Groundless and dangerous are the theological dialogues
Letter by: Mr. Paul Savvidis, Theologian.
To the obvious and unrepentant ones, apart from the unnecessary and foolish continuous theological and ecclesiastic dialogues, a clear argument is made of the Papist and Orthodox views below and in fact manifested, the bare faced effort to impose the papist falsehoods.
I believe that the whole process starts not from one simple false theological ecclesiastic basis but from a groundless rationale of an ecclesiastic nature. It is an undeniable truth that the papist theologians never begin the theological dealings with sincere intentions for a complete agreement of compliance on the pure, indissoluble, inseparable and non negotiable positions of the mutual faith of the first eight centuries, of the seven ecumenical Synods until the unlucky day of the 20th July 1054.
All the subsequent convulsive actions of the papists aim at the creation or rather the duel to impress that they wish and are interested in the "union" which they themselves infringed upon and did everything towards the non-union since the omnipotence of a worldly and sole leader ensured fully the essentials for life to the obedient- ‘ferro iniqe" always to the disadvantage of the Orthodox people. The unpleasant historical reference to early and contemporary events cry aloud about the word of truth.
We now come to the essence of our topic. Our holy bishops, the presbyters, theologians and all those who take part- to whom were sent reasonable questions on past roaring improprieties- they know very well, or even faintly, that the Church comes together and is present during the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist. And in return, the Divine Eucharist accordingly unites her members to her Lifegiving Head, Lord Jesus Christ in such a way that to each of us the mystery of the Church is realized, that which Saint Chrysostom so characteristically notes, "We and Christ are one". Heading this Eucharistic Congregation "of the immortals", of the people of God, the head of the local Church, is the Bishop (where there is a Bishop, there is the Church) according to the Godbearing and apostolic Father Ignatios, but in his place also the Presbyter, namely the Priest.
The question that is directed to all those involved in the theological dialogue, who willingly or unwillingly missed the mark but who also co-traded with improper papist positions (Balamand agreement, Ravenna etc) can they assure us in an Orthodox and patristic way that the same Mystery of the Divine Eucharist exists and is officiated in Papism and is wholly valid? Even if we accept with impunity the answer YES, then naively and a lot more fruitlessly we "run and fail" to convince the Orthodox and the heterodox to unite since we are exactly of the same Holy Chalice which is also the sign of Union. To what purpose all this continuous theological and ecclesiastic upheaval of so many centuries? It is finally time to hasten with "jubilant feet and burning heart" to exchange the most desired embrace of love! Proper their priesthood, therefore proper also their mysteries.....
Here however we arrived at the Lydian rock of the problem and of our intense Orthodox puzzlement. We the Orthodox, clerics and lay people, believe, confess and declare in all directions "Urbi et Orbi" the ageless words of Saint Cyprianos "outside the Church, there is no salvation"! For in the Church belong the mysteries, the action of the divine Grace, the asceticism and theosis.
But oh nave papists since you do not have a church; you do not have priesthood or valid mysteries (since for you the divine Eucharist is a carrier ....... of germs and you do not offer it to your faithful!) towards what purpose all your eagerness for conferences, dialogues and sensational battles? Is it not enough that you have the visible representative (Vicar) of Christ, in the monstrosity - the Nation of the Vatican?!
Is it not a least indication of lack of fear of God and impudence to maintain that you are a "Church" and at the same time refer to us, the Orthodox, as "deceived brothers" when you cannot show us one saint, martyr or miracle worker, after your unilateral and deliberate departure from the fold of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? You who did not hesitate to downgrade to the point of degrading our magnificent and mutual saints such as Saint George, Saint Barbara and so many other just because they were easterners? I do not wish to be swept away to your slippery slope....
Do you have any blessed Elders with foresight and clear sighted you could point to us, such as the Paisioses, Jameses, Porphyrioses or other speculative souls hidden in the mountains and caves and "cavities of the earth" who have become poles of attraction and admired by so many deteriorated, aching and wounded souls?
Oh papists and all you Orthodox who take part in the conferences, you all well know that we have an amazing inter communion of only Orthodox holy churches in many same faith lands? Thus, Saint Nektarios of Egina travels to Russia and performs the mysteries (!), while Saint Seraphim of Sarov brings together thousands of faithful in Attica, Saint Luke the Physician, Archbishop of Crimea, performs moving miracles in our Country! Truly does the proud Rome, the nation of the Vatican, have to day something corresponding to offer us? Where and who are your saints "corrupted" or not who are miracle workers that the Orthodox may venerate them? Or perhaps is it without reason the three full bodied saints of the Ionion and the Lady Faneromeni are present there, as guarding sentries and protectors from the "western crest" and from the papist absolutism? Could you call your "priest" to make the holy water without salt- and remain unaffected from the corruption of time, or to cite exorcisms on a demoniac and him asking for an Orthodox priest because only he has the Grace of the mystery of Priesthood? The questions must seem to you overly na¨ve but they nevertheless remain unanswered? And about the Holy Light what is your position? And why does it only happens with the Orthodox?
Is the truth not crystal clear that you use an ambiguous language at the theological dialogues that reminds more of tough negotiations for the achievement of more diplomatic objectives and positions? How could you convince us of your sincere and untainted love when on the occasion of the illumined Elder Paisios was asked about the visit of the blessed Patriarch Demetrios to the Vatican with the familiar compliments and common prayers, replied "He was deceived"! How many more testimonies do we need? This is how you acted and will always continue to act.
One other question is directed to those responsible for the selection of the persons for the Orthodox representation. We believe that many occasions not only they do not uphold the word of truth but also sign articles which cry aloud that they contravene pure Orthodox patristic positions. They are neither better nor more qualified. A manifested ecumenical intention, an unprocurable Christianity, an unstable tendency at balancing of the truth and one similar division of the truth in all its twists and turns and selected parts. And at the end of all the deliberations naturally the "god pouring grace did not breathe" but they agreed "to an agreement badly agreed upon"!
On the lips of the pious people of God, the defender of the Orthodox dogma that under no occasion they can be - according to the ever memorable and champion struggler of Orthodoxy professor Mouratodis- "one irresolute, pathetic and externally propelled mass" exists the bitter and often the most bitter complaint, why at those conferences that are called, no matter how they are called, there do not take part people of theological, patristic and of fighting stature from the venerable Hierarchy of Greece? The mention of certain names will clash with their mediocrity. In the garden of our Most Holy Mary could it be possible that there do not exist holy and illumined personalities whose account and testimony of the theological truth is a fruit of purely painful and intense prayers and repentance? Could it be possible that our schools are lacking personalities of Teachers in action and worth who teach and transfuse the pure patristic spirit and the deposition of the greatly honourable Truth, which is the guarantee of the unchanging orthodox teaching? And finally the Orthodox Hierapostolic Brotherhoods do they not have eminent theological personalities whose both oral and especially written word is the guarantee of Orthodoxy and together the heavy artillery of our Church against all sorts of heretical teachings?
Unfortunately most of those who participate are called "Legionaires" namely those who are resident abroad, who are deeply indoctrinated or better grafted by the intense worldly spirit of the West and that is why their theological armor is nowhere to be found, with no backbone and mostly "graceless" and not seldom with negotiated heretical solutions- positions. The testimony and the submission of their written articles, cry for the word of truth! Not few times in their worldly circles what counts for them is not the ascetic spirituality of Orthodoxy, but the "appearance" or rather their civil image, the exterior picture which is backed by titles and civil and philanthropic works!
They are masters of dialogue, inexcusable luxury and much more wasted time for us to try through this type of meetings to convince the inconvincible papists about the treasures of our Church and the correctness of our dogmas. The Union, may I immediately correct, namely the return of the heretics to the Orthodox Church, can happen through contrition, with sincere tears of repentance and confession and above all by the traditional, pure and as such valid Baptism. Everything else is from the evil one.....
The last and most compassionate word is directed with great respect as much to the venerable head as to the Hierarchy of our Most Holy and Martyric Cyprus. Why, honourable fathers so much preparation, so much zeal for one more ecumenical conference- dialogue on your sanctified island? Could it be that the present Attila did not have as ancestor the other "civilized" Frankish Attila that not only did he oppress your island but unblushingly devasted and "sacrificed" with his inhuman bestialities - ferociously and with unabated appetite? Perhaps you should be reminded of the truth when the thirteen holy martyrs of Kantara of Nicosia (Lefkosia) rise from their tombs?
Truly you know of the many steps of the papists towards all of the international organizations with intense protests and balloting resolutions for the invasion of Attila, and what about their results? When did the "Christian" west exert influence on the old and sinful Albion to avert the hangings of the fighters of EOKA? I fear that perhaps like the pope who had sent a disgusting congratulatory telegraph to Kemal Ataturk on the slaughter of the Orthodox population of Smyrna, perhaps again their guilty silence secretly or openly, God knows, contributes to the freeze of the presently existing situation?
And the final word. The Dialogues are rather cosmetic and social meetings- according to the lay expression in other words "to love each other" with the corresponding excessive compliments, the competing bids for the most expensive gifts and the luxurious dinners, the hotel comforts. Truly, perhaps the hospitality of an austere Monastery at least for the Orthodox representatives with some "frugal abundance" would have been the prudent place? And in the present economic crisis how many open wounds could have been patched up if this fruitless and provocative extravagance was invested on families that live at the limits of morbid starvation?
To be sincere and honest with ourselves, the great losers will be the Orthodox who in knowledge or ignorance bargain or compromise positions-eternal truths and imperishable. Having won,the papists who with their known time wasting evasions and tricks, try to convince and pass their obvious anti-ecclesiasticism for "ecclesiology".
In this chaotic impasse and religious syncretism which is the consequence but also the continuation of an immoral morality which completely nibbles all the spiritual vitality of the land and creates an atrocious hell, sometime sooner or later, like charmingly Elder Paisios used to repeat "The Spiritual Laws shall also work". Namely, all the entangled parts and the interlaced self interests "will pay the price" painfully on a personal or even social level for all those mostly provocative, ecumenistic fiestas.
Nothing has been lost yet. Glory be to God, there is still adequate time to reverse things through repentance. The Orthodox Church always lived and lives the miracle of the return of the "deceived" and their re-gathering into her Fold.
But all our own who participate in the theological conferences let them know "full well" that the "last word" of all the decisions of a theological mixing of Orthodox and papist "belongs to the people of God" which is again ready but also mature to respond with the timeless word of Joseph Bryenios, "we shall not deny you our friend Orthodoxy".
Let the papists also hear these.
The present article is also part of the signing of the "Confession of Faith"
Teacher of Theology, 5th Gymnasium of Veria