UOC hierarch: Impossible to reconcile with non-repentant dissenters
Metropolitan Theodore (Gayun) of Kamyanets-Podilsky and Horodok shared his thoughts on the current crisis of the unity of Orthodoxy.
It is impossible to reconcile with the non-Orthodox and fallen away from the Church without their repentance and at the same time preserve the Сhurch’s doctrine intact.
The chairman of the Church Court of the UOC, a permanent member of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Theodore (Gayun) of Kamyanets-Podilsky and Horodok, wrote about this in an article published on the website of the Kamyanets-Podilsky Eparchy of the UOC.
The hierarch noted that one of the factors that created conditions for the crisis of the unity of the Church is a distorted understanding of theology in the modern world, which also leads to a distorted understanding of the fundamental foundations of Christianity, and "this is well illustrated by the modern ecumenical movement".
According to the UOC hierarch, if earlier “a compromise with lies, consisting in heresy” was imposed on the Church from outside, “today we observe such ecumenical processes within the Holy Church or in other denominations, initiated by hierarchs and theologians who base their missionary activities on theological arguments alien to the Tradition of the Church and the teachings of the Holy Fathers”.
“Obviously, this has created certain conditions for the modern crisis of Orthodoxy, which arises, first of all, from a misunderstanding of the nature of the Church of Christ and the introduction into the Church of worldly instruments for solving the problem of unity,” noted Metropolitan Theodore. "In this case, preference is given to external unity, provided by human efforts, while internal unity is the result of Divine action and being in grace, imparting vitality to this unity."
The hierarch pointed out that the supporters of the "new ecclesiology" and modern ecumenists in their striving to "promote modernist theories that destroy the inner unity of Orthodoxy" are trying to hide behind such concepts as oikonomia and Christian love. However, he noted, “adherents of this view for some reason do not want to see that the Church applies oikonomia only in relation to a repentant sinner but not to an unrepentant apostate,” and “replacing rules with oikonomia means substituting the essence of things, and in this case more can be said – it means bringing confusion and division into the Church."
“It is impossible to achieve reconciliation with the non-Orthodox and fallen away from the Church without their repentance and at the same time preserve the teaching of the Church intact,” he added. <...> In attempts to unite with the apostates, using human tools, the illusion may arise that one should not worry about inner unity in this case, since it is unshakable. But this is a huge delusion, which is shown to us by the history and recent events associated with the Council of Crete, the granting of autocephaly to the OCU by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as the non-canonical recognition of this autocephaly by individual primates of the Local Churches."
Metropolitan Theodore emphasized that unity, first of all, is the unity in Christ and with the whole Church, not with some chosen part of it, and “it is based not on false theological, humanistic, national views and personal preferences, but only on Christ".
“Efforts in the process of unification should be aimed not at achieving the dominance of someone over others, not at gaining power in the Church, but at achieving unity in Christ, which implies abiding in Truth and Love. All other paths are destructive," resumed the Metropolitan of Kamyanets-Podilsky and Horodok.
As reported earlier, during one of the ecumenical prayers, the head of the Phanar called other religions "the wealth of the sons of God".