Our Church is –by nature- “catholic” (Greek: καθολικός = overall), and therefore naturally ecumenical (universal). It keeps its arms outstretched for all people, of every race and age, inviting them all to come near. Christ, who is the head of the Church, perpetually extends His invitation to the world: “come to me, all of you”, while simultaneously sending out His disciples to preach the Gospel of salvation “to all nations”.
This compositional and natural characteristic of the Church, ecumenicity-universality, is claimed nowadays by two movements, both of which express the spirit of our times; they are Ecumenism and Globalization.
Globalization is being promoted by mighty political-economic powers, projecting the model of a unified humanity, while Ecumenism preoccupies itself in the religious sector, by striving towards the vision of a unified Christianity and eventually aiming for an ecumenical religion, a Pan-religion.
In this issue, we shall attempt to outline the Ecumenist movement –in which Orthodoxy also participates- because it continues to be unfamiliar to the majority of our Church and also because the sequence of events within the Church are causing anxiety and concern.
It may sound strange, but, it is a fact that today, Ecumenism is a threat to the ecumenicity of our Church because it is continuously slipping into increasingly more accommodating and syncretist tactics, which negate the fundamental principles of the Orthodox faith. Lest we forget, the orthodox, upright faith, is the first and foremost prerequisite for the salvation of man, according to the divinely-inspired, patristic opinion: “Whomsoever desires to be saved, must, before everything else, preserve the catholic (overall) faith, which, if one does not preserve whole and immaculate, without hesitation, he will be lost for all eternity”
Thus, if the redemptive message of Orthodoxy is lost amongst the deceptive messages of the heterodox and other religions, for the sake of a utopian ecumenistic vision, then all hope will also be lost, for the whole world.
Page created: 16-3-2006.
Last update: 16-3-2006.