Monday, 5 October 2009

Two reality checks for ecumenism

There has been much talk of immanent reunion between Rome and Orthodoxy on some of the blogs, and there are also those in England who still believe that 'reunion' is still possible between what remains of the Anglican 'communion' and the Holy See. But the two following articles courtesy of Rorate Caeli and Fr. Dwight Longenecker should bring some of these professional ecumenists to their senses.

The first is an extract from a letter of Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, the Ecumenical Patriarchate's most prominent exponent of ecumenical dialogue to the Metropolitans of the Orthodox Church of Greece, denouncing the vehement opposition within that Church to dialogue with Rome:

3. It is being propagated very falsely and conspiringly that the signing of the union of the Churches is imminent! A professor emeritus of Theology, who is well known for his ill-will towards my person, had visited a Hierarch of the Church of Greece and had told him that he knew with certainty (!) that the union had already been signed (in Ravenna!) and that the relative announcement was a matter of time!!! Clergy and laity have approached me and asked me if it is true that the union is to be signed in Cyprus, in October!

Obviously, a feeling of unrest is being attempted among the people of God through this behaviour, with unpredictable consequences for the unity of the Church. However, those who are disseminating these things are fully aware (as long as they have not been blinded by empathy, fanaticism or a mania for self-projection), firstly, that the ongoing theological Dialogue has yet to span an extremely long course, because the theological differences that have accumulated during the one thousand years of division are many; and secondly, that the Committee for the Dialogue is entirely unqualified for the "signing" of a union, given that this right belongs to the Synods of the Churches.

Therefore, why all the misinformation? Can't the disseminators of these false "updates" think of what the consequences will be for the unity of the Church? «He who agitates (God's people) shall bear the blame, whoever he may be» (Galatians 5:10)

The second from Fr. Dwight is more pithy, concerning reports that the queen is extremely concerned (and rightly so) about the state the Church of England has fallen into:

Let's face it, the Church of England is never going to roll over and submit to the Holy Father, but it would be rather nice if a conservative group were to split off, join the Catholics and have Her Majesty come long for the ride. She could repudiate her role as the head of the Church of England, and the Anglicans could elect Elton John to take her place. That way they could have everything they really want: homosexual marriage and an old English queen as the head of their religion.

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