Chapter 3  //  Contents  //  Chapter 5




The theoretical openings of Ecumenism

           In order for Ecumenism to realize its goals, it is compelled to disregard or to even revise certain basic principles of Orthodoxy.

            It projects the notion of a “Broadened Church’’, according to which theory, the Church is one and it includes Christians of every denomination, from the moment they have accepted baptism. In this way, all the Christian Confessions are  to be seen as “Sister Churches” between themselves.

            It is within this same spirit, that the idea of a “Worldwide Visible Church” is perceived.  The Church, which allegedly exists “invisibly” and is comprised of all Christians, will manifest itself in its visible dimension thanks to these common, unifying endeavors.

            These notions were also influenced by the Protestant “branch theory”, according to which, the Church is a “tree” whose “branches” are all the Christian Confessions, each one of which supposedly possesses a portion of the Truth.

            To this, we might also add the theory of the “two lungs”, which was developed between orthodox ecumenists and papists. According to this theory, Orthodoxy and Papism are the two lungs that the Church breathes with. In order for the Church to supposedly begin to breathe properly once again, both lungs must  synchronize their breathing.

            Finally, included in the methods used by Ecumenism to approach Christians, is the so-called “dogmatic minimalism”. This is an endeavor to reduce the number of dogmas to only the more necessary ones, i.e., to a “minimum” (the least), in order to hurdle the dogmatic differences between the various Confessions.  However, this will result in a disregard of the dogma, its demotion, and a minimizing of its significance.  “Let the Christians be unified” they say, “and the dogmas can be sorted out afterwards, by the theologians!”  

            It may be easy of course to unify Christians with this method of dogmatic minimalism, but will such “Christians” be Orthodox, in other words, truly Christian?


Chapter 3  //  Contents  //  Chapter 5

Page created: 16-3-2006.

Last update: 10-9-2008.