Moscow, the bastion of Orthodoxy, the “Third Rome”, suddenly capitulated to the Old Rome, when his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow embraced the pan-heresy of ecumenism. With a stroke of a pen, he turned his back on one thousand years of Orthodoxy in Russia, following Constantinople (New Rome) down the wide road (Mat 7:13).
The real import of the historic meeting that took place in Havana, Cuba on Feb. 12, 2016 between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow was missed by the media, which focused mostly on the political, social and moral aspects of the meeting. For us, Orthodox Christians, the Joint Statement2 constitutes a betrayal of the Orthodox Faith.
Please follow their call to action:
We exhort all Christians and all believers of God to pray fervently to the providential Creator of the world to protect His creation from destruction and not permit a new world war.
It is a call to unity to all, Christians and non-Christians, to pray for peace, as if religious differences among them were of no consequence.
The document repeatedly stresses that we have “inherited” our differences from our ancestors. It sounds apologetic saying, it is not our fault, “we have been divided by wounds caused by old and recent conflicts.” Stating that our differences “in the understanding and expression of our faith in God” are due to “human weakness and of sin” is a blasphemy against the martyrs and confessors of our Faith.
It assumes that all the “monotheistic” religions believe in the same God. Before a perceived common danger that threatens mankind, the religious leaders of the two largest Christian bodies appeal to us all to set aside our faith in Jesus Christ our true God, who died and rose from the dead and is worshiped with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and in the one and only Church He founded.
Our theological differences are ignored and are treated as trivialities, as egotistical pretensions before the threat of a world war. Peace seems to be above all—not our faith in the true God. They have both forgotten that the main role of the Church is to spread the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.
It seems our religious leaders have come up with a better gospel, that we are “brothers and sisters in Christ,” not in virtue of the one and only true baptism we have received in His holy Church, not on account of our great hope of salvation in Christ our Savior, but on account of our “shared spiritual foundations of human co–existence.”
Don’t be deceived: according to the Declaration it’s not our common faith that will save us, nor the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but our
“common values uniting us, based on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”
I hope the Jesuit nuance is clear to everyone. It states that salvation comes not from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but from the human values that unite us.
The Declaration calls martyrs those Christians who have died giving witness to the truth of the Gospel, irrespective of their religious affiliation to “various Churches” (as if Christ founded many Churches). We Orthodox Christians venerate our martyrs, pray to them, we treasure their holy relics and build churches in their honor.
Our Church teaches us to honor only those who have died as martyrs professing the true faith. As for the rest, the Church treats them as pseudomartyrs.3 It is well known that the Church produced untold martyrs during the great persecutions. “Many even of the heretics in the time of persecution and of idolatry showed fortitude even to death, and were called martyrs by those who shared their beliefs.”4 The Church however directs us not to treat them as true martyrs and not to pray to them.5
Are we then against any kind of cooperation with other Christian bodies? Can’t we meet and in common declare that we are against violence and terrorism, and that we are for world peace and religious freedom? Can’t we jointly express a concern about the conditions in the Middle East?
Yes, of course we can and we should, provided we leave out any dogmatic and ecclesiological statements that insidiously infiltrate the text and dilute and minimize our faith.
The ultimate goal of the Joint Statement is the establishment of humanism, placing “fraternal co–existence among the various populations, Churches and religions” as the ultimate goal. This sweeping statement alone should be sufficient for us to utterly reject the entire document.
With deep pain and sadness we admit that the Joint Declaration constitutes one of the most ecumenistic and syncretistic official statements agreed upon by an Orthodox hierarch.
What do the ROCOR bishops and theologians have to say about this capitulation?
- “False prophets,” Canon xxxiv of the Council of Laodicea (Rudder, 566).
- Interpretation of Canon ix of the same Council (Rudder, 555)
Article graphics and editing: Tony Hatzidakis