Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Ecumenism


Metropolitan Seraphim: Uncritical zealotry and syncretistic Ecumenism are a common fallacy

An excerpt from the newspaper "Orthodox Press" dated 14-8-2009.

Source:  http://egolpio.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/oikoumenismos_zilwtismos/



Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus sent a letter to Mr.Demetrios Hadjinikolaou, Reserve Professor of Economic Sciences at the University of Ioannina, with which he responds to the contents of a letter that was published in the newspaper "Orthodox Press" on the matter of the "Patrimonial (Old) Calendar".  In that letter, the Metropolitan of Piraeus maintains that syncretistic Ecumenism and uncritical zealotry comprise the sides of the same coin of fallacy; the Metropolitan of Piraeus also explains why he does not cease the commemoration of Ecumenists, while he also partly justifies the behaviour of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (even though he disagrees with it), explaining that it is in a state of captivity by the underlying Kemalist State and is looking for support in international forums.  The full text of that letter is as follows:
Dear learned Professor,
I have read Your "open" -as you have labelled it- letter to my humble person, in which you have characterized me as the "New-Calendarist" Metropolitan of Piraeus, as well as the reasons you have addressed me through it, and would request you to allow me, without any desire to be contradictive, to inform You that I did not speak -as you claimed- against the Orthodox of the Patrimonial Calendar, simply because the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Indivisible Church of Christ is comprised of Autocephalous Churches, some of which observe the corrected Julian Calendar, while others observe the unamended and so-called Patrimonial Calendar.  Consequently, You are wrong to speak of my supposed attacks against the Orthodox of the Patrimonial Calendar.
On account of various movements that have been observed within the boundaries of my canonical jurisdiction, my humble person had informed the parishioners - as my duty demanded - with regard to the canonical and ecclesiological demerit of those who are outside the body of the Church, who present and define themselves as "Genuine Orthodox Christians" (G.O.C.). And this, my dear professor, is because the Church - which the Lord Himself had established on the Day of the Pentecost with the descent of the All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit - is only One and is also sisterless, and as Her Head She has only Her Builder, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose immaculate and sanctified Body She is.  Participants of that Body are the Saints and those who have pleased God throughout Time; the first among them being the Most Immaculate and Most Holy Mother Theotokos, then the Apostles, the Fathers, the Martyrs, the Confessors, the Saints, the Righteous, those who are in the courtyards of Heaven and those who are "enlisted" on earth. Therefore, there is not a single possibility, under any pious pretext or excuse whatsoever, to co-establish a Church - that is, a Body of Christ - based on human perception and inspiration, as tragically exercised by the Roman-Catholic Conventicle, the Monophysite Antichalcedonians and the ill-fated Protestant communities.
Unfortunately, this same practice was implemented by those who have defined themselves as G.O.C., being under the impression that by making any declaration whatsoever of having "walled" themselves off from the rest, they are thus legitimized - by God, dogmatically and ecclesiologically - to establish a Church, that is, a Body of Christ, and what is worse, while constantly divided amongst themselves and excommunicating and anathematizing each other.  I believe that you can perceive the canonical disorder of such actions, which, however, You seem to be justifying in Your text, on account of the underlying Ecumenism of certain individuals who are ministering to the Body of the Church. May I be permitted to say that uncritical zealotry, as well as syncretistic Ecumenism, comprise the two sides of the same coin of fallacy, and that they sever us from communion with the Thrice-Holy God of the truth and of justice.
You reproach me, for not ceasing to commemorate those who at times have declared their syncretistic ecumenical positions, however, I do hope you realize that such a serious action - according to the Canonical Law of the Most Holy Orthodox Catholic Church and specifically according to the 13th and 15th Divine and Sacred Canons of the 1st and 2nd Synods - presupposes a public proclamation of a heresy and a barefaced heretical teaching to the Church, which, in such a case, would have to be substantiated not only by statements attributed to foolishness, a misconstrued sense of courtesy or a political expediency, but by a conscious participation in that heresy, and evidenced by partaking of the common Chalice. But fortunately, such an incident has not occurred, and subsequently, Your reproach is rendered void of any support whatsoever.
I furthermore declare with all my strength that, in the event that I am informed of -and ascertain- such a tragic lapsing of any Clergyman, I shall immediately, and even before any Synodical decision, forbid within the boundaries of my canonical jurisdiction the canonical commemoration of the said person.
A fact that should not be overlooked is that we here, my Learned Professor, are speaking from within the safety of our Hellenic Homeland, whereas those who are ministering to the Nation at the Venerable Ecumenical Throne are speaking from within their tragic situation, gripped in the talons of the underlying Kemalic State in Turkey, and are striving to gain support in international forums, through the representatives of various local heretical religious communities, and quite often, they accordingly strive -out of necessity- to converge matters phrasally - a fact that does not find me in agreement, but one that I can comprehend sufficiently.
In closing, I humbly pray that You will perceive the truth of matters.

The Metropolitan of Piraeus


Translation by: A. N.

Article published in English on: 18-8-2009.

Last update: 18-8-2009.