist mysteries”, “ineffectual papal spirituality” and the “heretical idea of baptismal unity”. It is really sad to hear of such things and can’t be helping the Christian cause. I think we need to draw closer together as Christians. Now, I am not saying we Catholics are perfect, but surely the Christian cause is better off without the slinging off at us catholics and accustaions we are heretics? We were one Church for the first thousand years, it is so tragic what hapened to divide us. Only Satan delights in this outcome. St John Chrysostom predicted how tragic a split would be, yet both sides have allowed this situation to continue.
    The Eastern rites of the Catholic Church (many of which have an Orthodox heritage) represent how the Holy Orthodox Church and the Church of Rome can co-exist in harmony. Rome has not tried to impose itself on these Eastern Rite churches. In the Melkite rite, we say the Nicene Creed just like our Orthodox brethren – Rome has not tried to impose its ways or Creeds on us. The Divine Liturgy is the same one used in many of the Orthodox Churches (The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom). We have so much in common, why are we separated by the small amount of things we do not have in common (basically our differences regarding the role of the Pope)???
    We should all be praying for a reunification of the ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH – that is the Catholic and Orthodox churches rejoined together and bearing one witness of love bringing Christ to the world. This would be the ultimate triumph of the church and its head, Jesus Christ. This would lead to the defeat of Satan in the world.
    The Orthodox churches would be surprised at the love many of us Catholics hold for the Orthodox. We long to be reunited. We recognise the sacraments of the Church and the Apostolic lineage of the Otrhodox priesthood. We do not consider the Orthodox Church to be in heresy, so please stop treating us like heretics. I hope we will be reunited one day.

  8. Panagiotis Dimitriadis Says:

    Dear John,

    You shouldn’t take matters personally, but look at the claims of the Orthodox. Look at why the Church and Her Holy Fathers have said for over 1000 years that the innovations and dogmas introduced by the Popes and their followers are heretical and delusional. It is a matter of truth, of life and death, and one should examine them dispassionately, not emotionally.
    The “Eastern-Rite Catholics”, or, according to the Orthodox, Uniates, are certainly not an example for imitation, nor do they represent how the Orthodox and Papists can co-exist in harmony. For, on becoming uniates, they ceased to be Orthodox. That is so because what divides the followers of the Pope from the Orthodox are not rites or even acceptance of the pope alone, but much, much more. The heresies and list of deluded beliefs, according to the Church Fathers, is long: the filioque (still held and said by the Pope and his followers in most of the world), created grace, the latin idea of original sin and also the idea of the immaculate conception which is based on it, the delusional veneration of the Mother of God as it is practiced today, the acceptance of the “charismatic movement” and its supposed graces, the papal eccelsiology, and more.
    That Rome allows you to say the Creed as it was confessed originally and repeatedly in the Ecumenical Synods doesn’t mean anything when it continues to confess it heretically and you go along with it and are in communion with them. Being in communion with heretics makes one with them, even if you don’t actively participate in their false faith.
    You may have much in common with the Orthodox, but you have merged yourselves with heresy and delusion and so the question is not why the Orthodox remain in their faith but why you, the uniates, united yourselves with that which the Church never blessed and doesn’t bless today: delusion and heretical teaching. We have said for 1000 years and continue to say today: return, return to the Faith of our Fathers, return to the Church. We have not changed; you (RCs) have and thus you need to return.
    The fact that you think that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is divided and needs to be re-united indicates that you have also lost touch, have fallen away, from the right belief in the CHURCH, the correct ecclesiology. You no longer properly confess belief in “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” as it is understood in the Creed. For, the Holy Fathers certainly never imagined or accepted that the Church could be divided and need reuniting. THAT is not the Faith of the Nicene-Constantinoplian Symbol of Faith. So, see, that here too, you have accepted innovations and heretical ideas.
    Satan will be defeated in each one of us when we repent, and continue repenting, throughout our life and at the Second Coming. He is already defeated in the Church as a foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven.
    It is a great thing to love the Orthodox Church and Her Truth, but it is greater thing to unite yourself to the Truth and to the Church – the One Church which has not changed for 2000 years, nor has it introduced new teachings, nor has it united itself to wrong teachings.
    Perhaps the fact the you do not see heresy in the Orthodox Church but She, and Her Holy Fathers, do see heresy in you (in the Papacy and her teachings), should be a wake up call to you. Why is that?
    Don’t wait for re-unification of “the churches”, but make an effort to unite yourself with the Church of the Fathers and you will become Orthodox in due time, for only Orthodoxy is faithful to the Fathers.
    May it be blessed!

  9. John Says:

    Dear Panagiotis
    Well, I see that the divisions are held very deeply. All I can do I guess is to keep praying that scandal of the division of East and West will end. Jesus promised He would be with us to the End of the Ages, so whatever His plan, may His Holy Will be done. In time, He will grant victory to the Church over Its enemies. Our emenies love to see us divided. I remember a great sports commentator (Richie Benaud) once said (talking about sporting tactics, but surely this would apply to all other facets of life) “Always do what your opponents like the least”. So, surely as Christians we should look at what the devil and his pals on Earth likes least (i.e. stop being divided) and do that. When the Holy Apostles had their differences they didn’t condemn each other and go off on their own, they got together at the Coucil of Jerusalem and worked out the issues under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the 11th Century, the Churches Rome and Constantinople decided not to follow the example of the Fathers. Worse still, we have allowed the situation to persist for a thousand long and dark years. I don’t agree that the Pope is a heretic (obviously, because I am a Catholic), but even if you do think so, there are ways to get him to come around. It can be done from within the same Church, rather than outside it. If you are right, the Holy Spirit will guide the Pope to the truth. Surely you agree that the Pope is a good and decent man who genuinely loves the Lord? If you don’t even give me that concession, there really is no hope. But if you at least concede that, then surely you would agree that in the Holy Spirit we will find common ground and be united by the love of our Saviour again? Is there are a good reason why we could not do it that way and come to grow closer together? It is easier for a married couple experiencing conflict to sort things out while they are together, rather than to get divorced and hope to sort things out. Do you not agree with that proposition? Thanks for allowing me to comment on these issues. I have always considered the Orthodox to be my brothers in Christ and will continue to have a deep love for them (even if they think I am a “heretic”!).

  10. Panagiotis Dimitriadis Says:

    John,
    “Divisions” are not held deeply, truths are. That is what is at stake. By what you write, you seem not so much to be interested in truth but in “getting together” regardless of the truth.

    Have you asked yourself WHY the Orthodox and Church Fathers consider the filioque, papal ecclesiology, the charismatic movement, the latin idea of original sin, etc., etc. to be heretical (and thus those who hold these ideas are “heretics”)?

    The Fathers – who are our measuring stick, our guides – do not teach that one should unite with error in order to bring it around to the truth. On the contrary, they teach that one should stay away from those in error until they show a willingness to repent and return. Repentance, by the way, is a state of being, not just a decision, and one which is required of all Christians. Unfortunately, the papacy today has not shown one concrete step of repentance on the dogmatic errors which separated the papacy from the Church.

    So, your sadness for the division should be directed in that direction and you (and we all) should cultivate a good uneasiness as to the truth claims at stake.

  11. nico Says:

    nothing but a betrayal

  12. Ioakeim Nasos Says:

    I am an Orthodox Christian in the USA. I understand the fanatic rantings of Panagiotis because I have read them repeatedly on the internet coming from the “saints” of many Old Calendarists and Anti-Ecumenicists. If we follow their feelings we will continue a downhill course for Orthodoxy until there are very few of us left, just as has happened in the nations that have been conquered by Islam. We stand to gain nothing for true Orthodoxy by continuing an ethnic and separationist course for our Churches. We have abandoned Christ’s order to go forth and teach the nations and are content with just going to church and saying our prayers. After all isn’t Ecumenicism a form of missionary activity. In our isolated communities in Greece, the Middle East, Russia and the Balkans we are not surrounded by a myriad of other groups praying to the same God as we and intermarrying and apostatizing our own. If our priests and hierarchs don’t go forth and encounter these people in ecclesiastical dialog they are not doing their duty to the Church. By the same token the issue of the ecclesiastical calender is filled with many errors.
    First of all, the First Ecumenical Council laid out the basic rules for calculating Pascha. The minutes of this event were never kept, only the barest decisions. The only calendar that was available to them other the the Hebrew one was the Pagan calendar of the Roman Empire, but even this one was not mentioned by name. It was declared that the Spring Solstice would be used in the calculation. Now the Spring Solstice was not an event controlled by the calendar but by the day on which the daylight and night were equal – an astronomical event created by God. Alexandria was picked for the job of calculating the Paschal date because at that time it was the center of astronomical research. Because it was a “matter of convenience” they chose to follow the same date in March of the Julian Calendar every year, despite the fact that the God Created Spring Solstice was changing ever so slowly year by year. And the advocates for staying with the Julian Calendar have the nerve to call it a holy calendar declared by the First Ec. Council and that we should not make our calculation of the date of Pascha a tool of the astronomers!
    Meletios IV invited all of the Patriarchs and Archbishops of the autocephalus Churches, but few of them even responded. They should have participated and could have settled all items on the agenda just as the Bishops had done during the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Since we no longer have an emperor of the ecumeni, someone had to grasp the bridle and drive the organization of a council such as this. I say shame unto all those people who do nothing but decry any attempt to try and solve the problems facing a disgracefully disunited Orthodoxy. We should all be aware of the history of the united Apostolic, Catholic Church if only to see that it was always under attack and that the only way to find correction was for the bishops to meet and to discuss the issues and after prayer to vote on the matters and accept the decision of the majority. O ye of little faith stop using pejorative language in discussing these matters.

  13. Joseph Hostetler Says:

    Dear Ioacheim,

    Are you saying that St. Justin Popovich and the venerable Elder Athanasios Mytilianaios are just “ranting fanatically”?

    I didn’t see Panagiotis referring to the old-calendarists anywhere in his posts? Why do you? Can’t you tell the difference between a sober assessment based on current and older Holy Fathers and “fanatic rantings”?

    Also, I didn’t see Panagiotis referring to the calendar change (per se, only by way of reference to Meletios Metaxakis) or the heresy of phyletism (ethnicism). Why do you, when responding to his concerns? Why don’t you address his concerns as they are stated in his posts? One can be against both heresies – phyletism and ecumenism.

    It is my concern, as well, that – to use the words of the ever-memorable Fr. John Romanides (a life-long priest of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and participant in various dialogues) – “from here on out the hierarchs will be our problem”. I think what he meant is that the ascetic-theologian Bishops who confessed the faith at the ancient councils have been and are being replaced by a crop of academic theologian Bishops whose ethos is closer to that of the heterodox West than of the Orthodox. And, just as we saw division follow upon the “pan-Orthodox synod” of Metaxakis – both within and in schism from the Church – so too we may expect something similiar from the so-called “Eighth Ecumenical Council” of Patriarch Bartholomew and friends.

    You are either ignorant or misled concerning the heresy of ecumenism. There are thousands of examples, but only one is necessary. One only need to go to You-tube and view the Patriarch giving as a gift to the muslim head of Coca-Cola in Atlanta the “important gift” (the Patriarch’s words) of the “holy Koran” (the Patriarch’s words). Now, do tell me how you can “spin” this into a “witness for Holy Orthodoxy”. What “witness” is it to give the deluded and blasphemous book of the muslims which denies the divinity of Christ as a gift? (If you do try to “spin” this into witness, please know – you are deluded.

    Ecumenism is NOT mission work, Ioachim. We have our holy missionaries today and they are following the holy missionaries of ages past in preaching the Gospel without compromise and living an ascetic life while doing it. (See Father Cosmas of Grigoriou, or Bishop Nectarios of Madagascar or many others today.) That is NOT the case with our academic theologians and their endless meetings in posh hotels around the world. Forgive me, but search Church history – you are not the only one who reads it – and you will not find such examples among the Saints. Missionary work means sacrificial love and preaching Christ Crucified and the Church – “the scandal” of the One Church. This is the “sign to be spoken against” today and when Patriarch Bartholomew says that the papalists have mysteries, the Pope is our “elder brother bishop” and all the rest – which has never been uttered by any true missionary or contemporary Holy Father – he is not preaching Christ Crucified and the “scandal” of the One and Holy Church to the heterodox.

    By the way, I am not an “old calendarists”. Just a weary Orthodox Christian who has seen too much compromise to be optimistic.

    And one more thought: The Church is under attack today, as you say, but much more from within than from without. That is, we are in a period reminiscent of the Iconoclast period, when heresy and delusion held the day for a century. Councils were called then too – in order to ratify and certify the delusion of the iconoclasts, not glorify the Orthodox martyrs – mostly monks.

    I pray fervently that the final victory will come over today’s heresy, but I don’t see the same witness and martyrdom being experienced on the part of the faithful – monks and laymen – to bring that about. Rather, the worldliness of most of our “representatives” will – short a miracle of God – bring yet another “pan-Orthodox synod” of dubious origin and content, within division in its wake. God prevent it!

    I am with St. Justin and Elder Athanasios – and not the heretical Patriarch of Constantinople, with whom I am (still) in communion. God forgive me.

  14. Haralambos Says:

    We need more people like Panagiotis Dimitriadis and Joseph Hostetler. It’s people like them who keep the church pure and away from heretical doctrines and delusion. May God richly bless you both!

    -Haralambos

  15. Joseph Hostetler Says:

    Haralambos,

    I appreciate your love of Truth and Holy Orthodoxy.

    But, it is not I or Panagiotis who keeps Orthodoxy away from heretical doctrines and delusion, but the whole people of God guided by the Holy Spirit and the God-illumined Holy Fathers of every age – including our own.

    But, what is necessary for us is to confess the Lord and put our trust in Him.

    By the way, Haralambos, where are you from and in which Local Orthodox Church do you belong? Are there confessing Orthodox Christians there near you, with you?

    JH

  16. Haralambos Says:

    God bless you! I am from Columbia, South Carolina. I go to St. Elizabeth the New-Martyr Russian Orthodox Church. Columbia is full of true confessing Orthodox Christians. Have a blessed Pascha!

    Хрїстóсъ воскрéсе!

    Haralambos

  17. weus Says:

    Man can do nothing, God can do everything.

    Jesus said that Church unity and world peace will not come unless we UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER. For the love of God, let us agree to have ONE EASTER DATE.

    “I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (1 Cor 1:10 RSV)

    “Every Easter season I must drink of the cup of your division since this cup is forced on Me… the more time passes for them to unite the dates of Easter, the more severe their sentence this generation will receive.” (May 31, 1994 TLIG)

    LOVE AND HUMILITY IS MISSING.

    “May they be one in Us, as You are in Me and I am in You, so that the world may believe it was You who sent Me;” this supplication uttered by My divine Lips is echoing every second from heaven still; My Words intonated were meant that the whole of the creation must be affected into a spiritual unity and not a unity by a signed treaty; to fulfil My Words the churches must seek first humility and love, graces that can be obtained through the Holy Spirit and through a great repentance (Dec 10, 2001 TLIG)

    It is time to allow the Holy Spirit to invade our minds and hearts so that He is able to direct us towards complete unity and peace. Until we UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER, we hinder the Holy Spirit’s action to come upon us in full force to give us the next step to take. We must UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER first.

    Let us pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit to inflame our hearts with the fire of His love to UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER!

  18. vladi Says:

    Comment from Georgia
    related issues of Pan-Orthodox council (so named 8th Ecumenical Council) is very unclear topic not only lay circle of the Georgian Orthodox Church but also into the Prelates. From my point of view there is no danger for convening the council if the purpose of the convening devoted to discussing current problems of the Orthodox Church. I think 21st centurie’s orthodox church need this for Her better future.

  19. Victor Proszenko Says:

    Tim

    You clearly do not know what you are talking about, you have obviously not read the canons, for if you did you would not be making such stupid statements about those who left ROCOR following the MP/ROCOR unification.

    Had you read writings of the holy fathers you would be well aware that the 7th ecumenical council was supposed to be the last and the one that is to follow (call it Pan Orthodox or whatever) will be the ecumenical council of the anti-christ.

    Is it not clear to you how inappropriate it is that there will soon be a unification with Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Is it not clear to you the anathema of 1054 stands (forget about both the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriach, who is a figure head anyway, wavering it). Is it not clear to you that MP Kirill is a Catholic sympathiser because firstly his seminary training was through the Jesuit Nickodimus.

    Is it not clear to you that MP Kirill (code name Michailov) was a KGB agent and worked through the foreign relations department of the MP. Is it not clear to you that before being a KGB agent he had to become a communist and so had to renounce Christ. Is it not clear to you that Kirill whilst playing games in the Foreign Relations Dept of the MP lied about the status and persecution of the Church back in the early 1980’s. In that simplistic manner I refer you to Apostalic Canon No 25 where it states clearly that he should be deposed. He does not even believe in the resurrection as quoted in Pravaslavnaya Russ in 1992. He was not even canonically elected with 33% of the votes coming from secular authorities that included government officials and oligarks.

    You have any understanding of the facts you are presenting.

    I can go on and on and quote you heaps of canons broken by the MP and the MP/ROCOR clan.

    Victor Proszenko

  20. Victor Proszenko Says:

    please remove my email address

  21. No name Says:

    removing email address

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