By Metroplitan Augoustinos (Kantiotes) of Florina
“We will not deny you, beloved Orthodoxy.”
(Joseph Vryennios Spiritual Father of Mark of Ephesus)
Of late, certain theologians, under the influence of contemporary world-wide currents, have begun to savor the words “ecumenism”, “ecumenical spirit,” and “ecumenical movement”, as if they were hard candy. Ecumenicism, what a beautiful word! And yet, behind those words, lay hidden a most fearful danger for Orthodoxy. What is this danger? We will show you by means of an example.
Imagine a beautiful woman faithful to her husband, a woman who will allow no third party to enter into their relationship, ever mindful of the promises that she made before God and before men.
She is a woman of exceptional beauty drawing the eyes of many a man. On account of her uprightness, however anyone who dares to touch, or proposition her, immediately meets with her anger. Should such a one persist, this honorable one will deliver a strong slap to his face in order to bring him to his senses.
Those men who learned this vile business, however, will try another method. They will try to uncover what the woman likes; does she perhaps love poetry, or philosophy, or art? By means of these things, the secret admirer will trap her. With deftness he will begin having innocent conversations on those subjects that are beloved to her. “What a wonderful poem!” A beautiful painting!” What a wonderful play!” “How sweet a piece of music!” And thus begins the dialogue. Gradually the unsuspecting woman is lured into longer conversations with the deceiver who, while his tongue speaks of philosophy and art, his heart leaps at the thought of taking the woman for himself. Finally, after an air of great familiarity and mutual understanding has been achieved through these conversations, the door is open to the foul deed, the shameful union.
Did you catch what we are trying to say, beloved? We have spoken in a parable.
The women concerning who we have spoken is our Orthodox Church. She is the beauty. She is the woman who, according to the Book of Revelation is “clothed with the Sun”, who wears “upon her head a crown of twelve stars”, and who has the “moon under her feet.” It is the Orthodox Church which has remained faithful to the Lord, to the eternal Bridegroom. It is she who has kept pure the tradition of the Lord and of the Apostles – both written and unwritten – in accordance with the God-inspired call to “stand firmly, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our epistle.” It is she, the Orthodox Church, which for nineteen centuries have fought the hard and bloody battle against various deceptions, against the various heresies which have sought to pollute and corrupt her holiness.
One of the worst of these heresies is Papism, which, on account of its delusions, its authoritarian spirit, and its atrocities, caused the rise of Protestantism and the fracturing of Christendom. Yes the Papists are heretics. The enemies of the Orthodox Church, including Papism to be sure, know well that she has persevered in the faith of her Fathers. Yet having been persuaded through many examples that they cannot conquer her fortress which is Orthodoxy by means of a frontal attack, these enemies have recently begun trying by other means. They have begin a new war, a war of peace, a war worse than the Crusades . Do you not hear the voice of the serpent, seeking to corrupt the minds of Orthodoxy, leading us away from our simplicity.
Here is what the serpent says: “O Orthodox Church! Why do you keep your distance Why are you afraid of me? I am no dragon, I am a sweet angel bearing the message of love. I am not going to hurt you. Keep your dogmas and your traditions. Leave these things to the theologians. I invite you into my room to discuss other matters. Let us make a common stand against hunger, against poverty, against atheism, against communism, against war. Do these matters not move you? Does this proposition not excite you? Come, then, let us begin our conversation on high, on the level of ecumenism, on the level of mutual understanding. You will see how beautiful our coming together can be!
O Orthodox Church! Our suffering mother! Will you accept this proposition? Will you enter into dialogue with Papism? Can you not see the danger inherent in this proposition? That those who ineptly and unworthily represent you, without even taking notice, will fall into the arms of Papism?
And what will follow then? A union, a pseudo-union, spiritual adultery, a most vile act, something which ought to never have occurred, and which will require centuries of repentance from those Orthodox who played the role of pimp for the Orthodox Church. The hour will come when these will sigh and say: “Let the words which we have spouted concerning “ecumenism” and “mutual understanding” cease; let these feet which ran to bring together Orthodoxy and wolves in sheep’s clothing become leprous; let these hands which signed ecumenical epistles and documents fall off! This, my beloved, is the famous theory of ecumenism which our leaders savor!
END OF THE METROPOLITAN’S EPISTLE.
Commentary by Ralph Masterjohn
The above was composed many years ago by Metropolitan Augoustinos and proves to be prophetical, for the seduction of Orthodox members in dialogue, as mentioned in the parable is going on before our eyes. Their correct names are the ecumenists and philopapists,
Why would Orthodox leaders, hierarchs, priests, etc. pay so much attention and seek an unjust union with the Pope of Rome? He has nothing to offer the Orthodox. What the Pope does have is the glory of this world. The Orthodox traveling to meetings in planes and limousines, eating in fine restaurants, a comfortable way of life that they experience with meetings of ecumenists and philopapists, but bitterness will follow for it is not good.
Although Orthodoxy has absolutely nothing in common with the Papacy, over the years, the Orthodox have signed common mutual statements of agreement with them in 1982, and additional ones later. The Popes are not our friends or benefactors. The former Pope Benedict (Cardinal Ratzinger) showed his contempt for the Orthodox Church, when he called it “static and petrified”. He also has made it clear that the Orthodox Church has everything – except ME!
In 1993, the Balamond agreement, established a soul-destroying heresy, that there was not one but two holy catholic and apostolic churches, and O the folly, they now address the Papacy as a sister church. Pope calls for unity of the two churches. Why? Why does the Pope want unity? Because “unity” means commorating the supreme pontiff, and thus domination. ThePapacy makes it clear; that they will not repent and return to Orthodoxy.
The meetings of the Orthodox with the Roman Catholics were suspended for six years, from 2000 to 2006. This was over the single thing, that only subject that should be mentioned, for it is the chief dogma of the Papacy, and the foundation upon which it is built. It is this: To be a member of the papacy one must confess that the Pope is head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and alone among the human race – is infallible. The Papists went ballistic when this subject was brought up. They are not the least bit interested in returning to truth, but only seek domination over Orthodoxy, and its treasures of true faith, hope and love.
The Pope, is established as being alone in charge, and is willing to unite with the Orthodox when they submit by commemorating him as the Vicar and voice of Christ over the whole Church. How easily are these Orthodox deceived who dialogue with them as though they were the Church! When you recognize them as the church O foolish ones, you are establishing that either there are two Christs, or that Christ has two bodies, two churches, establishing two baptisms, two Eucharists, two priesthoods - a denial of our Creed and sacred truth! Union of Orthodoxy or even association of Orthodoxy with the papacy is forbidden and disastrous. St Paul makes it clear: "A man that is a heretic, admonish him once or twice, and after have nothing to do with him, knowing that he is self-condemned."
Just look at his titles to see who he claims to be. He is not one of us sinful human beings, not a brother of many bishops, but is superior to all. He offers himself as first as the Vicar of the absent Christ. These are some titles:
“Vicar of Jesus Christ,
Successor of the Prince of the Apostles,
Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church,
Primate of Italy,
Archbishop and metropolitan of the Roman province
Sovereign of Vatican City-State,
Servant of the Servants of God.”
Those who believe falsehoods are not pleasing to Christ, who did not make the Pope His successor on earth. He did not say: This is my beloved Disciple Peter, listen to him and follow him. The words of Christ establish who will teach us, guide us into all truth, comfort us and bring us to salvation. No man could possible do this, and for this reason Christ said I will send you the Spirit, and He will be your Comforter and Guide. I will remain as your Head for: “Lo, I am with you to the close of the ages.”