The meeting of the RC/Orthodox
- In the past few days, a meeting between representatives of the Roman Catholic
and the Orthodox Church started, in Maryland. Among those representing the
Orthodox is: Father Robert Stephanopoulos.
I do not mean to alarm you, but the following story is true.
Years ago, I was giving a talk at the Greek Orthodox church in the
Akron/Canton, Ohio, area.
After my talk, I spoke with Father Robert's only daughter, Anastasia (now
Sister Maria, who is defending ROCA property in Palestine).
"Why does your father dislike me?" I asked. "He doesn't really know me. He
has no reason to like or dislike me."
"It's because he is an ecumanic, Father," she said, "and you are not."
OK. I can live with that.
That was her opinion. I am just passing it on. And, this is the man whom
the papers say is "representing the Orthodox Church"? He is quoted as
saying that the meeting, in and of itself, is "significant."
Let us pray that another St. Mark of Ephesus will arise out of that meeting.
If the grace of God can make the lame walk, and the blind see, surely it is
sufficient to make Greeks Orthodox?
Father Andrew (L. J. James, Ph.D.)
- [Excerpts from a letter of Father Justin Popovic to the Synod of Bishops of
the Serbian Orthodox Church, published in Orthodoxos Typos, June 1, 1975]
Your Holiness and Fathers of the Synod, How long shall we continue
desecrating our holy Orthodoxy and our Church of Saint Sava by our pitiful
and horrifying stance towards ecumenism and the World Council of Churches,
which directly opposes Holy Tradition? The stance of the Orthodox Church in
relation to heretics---i.e., to all those who are not Orthodox---was
established once and for all time by the holy Apostles and the holy Fathers,
i.e., by divinely inspired Tradition, uniform and unchangeable. In
accordance with this stance, Orthodox are forbidden to participate in any
form of common prayer or liturgical services with heretics. 'For what has
righteousness to do with lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have
with darkness? What do Christ and Satan have in common? Or what does a
believer have to do with an unbeliever?' (2 Cor. 6:14-15).
[Father Justin then cites the Holy Canons of the Orthodox Church which
forbid Orthodox to participate in ecumenical services and forbid them to
receive the blessing of heretics. For example: "Let any Bishop, Priest, or
Deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he has
permitted them to perform any service as clergymen, let him be deposed"
(Canon 45 of the Holy Apostles; see also the 32nd Canon of the Council of
And do heretics not give blessings at those ecumenical gatherings and joint
services?---Roman Catholic bishops, priests, Protestant ministers, and even
female clergy! These canons of the holy Apostles and Fathers which have been
cited have great value even today, and not just in ancient times; they
remain unconditionally binding for all of us contemporary Orthodox
Christians. They are unconditionally binding in our stance toward Roman
Catholics and Protestants. For Roman Catholicism is a many-sided heresy, and
the heresies of Protestantism are too numerable to mention … Did not St.
Sava, seven and a half centuries ago, already speak of 'the Latin heresy'?
And how many new heresies has the Pope invented since then, and made them
dogma with his 'infallibility.' It is absolutely certain that Roman
Catholicism became the pan-heresy with its dogma of papal infallibility. And
the celebrated Second Vatican Council did not repudiate this monstrous
heresy. On the contrary, it made it even firmer. Therefore, if we Orthodox
wish to remain Orthodox, it is our duty to maintain the stance of St. Sava,
St. Mark of Ephesus, St. Cosmos of Aitolia, St. John of Kronstadt, and the
other holy confessors, martyrs and new-martyrs of the Orthodox Church, in
relation to Roman Catholics and Protestants, among whom no one professes the
Orthodox belief in two fundamental Christian doctrines, i.e., in the Holy
Trinity and in the Church.… Every true Orthodox Christian, who is instructed
under the guidance of the holy Fathers, is overcome with shame when he reads
that the Orthodox members of the Fifth Pan-Orthodox Conference in Geneva …,
on the question of the participation of the Orthodox in the work of the
World Council of Churches, considered it necessary 'to declare that the
Orthodox Church considers itself to be an organic part of the World Council
of Churches.' This assertion is apocalyptically horrifying in its
un-orthodoxy and anti-orthodoxy. Was it necessary for the Orthodox Church,
that most holy Body of the God-Man Christ, to become so debased to such a
pitiful degree that its theological representatives---some of whom were
Serbian bishops---have begun to beg for 'organic' participation and
membership in the World Council of Churches, which will supposedly become a
new 'Body' and a new 'Church', which will stand above all other churches, in
which the Orthodox Church and the non-orthodox churches will appear only as
parts. God forbid! Never before has there been such a betrayal and
abandonment of our holy Faith! We are renouncing the Orthodox Faith of the
God-Man Christ, and organic ties with the God-Man and His Most Holy Body: we
are repudiating the Orthodox Church of the holy apostles, the Fathers, and
the Ecumenical Councils---and we wish to become 'organic members' of a
heretical, humanistic, humanized and man-worshiping club, which consists of
263 heresies---every one of which is a spiritual death. As Orthodox
Christians we are 'members of Christ.' 'Shall I therefore take the members
of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?' (1 Cor. 6:15). We are
doing this by our organic union with the World Council of Churches, which is
nothing other than the rebirth of atheistic man, of pagan idolatry. The time
has finally come for the patristic Orthodox Church of Saint Sava, the Church
of the holy Apostles and Fathers, of the holy confessors, martyrs and
new-martyrs, to stop mingling ecclesiastically and hierarchically with the
so-called 'World Council of Churches,' and to cast off forever any
participation in joint prayer or services, and to renounce general
participation in any ecclesiastical dealings whatsoever, which are not
self-contained and do not express the unique and unchangeable character of
the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church---the Orthodox Church---the
only true Church that has ever existed.