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Replenished & now allegedly "broader" ECUMENISM marches on......

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    There is an alternative to ECUMENISM & that is being loyal to our Lord Jesus Christ & His ORTHODOX CHURCH. All Orthodox Church members should abandon their
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 9, 2003
      There is an alternative to ECUMENISM & that is being loyal to our Lord
      Jesus Christ & His ORTHODOX CHURCH. All Orthodox Church members
      should abandon their participation in the WCC & not the other way

      Orthodox participation in ecumenical movement...
      http://www.wfn.org - http://www.goarch.org - Orthodox Participation in Ecumenical Movement:
      "There is no alternative to dialogue" 6 June 2003, cf. Press Release, PR-03-20, of 28 May
      An appeal to the Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox churches to reconsider their return to the
      broad ecumenical world family was addressed by the participants at an international
      academic symposium held in Thessaloniki from 1-3 June.
      The request is contained in a letter addressed to H.B. Patriarch Maximos of Bulgaria and
      H.B. Catholicos Elias, Patriarch of Georgia, signed by participants at a symposium
      organized by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki's Theological Faculty. With the
      blessing of H.B. Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, the symposium tackled
      the theme "Orthodox Theology and Ecumenical Dialogue: Problems and Perspectives".
      In their letter to the heads of Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox churches, based on "hope
      and Christian love", participants at the symposium "make an appeal, out of that love and
      with deep respect, that your Holy Church review and reconsider its active participation in
      the multilateral and bilateral dialogues and conversations, and also its return to the
      broad ecumenical world family".
      Both Churches withdrew from the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1998. However, after the
      WCC Central Committee received last August the substantial report from the Special
      Commission on Orthodox Participation, there are "new possibilities for taking seriously and
      dealing responsibly with Orthodox concerns", the letter said.
      The letter was approved with applause by participants in the symposium, namely professors
      from Thessaloniki's Theological Faculty and members of the Steering Committee of the
      Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC. While those signing the letter
      recognize that "the path of inter-Christian dialogue is difficult" they manifest their
      unanimous agreement that "there is no alternative to dialogue".
      The affirmation echoed statements made by Archbishop Christodoulos at the event's opening.
      "In spite of the negative experience we have acquired all these years, we view the future
      of the theological dialogues, and generally our collaboration with our non-Orthodox
      brothers and sisters, with optimism," he said. And regarding theological dialogues in
      particular, Archbishop Christodoulos said "...we arenot allowed to stop the dialogue and
      break down the bridges of communication between Christians".
      Recalling that the Church of Greece is "a founding member of the WCC of which it remains a
      full member till today", the Archbishop of Athens said work carried out by the Special
      Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC is a "pleasant development" that "created
      hopes that as Orthodox we can have an equal voice with the Protestants". "I think that new
      bases have been created for our presence in WCC", he stated.
      At the same time that he voiced his "hope that more effective contribution of the Orthodox
      in the decisions and activities of WCC will take place in the future," Archbishop
      Christodoulos did not shy away from self-criticism: "If we, Orthodox, are indifferent and
      we voluntarily stay in the margin, or if we are divided depending on the narrow interest of
      our local Church, we must not complain for the situation in the WCC. The wrong is not
      always on the others."
      In his presentation, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr. Konrad Raiser emphasized the
      importance of the Orthodox contribution to the WCC during a public lecture at the
      symposium's closing ceremony. The extensive summary began with "the fundamental decision on
      the part of the Orthodox churches to assume a leading role in giving shape to the modern
      ecumenical movement", translated in the encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of
      Constantinople that proposed the establishment of a "league (fellowship) between the
      churches" for the first time in 1920.
      According to Raiser, perhaps the most important Orthodox contribution to the WCC was the
      "consistent expression of the Orthodox commitment to the ecumenical fellowship of churches,
      which has been re-affirmed in response to questions and sometimes harsh criticism from
      within". And the "second major Orthodox contribution to unfolding the self-understanding of
      the WCC" was to establish the christocentric affirmation of its Basis (the confession of
      "the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour") in a Trinitarian setting ("to the glory of the
      one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit").
      Raiser also referred to several other Orthodox contributions, such as the awareness of
      conciliarity - "the fact that the church in all times needs assemblies to represent it and
      has in fact felt this need" - as "a fundamental dimension in the understanding of the
      church"; the decisive influence of Orthodox thinking in the convergence documents on
      Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, "particularly in terms of emphasis on the role of the Holy
      Spirit"; and the "understanding of the missionary vocation of the church as well as of its
      diaconal service".
      "There is no doubt for me that the active presence of the Orthodox churches in the WCC has
      been essential in shaping the understanding of our common ecumenical calling", stated
      Raiser towards the end of his presentation. And now, "the Special Commission and its
      recommendations have moved us to the point where the Orthodox contribution to the life and
      work of the WCC can be developed in fresh and constructive ways", he concluded.
      Besides professors and members of the WCC Steering Committee, the symposium and discussions
      were attended by representatives of other churches and academic institutions, a number of
      Orthodox priests and students, and several WCC staff members.
      For further information, please contact the Media Relations Office, tel: +41 (0)22 791 64
      21 / 61 53
      The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in more than 100
      countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic
      Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing
      body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally
      inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary
      Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.
      World Council of Churches, Media Relations Office - Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
      Fax: (41 22) 798 1346, E-mail: media@..., Web: www.wcc-coe.org
      PO Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
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