The voice of Orthodoxy
For decades now the
pan-heresy of Ecumenism infects the Orthodox faith and life. The
shepherds, the guardians of the flock who should be alert and chase
away the wolves of the papist and protestant heresies, many of them
keep silent and hide, either out of fear and cowardice or so that they
may not fall in disfavour of the powerful, while others have succumbed
to the heresies and like wolves in sheepskins spiritually maul the
flock. Many presbyters and monks assumed the protection of the faith
but so also the flock itself, with spectacular candour. It is not
however the first time in the history of the Church that the flock
proved more prudent than its shepherds, being invisibly shepherded by
the chief shepherd, Christ, who by the way installed the shepherds, not
to devour but to protect the flock, not to usurp the hierarchal grace
for their benefit but to even sacrifice their life, as He did for the
salvation of the sheep. The good shepherd does not leave when he sees
the wolf approaching, and even more so he does not join the wolves but
"lays down his life for the sheep".
The sacrificial prototype of the Great Shepherd Christ, was followed by the Apostles and the Holy Church Fathers, who were expended and martyred either struggling against the heresies of their time, or against internal distortions and forgeries of the evangelical ascetic ethos, like the great Holy Father and Teacher John Chrysostom, whom this year we feast the 1600th year of his martyric and heroic repose on his way to exile (407-2007).
This teaching of the holy bishops, strugglers and early fighters of the faith was never interrupted in the two thousand year march of the Church to conspicuously establish that there is an uninterrupted apostolic succession, not only in the positions and administration, but especially in the faith and life as we sing in the dismissal of the holy hieromartyrs. "Becoming shareholders of the ways and successors to the Apostolic thrones, the task you found, oh God inspired, to God beholding ascent. For this reason you rightly upheld the truth and for the faith you struggled by the shedding of your blood hieromartyr....."
Following the natural, due to old age, silence of metropolitan Augustine Kontioti of Florina, in this apostolic and patristic nature of our times, we all wonder of the almost complete absence of courageous and activist bishops. There is no Kontiotis. When would at last be heard a bold, strong and loud voice of Orthodoxy, to scare the croaking frogs in the stagnant disease bearing waters of the Ecumenical heresy? There were of course some voices of a few bishops, that supported and fed the hope of becoming more vociferous, so that they could even be heard by the wolves and cause them to flee and by the sheep to become encouraged. The warm and hearty prayers of thousands of faithful to change the climate of silence and fear under which "fear overshadowed everything and squashed by slavery", was heard by God. The impossible He makes possible, even if it seems humanly impossible the turn over of conditions. "The arrow of the strong weakened and the sick were limited in strength". The powerful weakened but it was preordained by God that a loud Orthodox voice of an even young bishop be heard. The metropolitan of Piraeus, most reverend Seraphim, amazed us and pleased us all with everything he wrote and reported to archimandrite Marko Manoli, to the unshakeable as well fighter of Orthodoxy, a spiritual and elder of the "Panhellenic Orthodox Union" who is also the spiritual overseer of the "Orthodox Press". Whatever he writes and declares is the Faith, the voice, the teaching of the Holy Fathers and the self-consciousness of the Church.
He accepts and declares that "the mixing crucible of the Ecumenism as expressed today by the World Council of the so called Churches as well as of the diverse national fora, deceives and debases the Christian revelation and makes worldly the message of salvation, rendering it into a morality deprived of life, grace and power of God. In the final end this effort is one more hopeless attempt by the dragon of the abyss to neutralize the crucifixion and resurrection message of life of the Apostolic Catholic Church". The blended pan-heresy is Ecumenism, the churches of the World Council are called churches when they are not, showing that all the ecumenical effort springs from the devil. Being Seraphimic, angelic is the opposition to the works of darkness.
Apostolic and patristic, powerful and true are all the declarations of the powerful voice of the Orthodox bishop about the heresy of Papism. He writes that having separated from the Church it (Papism) lost the divine grace, causing it to fall into multiple heresies, bringing about the adulteration and disfigurement of Christianity thus becoming the cause and foundation of atheism in Europe. The metropolitan forestalls the papist declaration of July, that the papist "church" is the only authentic church and asserts that this applies only to the Orthodox Church and for the first time in the last few years, from the mouth of an Orthodox bishop our departure from the theological dialogues with the ecumenical pan-heresy is recommended.
He writes: "Humbly, I am of the opinion that our mother, the Holy Orthodox Church, as the only true and historically continuous and undivided Church, ought to declare "urbi et orbi" the truth and surety of her self-consciousness through her documented positions and texts. Following this, she should depart from the said dialogues that provide an alibi unfortunately to the leaders and their in heresy subordinates and those that live under the shadow of death, and invite them through words and deeds and evangelical living so that those outside the salvific faith return to the common millennium apostolically delivered truth while the others may rediscover the salvation and the conquering of death through the resurrection, the most valuable blessing that emanates from our Holy Tradition.
Such salvific declaration and salvific solution which if adopted and acted upon by the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece will heal the wound of the Old Calendarism, will quieten the strugglers in the progress of the ship of the Church and in the proper understanding of the bishops and make the heterodox to think hard on their salvation.
We appreciate that this voice
was so powerful that the losses that Papism would have suffered would
have been so many by the suggested change of direction of the Church of
Greece on ecumenism, that the Pope went on to declare immediately that
Papism is the only authentic Church and that the Orthodox Churches had
some elements of ecclesiology but were lacking, defective and deficient
because they do not recognize the supremacy of the Pope, and as a
result they do not offer salvation. The reflection and importance of
the positions of the Metropolitan of Piraeus also indicate that even
the papists in Greece were disturbed, who through their "catholic"
bishop of Syros, Fransiscan Papamanoli, they tried through a letter by
the latter, to the metropolitan of Piraeus, to express their sadness
and to set aside what was written. This letter is very interesting
because it exposes the papist thinking and the unrepentance of the
heretics. Much more interesting though is the reply of the metropolitan
of Piraeus to the papist "bishop" in which with apostolic and patristic
frankness calls papism as just a "religious community" that has
absolutely no relationship with the Church of Christ due to her
numerous heresies and deceits, in a personal as well as in a brotherly
level, points out that he is not a bishop of the church but just a
"spiritual in charge of the schismatic and heretic practicing faithful
of your community", and finally after he most successfully refuted all
his claims he advises him to return to the Orthodox Catholic Church.
"In closing I ask your word that you will leave the Latin false faith
and you will return to the Undivided Catholic Church of the first
thousand years, the Faith, Theology, Asceticism, Spirituality,
Governance, Truth and Tradition of which unchanged declares through the
ages her historic continuity, the Orthodox Catholic Church. Expel from
your eyes the dimness of the thousand years errant life and rejoin the
One Holy Apostolic and Indivisible Church of which the "gates of Hades
will not overcome" that you may return to the One and Only Body of
Christ and find mercy and grace".
Has a more authentic, patristic, daring and courageous voice been heard by anyone in the last decades from a bishop? Many clerics and monastics lately are thinking of directing the bishops through an article to assume their responsibility and decide through a synod whether Papism is a Church or a heresy, if Ecumenism is justified ecclesiologically and to ask them for the Church of Greece to depart from the Ecumenical Council of the so called churches. The text has already been composed by the metropolitan of Piraeus. We place our signature with pleasure together with the hands of thousands of clerics, monastics and laity, and we believe between them will be many bishops. We shall wait for the synodic confirmation of the indisputable and truly Orthodox positions that it will express. Whichever way though, we "are pleased and are joyful" because we have Orthodox bishops, and are not without them as the Ecumenists accuse us. They are without bishops, because they do not have true, Orthodox bishops. We thank and glorify the Trinitarian God for bringing forth new confessors of faith and we repeat the supplication of the divine liturgy, "First remember Lord the bishop of Piraeus Seraphim, to whom grant Your holy churches in peace, keep him safe, honourable, in health and long life and that he may rightly uphold the word of Your truth".