DEMETRIOS SKARTSIOUNIS, THEOLOGY PROFESSOR
"ORTHODOXY AND ORTHODOX LIFE"
[The speech of the Synodical onset of Church of G.O.C. of Greece on Sunday of Orthodoxy in 2010 at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist (Rouf area of Athens) of Holy Archdiocese of Athens. Still now, It published in two parts (issues 38 & 39) in the journal “Theban Voice" of the Genuine Orthodox Church and it is continued in the follow issue.]
Your Eminence, President of Holy Synod, Holy Metropolitan of Thebes and Livadia Chrysostom
Your Eminence Bishops, Saint Metropolitan Ignatius of Fthiotis and Saint Metropolitan Jacob of Messenia,
Righteous monks and nuns,
Dear Brothers in Christ!
I thank for the honor and the blessing to grant me the unworthy the sacred step to develop the sense of both great and so much content of today's celebration, the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and to cry as I can the glory of the Church.
This speech consists of three parts: The first part is brief review of the victorious struggle of Orthodoxy against the persecutors of all kinds and sects. The second part refers to Ecumenism, in this terrible heresy of our time, and a reference to the signed text of the Ravenna of the treacherous agreement between Roman Catholics and New- Calendarists. The third part refers to Orthodox acting, understood in relation to orthodoxy.
I will not talk, Holy Bishops, to provoke tears and emotions and feelings, which evaporate easily, but I will try in simple words to remind the rescue truths of our faith, which every day, particularly during the current day, we have to have in our mind as Orthodox Christians.
Today, we celebrate and thank the Triune God for the triumph of Orthodoxy against the heresy of Iconoclasm, and against all misbelieves and the heresies of the enemies of the Church. This celebration today reminds us the dangers of the Church, the enemies that faced, the persecution that suffered, the heroic struggle, and the victory to preserve the Orthodox faith.
Furthermore, this today's feast reminds us of the debt that we have as Orthodox Christians, to preserve this faith, to experience it to proclaim in our time, as suggest and the Synodical text (of 7th Ecumenical Synod) that we read:
“As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church keeps this faith, as the teachers confessed the dogmas, as the universe agreed with this belief, so we believe, so we speak, so we teach”.
But what exactly is our Holy Orthodoxy?
Our holy Orthodoxy, as we well know, is a great mystery, is the miracle of miracles, is invention and achievement of the Almighty God, is appeared truth, is the only true path to save the man.
Orthodoxy is the world of Grace, the Church of Christ, faith, which in St. Paul is "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. XI, 1) Orthodoxy is the divine teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, which all the people in the world that embraced it, refused parents, children, and their own lives to live forever. Orthodoxy is always what the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church always believed and believes there and our Lord Jesus Christ, that from the beginning eye contemplated and servants of the Word, the Holy seven Ecumenical Councils, all the group of the God- inspired, holy fathers of us have demonstrated and delivered to us.
For the love and the faith of the Crucified and Risen Lord, clouds of Martyrs, countless saints adorn the spiritual firmament of the Church, because our Holy Orthodoxy is that "this is the alteration of the right hand of the Great (God)" (Ps. UCI ', 11). Orthodoxy is to beat the sheep to the wolves! Yes, the Lord Himself has sent the twelve Apostles to preach the world, as sheep amidst wolves, "Behold I send ye (he foretold them) as sheep in the midst of wolves" (Matthew J, 16).
The arms of the Holy Apostles against all kinds of tyrants, persecutors, enemies of Christians Jews, apostates, numerous visible and invisible enemies, it was the truth of Jesus Christ and only the truth. The Lord said: "therein and thereto I became, I came into the world to witness the truth" (John XVIII, 37). In a word if you want to describe our holy Orthodoxy, we would not find another more successful and matching word from the word TRUTH, indeed the Lord Himself proclaimed: "I am the way and the truth and the life '(John XIV, 6). This truth from the outset had been targeting the homicidal devil as a liar and the father of lies (John VIII, 44). The fight of the devil against the truth of Christ, that is the Church, namely Orthodoxy, has never ceased. The scribes and Pharisees, blinded by hatred for Christ, made the worst crime ever, the crucifixion of Christ. But a surprise awaits them is the resurrection of Christ, the triumph of the Church.
The flooding of the Jewish nation to sink the Church has failed miserably.
Rather than they to engulf the Church of Christ, to suppress the Gospel truth and to destroy our holy Orthodoxy, they sunk themselves and scattered and they crushed as a “potter's ware" (Psalms II, 9). The Devil, raising the brazen head, used against the Church the persecutions, by the use of bloodthirsty tyrants.
Nero and Trajan, and Diocletian and Maximianos tried to uproot the foundation of the Church of Christ, if it was possible, to ruin and the last Christian. Numerous of Martyrs are, red sea their holy blood. But the tyrants disappeared, kings fell. All these kingdoms "and the memorial of those ended in round sound” (Psalms IX, 7). And the Christians multiply riders killed, persecuted increased, in war they pegged, they were brilliant more tempted to virtue.
Then the heretics came against our Holy Orthodoxy.
It is impossible to measure the heretics. Agnostics, Montanistes, Adventists, Manicheans, Arians, Nestorians, Monothelites, iconoclasts, Latinos (of pope), Lutherans, Calvinists, the New- Iconoclasts of our days, and others. And others of them generally blasphemes against God, other against the Father, against the Son- God, other against, other against the Holy Spirit, others against the incarnate divine economy and another against the divine mysteries. However, they all run together and fight the Holy Church.
The heretics are offset and they neutralized by the divinely inspired of Holy Fathers of the seven Ecumenical Councils, and with many local and Pan-Orthodox Synods. The traitors and distorters of the faith could not and they could never destroy the Church because "even the gates of Hell will not win It" (Matt. XVI, 18).
The power and grace of Christ through the Saints like Athanasius, Basil, Cyril, Theodore the Studite, Marcus the Evgenikos (courteous) and the "clouds of Martyrs and the fathers and the zeal of the pious removed all the power of the enemy and brighten Orthodoxy.
Our faith is already sealed, which admitted neither increase nor decrease.
We kept as a priceless treasure (until the last detail of the orthodox Belief) all the ecclesiastical traditions, written or unwritten, that is, what our Lord Jesus Christ gave us, the Apostles, the Holy seven Ecumenical Councils and all that the divines Fathers have demonstrated. All that they have accepted and ratified, and we ourselves are accept and ratify, and all that they as mistakenly aborted and cursed, and we eliminated and demonized, no adding and subtracting nothing. Although, the start of the evil, the snake, that error the universe, the last time, knowing that he has "a little time" (Apocalypse XII, 12), mobilizes all his evil his organs, and all of his wickedness, the enemy and treacherous for us, and he made something unprecedented and unheard of perfidy and God- against. He left aside the tortures, the persecutions, and the assault during the previous series heresies.
So he wore such a mask, to show most "noble". Now he is bringing the "love", the "friendship", the "dialogue". He advertises that it should be forgotten the doctrines, because they divide Christians. For this reason, he tells us, to emphasize what unites us. Love and union, without truth, without Christ. Love that is at the expense of truth. It is the most terrible heresy of all time, the Ecumenism, whereby it is preparing feverishly and is anticipated the religion of the false- Messiah Antichrist, by the absorption and the equation of all heresies with Orthodoxy and the union with the other false- religions.
Ecumenism is the pan- religion of the New Age and spiritual leader the heretic pope. Those Christians who go hand in hand with ecumenists cannot entitle to be called orthodox, as far as Orthodoxy and Ecumenism are two religions diametrically opposed.
It is certainly known and to most indifferent Christian the treacherous agreements between ecumenists pastoralists and the arch- heretic pope. The lifting of anathemas, the recognition of the validity of the sacraments of the papists, the recognition of the papal heretic church as a sister church, and acceptance of the decidedly pope as a “most holy” senior brother bishop is now a fact.
Do not forget the lifting of anathemas and of no- communication between Eastern and Western Church in 1965 was the work of then-“Patriarch" Athenagoras. The pope did his job. Also, the treacherous agreements of Chambésy Switzerland in 1990 and the agreement of Balamand in Lebanon between New- Calendarists and Papists, 1993, that the papists were always orthodox! And there are so many betrayals that cannot be listed.
In 1995, after the common “Liturgy” of Bartholomew with Pope in Rome, they signed a "Joint Declaration" in which "both Churches have the priesthood, mysteries and are sisters Churches” (Orthodox Press, 12/22/1995).
Moreover, by accepting the heretic Circular of 1920 and by the participation in World Council of Churches, the New- Calendarists pastors refused the uniqueness of Orthodoxy, and they included in the category of those who "in naked head" preach heresy.
Do not forget that since 1966, the "patriarchs, beginning with Athenagoras, mention the Pope in diptychs! These Churches were considered as canonical, as the Orthodox, the Papacy, the Anglicanism and Monophytism! (See Athenagoras Kokkinakis, "The confession of Thyatira”, London 197, p. 203, 273 and 283).
Since then all the "patriarchs” did the “Liturgy” and prayed and the together with pope," as it still "Patriarch" Bartholomew concelebrate and pray that now, confessing him as "first in the Church of Christ" and that the pope is "with the same behavior and the same zealous of First- Apostles Peter and Paul”! (“Episkepsis”, 12.15.1977, p. 3-4, and No. 139, 152, 161, 214,) where these are highlighted. The common prayers and the Liturgies of Ecumenists and the pope are endless. And in what sense ecumenists call themselves as orthodox bishops?
But the flock that follows them, how intolerant these Christians to see them to dishonor the Holy Orthodoxy by the shaved Pope and their ecumenist shepherd? How they intolerant to see them often embraced and not shudder?
The betrayal of Orthodoxy began by New- Calendarists by the blasphemous Encyclical of 1920 where for the first time the Orthodox Church officially called "Church of Christ” the assemblies of heretics. For the first time it equated the Orthodoxy with heresy, truth with falsehood, because the sects declared as "venerable Churches of Christ."
It continues with the wrong so-called Pan-Orthodox Conference of 1923, by which upset the whole Orthodox Church. It decided in this lawless Congress to change the calendar and the date of Eastern. Even then, the Russian Orthodox Church had changed over a period the Calendar and the Paschalion (Eastern) , and the Church of Finland officially changed the Calendar and the Paschalion which has changed so far. How, then, is not touched upon the "definition" of the First Ecumenical Council in accordance with the first rule in Antioch. Although they are deposed and they who have changed the Paschalion, but is enough to have "society" with the Church that changed the Paschalion, as do New- Calendarists the Church of Finland.
How they tolerate to listen their "patriarch" to call the sacred canons "wall of shame?" ("Episkepsis", 15 / 6 / 1989).
How they intolerant to hear the "patriarch" to call the saints who fought the heresies of the papacy as "the unfortunate victims of the start of evil serpent" and that they are "already in the hands of the righteous God?" ("Church Truth”, 16/12/1998).
How they intolerant can to see their "patriarch" to give the heretics "Holy Communion", as happened in Ravenna?
Who they still commemorate him when he states unequivocally that "Bible and Quran is the same thing?" ("Orth. Type", 03/15/2002, p. 5).
Was wrong Saint Father Kosmas (of Aetolia) when he said "to curse the Pope?" Was he wrong when he said that "all beliefs are false”? “This truly I understand that only the Orthodox Christian faith is good and holy”?
We will try by the grace of God a short commentary of the shameful and treacherous text of Ravenna to understand the magnitude of the betrayal of ecumenists New- Calendarists, which reverses the entire Orthodox ecclesiology, which signed by "Orthodox" and Catholics, in the theological Dialogue, i.e. (the traitor dialogue) of orthodox and heterodox.
Under this text, it is left no doubt that the unity exists between Eastern and Western Church, and that only minor issues remain to be studied in future, resulting the group means, for example, they are going to study and to analyze in greater depth, that is to be build better, rather than to be rejected, the "Primacy of the Pope!" (Paragraph 45 of the text). So by this slaw and evil ways and the scientific printing, the next time, it will digest well in the mind the union by those New- Calendarists who react yet against the sale of Orthodoxy.
This is the tactic of heretics. After the "orthodox" sat at a table with the papists and bargain Orthodoxy in whole years, they will have a worse. Then, they should not mistake that New- Calendarists are Orthodox. And they should not reassure their conscience because some of them occasionally complain for the betrayal of their shepherds that not year out. The protests are like the barking of dogs. The New- Calendarists are active ecumenists and misbelievers. All agreements so far were signed with the Roman Catholic demonstrate this truth. In order not to exaggerate, we use the words of New- calendarist university professor from a recent paper on the treacherous agreement of Ravenna.
How can stand in orthodox basis, for example, the blasphemous doctrine of "two lungs" of Christ, which was adopted by New- Calendarists? Means it that Christ has as "lungs" Roman Catholicism and the Orthodox Church?
How theological and biblical justification that the term "sister churches", which is accepted by New- Calendarists expresses the relationship between Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church? This term implies that there is another church, which is the "mother" of the Church!
The Orthodox patristic tradition, however, knows and teaches that the Church is ONE and that are not many churches even they may be called "Sisters." The Church is universal in the sense of fullness of truth and it life, whose head is Christ himself.
But there is another problem. Roman Catholicism after the schism, not a sister church can be named, but even Church, because it is heretical Christian community, outside the Orthodox Church.
The term, therefore, “sister Churches”, which adopted by New- Calendarists means that the pope is orthodox brother bishop, the first order, and nothing separates them from Roman Catholics.
The text of Ravenna, as a New- calendarist Mr. Professor rule literally, "gives the impression that the unity between the two Churches is exist and now is going to be solved some specific problems encountered in their union" (see recommendation of 20 / 5 / 2009 University Professor Dim. Tselingidis on: "The theological dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic”). He continues: "The Patristic theology, however, is clear on this issue. That is, theological dialogue with the heretics and consideration and solution of other matters and things before the examination of issues of faith cannot be done. Therefore It must preceded removal of any disagreement as to the faith and then to pursue any research on other things "(St. Gregory Palamas).
As they discuss other matters of secondary importance, means that key issues, namely the dogmatic issues are withdrawn, or are sidelines, and this is the bitter truth. That is confirmed and all the treacherous acts of the past agreements, which were made by the theological dialogue.
The introduction mentioned reference to the Episcopal Prayer of Christ, to justify the unnatural union of two churches “to be everyone one" (John XVII, 21). And it's not nature this unity, because the Roman Catholic dogmatically reject the uncreated nature of deifying grace. Consequently, New- Calendarists as accept and sign these documents, are heretics, because the unrepentant pope never accepted the laying of the uncreated deifying grace. In no text ever convicted novel dogmas of the Roman Catholic doctrines such as the Filioque, the primacy, infallibility, purgatory fire, the immaculate conception, etc. Therefore, New- Calendarists are what the Pope is, so they call the pope brother in Christ and brother bishop and accept the term sister churches and the liturgies of the "patriarch" and Pope publicly, sailing an oceans of happiness.
In paragraphs 2 and 3 of the text reference the common points of the Joint International Commission from 1980 onwards, which are fully accepted by the Orthodox Church, as mentioned namely, the New- Calendarists Ecumenists. The ecumenist bishops say YES to everything.
Also in these paragraphs are suggest that there is clearly a vague hyper- church, which is above the individual churches. But this theory is Protestant, so the text here accepts the blasphemous theory of branches. That is, by this supernatant universal Church (text of the Munich 1982), societies all the local Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholics as if they are not dogmatic differences. Is this not called Unity?
In paragraphs 5 and 6 for the Synodical system of the Church is accepted that Orthodox and Catholics are members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
In paragraph 7, as a logical consequence of the above agreed, the joint text clearly implies that Orthodox and Catholics share the same mysteries.
Paragraph 8 is equally problematic and outrageous for an Orthodox Christian. We reads: "In proclaiming the faith of the Church... the Bishops and it goes on quote from the text of Balamand, paragraph 40: "as the successors of the Apostles, the bishops are responsible for the communion in the apostolic faith ...."
And the concerned New- Calendarists ask perplexed: In which Church proclaim the faith, the bishops? The One World Church of Christ, as they agreed above and in other texts, which includes equally orthodox and heretics? Clearly, yes. This means that the unity is true, as the dogmatic differences between the two churches do not mean anything for the ecclesiological issue, a fact which is presumed that for Ecumenists were removed long time before the seven Holy Ecumenical Synods.
But another question appears here. Who the Roman Catholics are named by the New- Calendarists and remain bishops, successors of the Apostles, when they strongly expressed they are wrong in the dogma of the Church? When they are unrepentant heretics?
Paragraphs 9-11 and 18-33, both sides reaffirmed that the bishops (orthodox and heretics) are considered as bishops of the One Church. And here is confirmed again in writing that the New- Calendarists bishops have become Latin long time ago and conscious Uniates and active ecumenist.
Paragraph 37 refers to the Church dogmatic consciousness of people of God. Also here are equated orthodox and heretics, as the operation of the dogmatic consciousness extended and to heretics "on equal footing."
In paragraph 39 is agreed that Orthodox and Catholics are local churches that are in schism, but both belong to one church or that every one of them is a Church. That is, we have many churches and not ONE.
The most outrageous is written in the 41st paragraph. The International Joint Commission believes the Church of Christ today quotient (i.e. the heretics are parts of the Church) and refers to "the period of the undivided Church” older. But the Church of Christ is one and indivisible, as we know.
As seen from the above, the union of two churches was in a Unite standard, keeping each other's diversity, its traditions, without any agreement of faith in revealed truth and without the pope to repent, which means that New- Calendarists are heretics and current ecumenist.
Pope asks nothing more, as long it was recognized the primacy of him. Moreover, it also said by Cardinal Kasper interviewed in the Athens News Agency, in November 2008. Unity and recognition of the primacy of the Pope and each side retains its customs. UNITA is around its glory.
So it agreed in paragraph 45 about the primacy of the pope (that was accepted), that it should be studied in greater depth" to the next Assembly of the International Joint Commission.
To be continued