Dear Βrothers and Sisters in Christ,
On the “Sunday of Orthodoxy”, our Church celebrates the victory of the Orthodox faith against its enemies, the iconoclasts, because they wanted to remove the holy icons from our churches and destroy them. Who were these enemies? They were “Orthodox” kings, bishops and patriarchs. 1
The struggle of the Church against heresies is not finished.
Almost 100 years ago a new heresy appeared within the Church—the heresy of Ecumenism—which is insidious, and threatens to completely destroy her today, as Iconoclasm did in the past.
What is Ecumenism?
I will not tell you. I will let a great Saint of our day, the Serbian Archimandrite, Saint Justin Popović tell you about it:
Ecumenism is a common name for the pseudo-christianities, for the pseudo-churches of Western Europe. Within it is the heart of all European humanisms led by the Papacy. All these pseudo-christianities, all these pseudo-churches are nothing more than one heresy next to the other. Their common name is pan-heresy. 2
The great contemporary apologist of Orthodoxy, known to all, Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim explains further what Ecumenism is:
The Satan-led and fetid pan-heresy of Ecumenism adopts and legitimizes all heresies as “churches” and attacks the uniqueness, exclusivity and dogma of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. A new doctrine of the Church has now grown, is being taught and is imposed by the Ecumenists; a new ecclesiology, according to which no group can claim exclusively the character of “Catholic and true Church”—whether heretics, or even the Orthodox Church. Every heresy, even the Orthodox Church, is only a piece, a part of this new Ecumenist “church,” and not the entire Church. All together these heresies with the Orthodox Church compose the new Ecumenist Church. 3
Metropolitan Seraphim continues in the same text, explaining what the aim of Ecumenism is:
As globalization on a political level wants to unite the world and make a world government, a global e-government, a world currency, a global economy, so Ecumenism on a religious level wants to unite all religions (inter-religious Ecumenism) and all heresies (inter-Christian Ecumenism) into a world religion, ignoring and marginalizing the huge, gigantic and chaotic dogmatic differences, and destroy from its foundation the dogmas and the faith of the Orthodox Church.
And he presents the final evaluation of Ecumenism:
Ecumenism is the greatest ecclesiological heresy of all time, because it equalizes all religions and faiths.
How is it being accomplished?
But how it is possible to circumvent the profound differences that exist between the “churches” and the religions? In what way does Ecumenism seek to accomplish a feat that seems impossible? Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew promotes this monstrosity in this way: The first step is to unite the “churches.” The unifying link is the “common baptism” of all Christians. As long as we accept that we are all baptized, we all belong to the same “Mega-Church.” Baptismal theology is the basis of Ecumenism. However the engine that powers it is (purportedly) love, which is also the unifying link to unite all religions.
Patriarch Bartholomew’s plan is to unite first with the Pope, whom he accepts as a canonical Hierarch of the Church. His desire is to unite their “churches,” with no change in their faith or worship. The union will take place by a simple recognition that they constitute two “sister Churches,” united in love.
For the last fifty years the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Pope have not only been dialoguing, they have also been acting. Their common prayers, according to the canons of the Orthodox Church, are forbidden. However this does not stop our Patriarch who has been praying not only with heretical Christians but also with people from many other faiths. His bishops are doing the same in order not to be left behind.
We don’t agree with them, and we distance ourselves from them. We no longer follow them or obey them, because they are betrayers of the faith and they ought to be condemned as heretics by an Orthodox Synod. We cannot wait for such Synod to convene. We wall ourselves from them now, that is, we cease to have communion with them.
nor shall we lie to you, time-honored reverence,
We were born in you, we live in you, and we shall die in you.
And if time shall call us,
we shall sacrifice a thousand times our lives for you.”
Monk Joseph Vriennios
Spiritual Father of St. Mark of Ephesus, + ca. 1435
Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis
Sunday of Orthodoxy, 2017
- ...who in the Synod of Hiereia in 754 (which they proclaimed to be Ecumenical!) condemned the veneration of icons!
Thirty-three years later, in 787, a new Synod convened in Nicaea, which condemned the un-Orthodox Synod, and reinstated in the churches and the homes of Christians the holy images (those that were left, which were not destroyed), so that we may worship God the Word Who became man like us for our sake. Therefore we may, actually we must, depict Him, because He was not a ghost, but a real person with skin and bones.
(Parenthetically let me say that the Protestants do not have icons in their places of worship, which are naked and graceless. Roman Catholics have statues, which our Church does not allow, because they remind us of idols. Although they also have icons, they keep them high, and they don’t venerate them. Indeed, emperor Charlemagne in 794 (only 7 years after the Council of Nicaea) called a Synod in Frankfurt condemning the decisions of the Seventh Ecumenical Council and the veneration of the holy icons! Eighty-five years later, in 879, a Synod that many Orthodox accept as the Eighth Ecumenical Council condemned this pseudo-synod.)
- St. Justin Popovich, "Humanistic Ecumenism" in Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ, by Father Justin Popovich, trans. by Asterios Gerostergios (Belmont, MA: Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 1994), p. 169. Also quoted here: "Papism as the Oldest Protestantism"
- Source. Translated by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis.