Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries


Patriarch Bartholomew: We are not betraying Orthodoxy - We are not ecumenists



A powerful message with multiple recipients within all the Churches was sent out by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the matter of the ecumenical dialogue.

Addressing the Patriarch of Bulgaria Neophytos who is currently on a peaceful visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Patriarch Bartholomew said among other things that he neither betrays Orthodoxy, nor does he pursue ecumenist ideas, as it has been said.

"With this tactic (the dialogue) we are not betraying Orthodoxy, as we have been accused, nor do we support ecumenist perceptions; rather, we preach to the heterodox and to everyone the Orthodox truth", he stated characteristically.

The Ecumenical Patriarch made an extensive reference to the reactions that exist on the matter of the theological dialogue, both in Bulgaria and in other countries, noting that these actions aspire to a mutual understanding and in time acceptance, "by the heterodox of the one Orthodox faith".

"They (the dialogues) do not aspire - as was written in both Bulgaria and elsewhere - to the creation of one, mutually accepted 'aggregate' of beliefs.  That is, there is no attempt through this so-called ecumenical movement to attain the acceptance of one 'Christian syncretistic confession'; only a deeper penetration into the Christian Orthodox faith and the communal collaboration of all those who invoke the name of Christ", stressed  Patriarch Bartholomew.

He also added that:

"We Orthodox, who possess the fullness of the Truth, are not afraid - as it is thought - that we shall be influenced by the views of our heterodox brethren on dogmatic issues."


The Ecumenical Patriarch did not omit to also mention the serious problems in the relations between Orthodox Churches - problems that have often impeded the course towards the convening of a Holy and Great Synod, that is, the convening of a Council comprised of all the Prelates who would be discussing matters of common interest.

"Of late, however, these conditions have improved, and the desire for a greater unity and collaboration has matured.  This has been attributed to many, humanly unforeseen, imponderable factors, as well as to the preparation of the Holy and Great Synod of our Orthodox Church, whose preparation - albeit bringing out points of disagreement - also brought out and has proven the desire to transcend predicaments and to tighten the indissoluble and sincere spiritual bonds that unbreakably unite all the Orthodox Churches - to each other, and to the first among them, the Ecumenical Patriarchate" said the Patriarch.

The Ecumenical Patriarch stressed that the local Orthodox Churches are all united, around the common Chalice, and that individual disagreements do not negate their unity.

"As such, it is our estimation that the efforts dedicated for bridging the differences between Orthodox Churches are not efforts to achieve an otherwise already existent and unshakeable unity, but rather, efforts for further deepening and solidification thereof, as well as the achievement of a feasibly uniform handling of the various issues that arise."  he added.


Translation:  A.N.

Article published in English on:  22-9-2013.

Last update: 22-9-2013.