Monday, December 11, 2006

Message From +Bishop Christodoulos

Dear Christians,

I have good news. Thanks to the generosity of all of you we no longer need to solicit used clothing. We have been overwhelmed with donations. There is simply no more room to store the clothing. From here on in we will only be accepting brand new clothing (under wear, socks, boots, gloves, hats, jackets, coats, non-dress pants, etc.). Please do not bring by any more used clothing until further notice.

Many thanks to Gleason Paints! They have donated new thousands of brand new items of outer wear! May Christ grant all of you at Gleason Paints many blessed years!

We still need bottled water...

Our next Homeless Run into the city will be this Tuesday evening. If you will be joining us please let me know so I can reserve a seat for you in our van. We leave the Cathedral at 8:00PM SHARP!

More good news. The Editor of our theological periodical ROMIOSINI, Leonidas Pittos has had a letter published in the National Herald (English Edition). I have pasted the letter at the bottom of this e-mail. Bravo, Leonidas!

May Christ keep you all safe,
+Bishop Christodoulos


To the Editor,

Recent articles in Greek and world media and news outlets have brought international attention to the heart of Orthodox Christian monasticism, Mount Athos. The attention has focused on a dispute between the monks of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. I write to you to suggest a viewpoint that has been missing in the world press.

The recent history of the dispute is as follows:

In 2003, the Ecumenical Patriarchate began legal procedures to evict the monks from their monastery. Late in 2005, the Holy Community governing Mount Athos appointed a new Esphigmenou monastic brotherhood, recognized by the Patriarchate, to replace the existing brotherhood and confiscated the Esphigmenou monks assets. Subsequent to this decision, the Greek Police began an embargo on provisions.

The controversial methods utilized by the Greek State and the Ecumenical Patriarchate have even attracted the censure of the United States State Department, at a time when the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself is struggling to protect its legal status in Turkey.

The tragedy is that this dispute has arisen from the Patriarchate's leading role in inter-faith and inter-denominational dialogue. I call this a tragedy in that the Patriarchate appears to be willing to dialogue with representatives of other faiths, yet unwilling to a conduct dialogue within Orthodoxy on the matter of Ecumenism.

The fact is that there is no consensus within Orthodoxy on the matter of Ecumenism. The monks of Esphigmenou are part of a broader trend within Orthodoxy that objects to Orthodox involvement in the ecumenical movement. Many Orthodox Christians, including many leading hierarchs, monks, and scholars, have been troubled by the participation of their own local churches in inter-denominational and inter-religious joint prayer services. Many have seen such gestures as an endorsement of inter-spirituality between world religions and of intercommunionâ with other non-Orthodox Christian communities, contradicting the historical self-understanding of the Orthodox Church and its mission in the world.

In September 2004, the School of Pastoral and Social Theology at the University of Thessaloniki sponsored a five-day inter-Orthodox Theological conference entitled Ecumenism: Origins, Expectations, Disenchantment in which sixty speakers from around the Orthodox world participated. The conference called for all autocephalous Orthodox Churches to withdraw from the World Council of Churches and to bring an end to these kinds of dialogues and even suggested the excommunication of church leaders that continue to participate in, and lend support to, the pan-heresy of Ecumenism.

Finally, the proposals of the 2004 Thessaloniki Inter-Orthodox Conference stated an ideal that anyone whether for or against Orthodox involvement in Ecumenism should be able embrace:

“Let inner-ecclesial dialogue among the Orthodox be strengthened and encouraged in the spirit of conciliarity, and not be limited only to the bishops. It is, at the very least, lamentable that dialogue with various heretics and non-Christians is pursued while the differing views of brothers in the faith, who are slandered as fanatics, are rejected.


Leonidas Pittos

Ph.D. Candidate - Byzantine Studies

University of Chicago


Post a Comment

<< Home