THE “COUNCIL” OF CRETE (2016)

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Δημοσιεύουμε την παρούσα εργασία που αφορά την Ψευδοσύνοδο της Κρήτης, για τους αγγλόφωνους αδελφούς μας. Ευχαριστούμε την πνευματική μας αδελφή, που κοπίασε για να φέρει σε πέρας τη συγγραφή του άρθρου αυτού.

— Σχολιασμός katanixi.gr —

Informational Pamphlet Regarding Its Resolutions
*To Be Distributed to Individuals*
December 2, 2017

[A note to the reader: This pamphlet was issued by the Synaxis of Orthodox Cretans with the help of members of the Holy Metropolis of Florina, Prespes and Eordaia. Its purpose is twofold: (1) First, to inform the Orthodox people about the nature of the decisions of the “Council” of Crete, and (2) second, to refute the claim that the resolutions of this “Council” are Orthodox. Regrettably, the Holy Synod of Greece issued a misleading pamphlet in January 2017, entitled “To the Laypeople: Regarding the Holy and Great Council of Crete”. This pamphlet, falsely confirming that the “Council” of Crete and its decisions are Orthodox, was distributed widely to the faithful in churches throughout Greece. For the full text of the present pamphlet in Greek, go to <kantiotis.blogspot.gr> or to <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D_yz_y5X0MEyGdZKULcqkX4Rn-JkSICn/view>.]

The “Holy and Great Council”

That Wounded Gravely the Body of the Orthodox Church

Open Letter to the Laypeople

  1. The “Pan-Orthodox” Council of Crete Grafted the Heresy of Ecumenism into the Body of the Orthodox Church 

Throughout the history of the Orthodox Church, all canonized Pan-Orthodox Councils were convened in order to condemn heresies. In June 2016, however, for the first time in the history of the Orthodox Church, a “Council” was convened not to denounce a heresy but to endorse the heresy of Ecumenism that encompasses all previously condemned heresies, as proven by the fact that the word “heresy” is nowhere to be found in the proceedings of the “Holy and Great Council”.

In order to achieve its goals, this “Council” introduced novel ideas, in line with Western Christianity but incompatible with Orthodox theology and the Tradition of the Church. To begin with, it damaged the synodical form of government of the Orthodox Church in three major ways: (1) For the first time in the history of the Church, only a minority of Orthodox bishops, and not all of them, were allowed to attend the Pan-Orthodox “Council”. Only delegations of bishops from the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches were admitted at the meetings, thus rendering the “Council” of Crete a synod of Primates and representatives. (2) Whereas as a rule every bishop has a vote at such Councils, at the “Council” of Crete the right to vote was restricted de facto only to the Primates of the Orthodox Churches in attendance and that vote did not always represent the majority opinion. For example, in the delegation of the Serbian Church, 17 out of the 25 bishops voted against the unorthodox decisions of the pseudo-Council, yet, the votes of the majority were ignored and, in the end, only the favorable vote of the Serbian Patriarch Irineos was counted. It is also noteworthy that only 10 out of the 14 Orthodox Autocephalous Churches attended the “Council” of Crete and, as a result, its decisions were ultimately ratified only by the votes of ten (10) Primates, not all fourteen (14) of them

This practice departed completely from practices in all previous Councils. For example, at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held at Chalcedon in Asia Minor in the 5th century AD, despite the primitive means of transportation at the time, 630 bishops were in attendance. In addition, each one of these 630 bishops had a vote, each one cast his vote, and each vote counted. By contrast, despite the advanced means of transportation and the telecommunication available in the 21st century, the “Council” of Crete was attended only by 156 bishops. Even then, most of these bishops proved to be mere “ornamental attendants,” since only the votes of the 10 Primates of the 10 Autocephalous Churches counted in the end

The changes imposed on the traditional voting procedures at the “Council” of Crete not only ensured the passing of its resolutions but also reflect in effect the ecumenist and heretical principle of “Primacy” (Πρωτείο). By the precedent established at this “Council”, the Primates of the Autocephalous Churches are no longer “First among Equals” (where all bishops and Primates have one vote, as it was the rule for the past 2,000 years in the Orthodox Church), but “First without Equals,” meaning that Primates are superior to all other hierarchs in the Church, since their vote can supersede the vote of the majority of the other bishops. 

Another unconventional effect of the “Council” is that it established the infallibility of its decisions, as shown by the attempt to impose the decisions of a minority on a dissenting majority. The four Orthodox Patriarchates that abstained from the “Council” (those of Russia, Antioch, Bulgaria and Georgia) represent the 2/3 of the Orthodox Christian population worldwide, and, consequently, the “Council” of Crete represented only 1/3 of Orthodox Christians. Yet, the Patriarchate of Constantinople wishes to impose the resolutions of the “Council” on the whole Body of the Orthodox Church, on the basis of one of its articles that establishes the infallibility of its decisions.

On account of these technical deviations from established tradition alone, several expert theologians argue that the “Council” of Crete was neither “Holy” nor “Great” nor even a “Council”. This is the conclusion reached after careful analysis of its practices by various Metropolitans, including Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, Seraphim of Piraeus, and Athanasios of Lemesos [Limassol], as well as by professors of theology, such as Professor Demetrios Tselengidis, Fr. Theodoros Zisis, Fr. Georgios Metallinos, and others. 

Below there is a brief presentation of five of the most egregious dogmatic errors in the resolutions of the “Council” that help classify it as one of the Robber Councils of the Orthodox Church. 

  1. Recognizing all heresies as “Churches”

The “Council” of Crete recognizes all heterodox communities as “Churches,” thus invalidating the Orthodox Creed, where we confess our faith in “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,” which is only the Orthodox Church. On account of this very point, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria rejected the “Council” of Crete as heretical, stating the following: 

“In paragraphs 6, 16, and 20 is recognized the “historical designation” of “other, not in communion with us, heterodox Christian churches and confessions,” despite that paragraph 1 asserts otherwise, namely, that no heretical or schismatic community can be called “Church.” The presence of a multitude of churches is unacceptable, according to the dogmas and canons of the Orthodox Church… With regards to the search for the “lost unity of all Christians” expressed and asserted in paragraph 5, we deem this unacceptable and inadmissible, inasmuch as the Orthodox Church never lost its internal unity despite heresies and schisms which represent a breaking away from the Body of the Church, by which the Body does not lose its initial ontological integrity, which consists in the ontological indivisibility of Christ’s Hypostasis”.

  1. Accepting the heretical resolutions of the World Council of Churches (WCC) 

The conciliar texts of the “Council” of Crete refer extensively and with great enthusiasm to the WCC and its contribution to the Ecumenical Movement. Yet, the texts of the WCC destroy the Orthodox ecclesiology by 1) extending ecclesiological status to all heretical communities; 2) approving their “sacraments”, the “baptism” and the “priesthood”; and 3) aligning the Orthodox Church with the 400 heretical communities that participate in the WCC. It suffices to cite only one statement from the WCC agreement issued at Porto Alegre, Brazil (2006), to show its unorthodox theology: “To maintain our Catholic identity, we must be in communion with all these Churches”, meaning that the Orthodox must also commune with all these other communities that have been condemned as heretical, in order to maintain our identity and be part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! 

Furthermore, in the conciliar texts of Crete the dogmatic deviations of the heterodox are described as “different expressions of the same faith and variations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This definition, an outright blasphemy, first appeared in the WCC agreement of Porto Alegre (2006), which, sadly, was signed by the Orthodox delegations participating in the WCC. For this reason, St. Justin Popovich proclaims that the mere participation of the Orthodox Church in the WCC constitutes “unprecedented treason”. Unfortunately, only the Orthodox Patriarchates of Georgia and Bulgaria do not participate in the WCC. 

  1. Endorsing the interfaith “theological dialogues” 

The conciliar texts of the “Council” of Crete extol the “theological (interfaith) dialogues” with various heretics (Papists, Monophysites, Anglicans and others) that are carried out under the auspices of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but betray the Orthodox faith. Although the “Council” of Crete claims that these dialogues are a means of Orthodox confession to the heterodox, the agreements issued at these dialogues are heretical and not Orthodox. Below there are just three of the many examples of heretical agreements signed by Orthodox representatives at these “theological dialogues”:

  • Chambezy, Switzerland (1990): The dogma of Monophysitism, which was condemned by the Fourth Ecumenical Council as heretical, was accepted as canonical and was granted ecclesiology (i.e. the status of an Orthodox Church). 
  • Balamand, Lebanon (1993): Roman Catholicism was granted Apostolic succession and its sacraments were recognized as having the power to save. In addition, the Uniate community (or Eastern Catholicism) was pardoned and its condemnation as the Trojan Horse of Roman-Catholicism (accused for its deceptive character and its forceful conversion of impoverished Orthodox populations in Eastern Europe to Catholicism) was lifted.  
  • Ravenna, Itally (2007):  The Orthodox delegates consented that during the first 1000 years of the Church the bishop of Rome had supposedly “Primacy” over the other Patriarchates.

For these reasons, the Patriarchate of Georgia criticized the “Council” of Crete and rejected it, stating: “The conciliar texts of Crete should reflect the teaching of the Orthodox Church. Yet, this is not the case with this group of texts”.

  1. Consenting to the “Baptismal Theology”

The conciliar texts of Crete accept de facto the Protestant invention of “baptismal theology”, which aids the ecumenist plan for the irregular unification of the various Christian “branches”. At the “Council”, the Church of Greece proposed an amendment that would correct the error of the texts and their “baptismal theology” by adding the following statement: “When a priest receives a heterodox into the Body of the Church only by Chrismation for the sake of ecclesiastical economy, this action does not mean that the Orthodox Church accepts their baptism.” However, the “Council” rejected this amendment, showing de facto that it accepts the “baptisms” of all the heterodox as valid sacraments. 

  1. Consenting to the “Branch Theory”

The “Council” accepted also the Protestant “Branch Theory”, according to which the Church of Christ is a tree with many branches, one of which is the Orthodox Church, another is the Papist, another the Protestant, etc. On account of the Branch Theory, the “Council” rejected another proposal by the Church of Greece that aimed at closing this loophole and keeping heretical beliefs from entering Orthodox theology. 

2. “Council” Workings Behind the Scenes

Let us consider now some actions that took place behind the scenes during the “Council”. First of all, we must note that when the 80 members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece met in May 2016 in anticipation of the “Pan-Orthodox” Council of Crete, they decided that under no circumstances would they accept the ecumenist articles of the pre-conciliar texts and requested certain amendments. Yet, during the “Council”, the 25 members of the Greek delegation came under tremendous pressure to give up their demand for amendments; in the end, yielding to the pressure, they accepted the conciliar texts as they were. 

  1. Pressure and compromises

One of the means by which the “Council” exerted undue pressure on the Greek delegation was the status of the “New Lands”. Up until the beginning of the “Great and Holy Council” in June 2016, the Patriarchate of Constantinople threatened to reclaim from the Church of Greece the administration of the dioceses of the New Lands, including Epirus, Macedonia and Western Thrace, together with the islands of northern and eastern Aegean, which are part of its canonical territory but, for practical reasons, are administered by the Church of Greece. This, obviously, caused great consternation to the Church of Greece. Surprisingly, however, at the start of the “Council” Patriarch Bartholomew announced that he no longer wished to take back the New Lands. It is our understanding that with this concession the Patriarch sent an unspoken yet clear, message to the bishops of the Church of Greece, implying that just as he did them a favor and dropped this matter, so did he expect them to withdraw their objections to the ecumenist articles of the Council.

Nevertheless, as soon as the “Council” was over and the Patriarchate got from the Greek delegation the compromise it was seeking, the Patriarch backtracked and during his visit to Orestiada (Greece) brought up again the matter of the New Lands, by referring to the Greek district of Thrace as “the mainland of the Patriarchate.” 

  1. Machinations and manipulations

Following the “Pan-Orthodox Council,” after much delay and hesitation, Archbishop Hieronymos II, Primate of the Church of Greece, convened the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece five months later, in November 2016. His goal, however, was to keep the hierarchs from rejecting the decisions of the “Council” and from asking the members of the delegation to explain why they had departed from the actions that the Holy Synod had authorized and accepted the conciliar texts without amendments. To thwart the opposition of the hierarchs, Hieronymos called the Holy Synod to an informative and not regulatory meeting, stating that they would meet “not to decide anything but simply to get an update”. In this way, he was able both to avoid a possible conflict with the hierarchs and to close the matter succinctly, with a two-hour-long and boring (but positive) presentation by the Metropolitan of Serres. 

  1. Confusing the laity

Regrettably, very few hierarchs complained about the irregularity of this procedure. The hopes of the laity that the Church of Greece would reject the heretical “Council” were crushed by an encyclical letter the Church hierarchs sent “To the Laypeople”, praising the “Holy and Great Council of Crete”. Issued by the 13-member Standing Holy Synod Committee, the encyclical, full of outrageous fabrications and praise of the “Orthodox Council”, was distributed to all the churches in Greece. That despicable document is proof that, in the end, all the bishops of Greece consented to the “Council’s” heretical views. It is a shame that Archbishop Hieronymos was allowed to manipulate the Holy Synod and do the work of the proponents of Ecumenism, who rewarded him generously for it.

  1. Altering the theology of the Church

As an indication of the inherently flawed character of this “Council” and its deviation from Orthodoxy, we will reference only the most preposterous, yet true episodes associated with the workings of the pseudo-Council of Crete, so that it may become abundantly clear that the hierarchs who support it must be defrocked: 

During one of the “Council” meetings, the traditional Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos, was carrying on a heated discussion over a theological point with John Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon and the greatest ecumenist theologian of the Patriarchate. Infuriated by Zizioulas’ ecumenist positions, Hierotheos cried out in exasperation, “You are altering the theology of the Church!” At that point, the Patriarch of Alexandria, Theodore, a known ecumenist, interrupted their conversation and scolded the two hierarchs for arguing over theological matters “when there are so many social problems [to solve].” 

  1. The “Hirelings”

Appalling as this incident may be, it is indicative of the type of strategies employed at the “Council” by the proponents of Ecumenism who attempted to confuse and sidetrack the discussions. Even more appalling, however, was the conduct of the other participants: Instead of protesting Theodore’s interruption and asking the poignant question, “if we cannot discuss theological matters at a “Pan-Orthodox” Council, when can we discuss them?” they congratulated Theodore and gave him a standing ovation! Some of them, “filled with admiration for his discernment”, went even farther and exclaimed: “Justly he is called ‘Judge of the Universe’! alluding to one of the many, meaningless honorary titles given to all Patriarchs of Alexandria: “The Thirteenth of the Apostles and Judge of the Universe”.

Considering that all the Greek delegation members, with the exception of the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos, voted for the heretical resolutions of the “Council,” the question is how these hierarchs can be related to Christ and His Church. The same question is raised also about the bishops who were not at the “Council” but either announced that they accept its resolutions or have not made any statements on the matter – to the Orthodox Christians, they are just as reprehensible, for the Lord himself has called the Shepherds who allow heretical views to pollute His Church “hirelings” (Jn 10:12).  

  1. The illumination of the Holy Spirit

The proponents of Ecumenism at Phanar have been preparing for the “Great and Holy Council” of Crete for the past sixty (60) years. During that time, they organized numerous “Pan-Orthodox Pre-Conciliar Conferences”, which led the Patriarchate of Constantinople to proclaim that it was preparing the “Eighth Ecumenical Council”. Despite all this, the actual “Council” in Crete lasted only for a week and the hierarchs showed up there merely to sign the pre-approved, pre-conciliar texts – which is why they accepted only few amendments. Be this as it may, their claim that “the Council met on the day of the Pentecost to have the illumination of the Holy Spirit” is an outright lie and a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, since the majority of the conciliar texts had been formulated and approved by committees of professors, theologians, and hierarchs that worked on them.

  1. Abolishing tradition and embracing perdition

When Elder Paisios (now Saint Paisios) heard the topics discussed at the “pre-conciliar conferences”, he became enraged and said: “They are abolishing tradition and embracing perdition! Do you realize how serious this situation is?” St. Justin Popovich had the same reaction; he was just as exasperated when informed of the discussions in the pre-conciliar committees. In a letter he sent to the Patriarchate of Serbia in 1971, he wrote that under no circumstances should this “Council” take place, because the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the main organizer, is no longer Orthodox. After calling Athenagoras, the [Ecumenical] Patriarch at the time, heretical, he added: “What else can anyone expect from such an “Ecumenical Council” other than misfortunes? Hence, I implore the Holy Synod [of Serbia] and pray that it abstain from the preparatory work for the “Council”, so as not to burden with this grave sin our Church and our people”.

  1. Endorsing the heretical “Council’s” resolutions is heresy

According to several theologians, the bishops who consent to the heretical resolutions of the “Council” (especially the one recognizing the heterodox communities as “Churches”) are just as culpable as those who voted for them, since the acceptance of heresy for a bishop is equivalent to teaching heresy. This point has been made by well-known theologians and academics, including Fr. Georgios Metallinos, Professor at the School of Theology at the University of Athens; and Fr. Theodoros Zisis, Professor Emeritus at the School of Theology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. 

On the other hand, the bishops who accept the “Council” as Orthodox justify their stance by claiming that the “Council” applied the term ‘Churches’ to heterodox communities only for “historical reasons”, merely recognizing their historical name as “Churches”, and does not intend to use it in a theological sense. Nevertheless, there is overwhelming proof that this claim is completely disingenuous. Below are seven pieces of evidence – just the tip of the iceberg:

  1. If what the bishops claim above was indeed the intention of the “Council”, it should have been stated clearly in the conciliar texts that the term “Church” is applied to heterodox communities of the West only for historical reasons and without any ecclesiological or theological meaning.
  2. That the “Council” actually wished to use the term “Churches” in a theological sense (and not just for historical reasons) is shown by its vehement rejection of the amendment proposed by the Church of Greece. When the Greek delegation proposed that “the phrase ‘Christian Churches’ be changed to ‘Christian Communities to avoid the theological conundrum, it was met with furious objections by the other “Council” members. The proposal was ultimately rejected on the basis of irrational, not theological, arguments. Unfortunately, Archbishop Hieronymos yielded to these objections and did not defend the charge given to him by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. As the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos revealed, “the members of [the Greek] delegation were subjected to inordinate psychological pressures and abuse” forcing them to change their position. As a result, “other proposals, with no theological foundation or reasonably orthodox views, were adopted, even by the archbishop of Athens, who ought to have stood by the charge of the Holy Synod of Greece”. 
  3. Another indication that in the conciliar texts the heterodox communities are considered “Churches” in a theological sense comes from Patriarch Bartholomew’s words: On the first day of the “Council”, Bartholomew who presided over the “Council”, thanked publicly “His All Holiness Pope Francis[for] praying to the Lord for the positive outcome of the “Council”. Since it is unprecedented in Orthodoxy that an Orthodox would thank a heretic for his prayers, it follows that the premise behind Bartholomew’s statement is that Roman Catholicism is not a heresy but a “Church” in its theological meaning. However, such an action was unfathomable at any of the previous Orthodox Councils. Can anyone imagine, for example, St. Alexander, who presided over the meetings of the First Ecumenical Council, reading a salutation from the heretic Arius to the Council members, and, then, thanking Arius publicly for his good wishes and prayers? 
  4. Another incident in 2015, shows that Pat. Bartholomew intends the term “Church” to be applied to heterodox communities in its theological meaning. It was the time when Bartholomew called a meeting of the “Synaxis of the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne” in preparation of the “Council” of Crete and invited the metropolitans of the “New Lands”, including North Greece. Incidentally, this invitation, however, was contrary to Church rules that forbid a bishop to belong simultaneously to two Councils, that of the Ecumenical Throne and the Church of Greece; normally, those metropolitans should have refused to attend the meeting, but most of them hurried to the Phanar’s calling. Besides this irregularity, the Patriarch announced at that meeting that the upcoming Pan-Orthodox Council could not be called Ecumenical because the Christians of the West could not participate in it, showing clearly that he considers their communities as “Churches”. This is so outrageous that, if the metropolitans of North Greece had any Orthodox convictions, they should have protested this statement vociferously! Since when does the Orthodox Church need the heretics in order to call an Ecumenical Council? In essence, therefore, the Patriarch’s statement proves that he does not believe that the Orthodox Church is the One True Church of Christ but that all other heretical communities constitute “Churches” as well. By his logic, the Second Ecumenical Council should not be called Ecumenical either, because the followers of Arius were cut off from the Church at the First Council and were not allowed to participate in the Second one. The same should be true for the Third Ecumenical Council, because the Second cut off the Macedonians (Pneumatomachi), and so on. 
  5. The presence of heterodox/heretics at the “Council” as observers (elevating them de facto from defendants to potential members) is another unprecedented practice in the history of the Church. If the heterodox are heretics and, as such, outside the Church, then, why were they invited to the “Council” as observers? This point was made unwittingly by Alberto Melloni, a Catholic academic, who admitted at an interview that “the Council was not threatened by the absence of the four Churches as much as it was threatened by the insistence of a group of zealots from the Church of Greece, who refused to permit the other Churches to be called “Churches”, including the Catholic one”. This proves how important it was for the Roman Catholics to preserve in the conciliar texts the wording regarding the “historical name” of the heterodox communities as ‘Churches’. The Pope’s reaction at the end of the “Council” is also a case in point. From inside the plane he was flying at the time, he issued a statement expressing his joy that with this “Council” “the first step was taken” (presumably for the irregular unification of the churches), adding: “I think that the outcome is positive. It’s like children: they first crawl and then walk”. 
  6. Some Greek theologians and Metropolitans have put forth a misleading argument to justify their support for the clause in the conciliar texts recognizing the heterodox communities as “Churches”. They claim that the use of this term is not objectionable, because several of our Saints have used this term in this way, such as St. Paisios the Athonite, St. Nectarios, and others. This, indeed, is the case and they have referred occasionally to heterodox communities as “churches”, but they did not really consider them as such in the theological sense, since they also called them heresies. For example, St. Paisios also called Roman Catholicism “Papism” and affirmed that it is the greatest enemy of Orthodoxy. Similarly, St. Nectarios, who uses the term “Roman Catholic Church”, also wrote a two-volume work against Catholicism and described it as “a dead body without Grace”, asserting that “the Popes are sinning greatly and will be punished in eternity”. If his judgment was wrong and his characterizations hurt unfairly “the sister Church of Rome” (as Patriarch Bartholomew calls it), then the Lord would not have graced him with the power to perform miracles. Therefore the question is, Do the ten (10) Primates of the Orthodox Church, who confirmed the resolutions of the “Council”, view the application of the term “Churches” to the heterodox as a mere convention, but, in fact, consider them as heretics? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is ‘No’, since their words and deeds over the past several years have shown that they consider them as canonical Churches of Christ. Case in point are the numerous prayers of Orthodox hierarchs which they perform together with heterodox leaders: Since the Holy Canons of the Church forbid the Orthodox to pray with heretics, the fact that these prayers take place proves that these Orthodox hierarchs do not consider the heterodox as heretical. 
  7. Regardless of how this or that saint or theologian speaks, it is imperative that all expressions are exact and accurate in the official conciliar texts of a “Pan-Orthodox Council”. If the years in which we live were “peaceful” and Orthodoxy were not threatened by the heresy of Ecumenism, we might be more relaxed in our expressions. However, now that Ecumenism has spread to all the Orthodox Patriarchates and dioceses throughout the world, every single word is important. 
  8. One of the criticisms made against the “Council” of Crete is that the words ‘heresy’ and ‘heretics’ are nowhere to be found in the conciliar texts. To refute it, its supporters claim that, since the term ‘heterodox’, which is used liberally in the conciliar texts, is synonymous to ‘heretics’, the criticism is not fair. But this is not correct – the two terms are not synonymous. ‘Heretic’ implies the excommunication from the Orthodox Church of groups condemned for their doctrines, such as Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, etc., while ‘heterodox’ suggests that the faith of a given group is a variation of the Orthodox faith. Nevertheless, the term heterodox has replaced that of heretic in ecumenist “theology” to reflect something like the following fundamental statement: “Unity in diversity. There may be some differences in our dogmas, but we all belong in the Church of Christ.
  9. All the arguments above prove that the term “Churches” in the conciliar texts is not used in a conventional way but carries a theological meaning – to claim anything different is disingenuous. This conclusion is also proven by the fact that the “Council” recognized officially the interfaith dialogues and approved the signed agreements they have issued, which are in their essence un-Orthodox and, therefore, heretical. 

In conclusion, the bishops who accept knowingly the resolutions of the “Council” teach heretical doctrines: They recognize the heretics as “Churches”, believe that their “baptism” and other “sacraments” have grace, and consider their demonic fallacies as “diverse gifts of the Holy Spirit”. By Orthodox standards, these dogmas are blasphemous and contrary to Orthodoxy. Therefore, those adhering to them identify themselves with the heresy of Ecumenism and make themselves liable to the Rules of the Church. 

The hierarchs’ acceptance of the “Council” makes them responsible also for the effects the “Council’s” resolutions have in other areas of life. For example, the “Council” resolutions bolster the Greek government’s effort to re-design the school course on religion for primary and secondary education and change its Orthodox character. Recent modifications have already transformed it into an anti-Christian course (more favorable to other religions than Christianity and Orthodoxy), while the frequent references throughout the course materials to the pseudo-Council of Crete reveals its fundamental role in aligning this course with Ecumenism. The anti-Orthodox messages of the course aim clearly at brainwashing the young students to accept Ecumenism without resistance. 

More importantly, the bishops of the New Lands, who at every liturgy proclaim in front of the Holy Altar and at the most sacred moment that Patriarch Bartholomew “rightly teaches the word of [Christ’s] Truth”, are uttering a straightforward lie. Since his enthronement in 1991, the Ecumenical Patriarch has never ceased to degrade the Gospel, insult and dishonor the Saints, spurn the Ecumenical Councils, disregard the Holy Canons, and tear down the eternal dogmas of the Orthodox Church. All these charges are laid against the Patriarch in a study that records all his un-Orthodox words and deeds, and includes even pictures from various non-Orthodox, religious events, in which he participated. Some of these pictures, showing the Patriarch in violation of Orthodox rules with his involvement in events forbidden to Christian laity and clergy can be found at the end of the present document.

  1. Walling off from ecumenists 

The Holy Canons of the Orthodox Church permit the faithful to suspend communion with bishops who teach heresies, even before they are condemned officially by a “Council”. 

The fact that a great number of bishops have accepted the resolutions of the pseudo-Council of Crete has led several clerics and monks both in Greece and in the diaspora to wall themselves off from their bishops. But this action is not something new or unusual. Whenever there were heretical movements throughout the long history of the Church, it was common for the faithful and the Saints to suspend communion with the heretics in order to help them see their error and return to the truth. 

As a general rule, walling-off for clerics is not allowed by the Holy Canons except for reasons of faith and justice. This rule is established, first, by the 15th Canon of the Holy First-and-Second Council and, second, by the 31st Apostolic Canon. The Saints were the first to make use of the practice of walling-off, starting in the early years of Christianity. The Church established these two rules in Councils in order to avoid abuse of this measure and preserve the faith inviolate. The 15th Canon was instituted by the Holy First-and-Second Council that was held in 861 AD under St. Photius the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople. According to this rule, the reason for which a cleric can wall himself off from his bishop is that the bishop is heretical minded. Therefore, the prerequisites for walling-off are two: 1) The bishop preaches publicly heretical doctrines, and 2) his preaching is condemned as heretical by Councils or Holy Fathers. 

Ecumenism (a movement promoting an unorthodox unity among the world’s Christian communities) is a heresy that plagues the Church today. It was officially condemned in 1983 by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, held at Quebec, Canada, under the auspices of St. Philaretos (†1985), Metropolitan of New York. His incorrupt relics, kept at the Holy Trinity Cathedral at Jordanville, New York, seal the Anathema of Ecumenism with the approval of the Holy Spirit. Ecumenism has also been identified as heresy by two great, contemporary Saints of Orthodoxy, the Serbian-born St. Justin Popovich (†1979) and St. Paisios the Athonite (†1994); both have declared that it is the worst heresy of all times and that it is preparing the way for the Antichrist.

Furthermore, the 15th Canon states clearly that those who wall themselves off from heretical bishops do not cause a schism and, therefore, should not be subject to any punishment. On the contrary, they deserve to be honored; considering that they did not wall themselves off from true bishops of Christ but “from pseudo-bishops”, they actually protect the Church from schism. Following St. Theophanes’ conviction that the schism is caused by heresy, because it separates us from God, walled-off Christians safeguard themselves from the eroding power of heresy and rouse the “sleeping” flock to struggle against the un-Orthodox doctrines and eventually demand that an Orthodox Council be convened to condemn the heresy and the bishops that embrace it.

  1. Illegal the persecutions of anti-ecumenists

By the 15th Canon and the principle that ‘a guilty man cannot convict another person’, the ongoing persecutions of walled-off monks and clerics by ecumenists are illegal and unjust. The bishops who persecute today those monks and clerics who cease to commemorate them have no legal or theological basis for their actions. Furthermore, they have no backing for their claim that walling-off is an illegal action that causes a schism. By repeating this incorrect allegation, they exploit the laypeople’s ignorance about the theological basis of walling-off. 

During their consecration, the bishops promise to the Lord that they will keep our Holy Faith intact and defend it against any assault. Yet, by accepting Ecumenism they betray their oath and perjure themselves, because they no longer obey Christ or the Tradition of the Holy Fathers and the Canons of the Church. Consequently, no cleric or layperson is obliged to show obedience to them. The clergy who have suspended their commemoration did it for two reasons: first, because they do not want to communicate with heretics; and second, out of love for their bishop, whom they want to help find the way back to Orthodoxy. Therefore, they do not wall themselves off from the Church but from the heresy. 

Therefore, we pray that the Lord will illumine the hierarchs of the Church of Greece and all the Orthodox worldwide to condemn Ecumenism, the all-encompassing panheresy, and reject the pseudo-Council of Crete that sanctioned Ecumenism.

  1. Statements of Saints condemning Ecumenism 
  1. Saint Paisios the Athonite (†1994)
  • Ecumenism and EU form one large state and one religion to suit their purposes. It is all part of a satanic plan: The Zionists are preparing the coming of a “Messiah” who will govern the earth”.
  • “Satan has three tentacles with which he catches people [in this world]: Atheist communism for the poor; Ecumenism for the faithful [Christians]; and Freemasonry for the wealthy”.
  • “The Lord will discipline the great enemies of Orthodoxy, that is, Islam and Roman Catholicism”.
  • “The Zionists, first, conceive the satanic messages and, then, convey them to the Vatican that enforces them”.
  • “Corfu, Cephalonia and Zakynthos are three islands very close to Italy and the Greek people there could easily be influenced and convert into Roman Catholicism. This is why the Lord has created a protecting wall of three incorrupt saints there: St. Spyridon in Corfu, St. Gerasimos in Cephalonia, and St. Dionysius in Zakynthos”.

  1. Saint Justin Popovich († 1979), Professor of Dogmatic Theology, University of Belgrade 
  • Ecumenism is the common name of all the pseudo-churches of Western Europe. In its heart lie the spirit of European humanism, while Papism stands at its head. All these pseudo-Christian religions, all the pseudo-Churches, are nothing but a chain of heresies, one deriving from the other. Their common name is panheresy”.
  • “No other heresy has rebelled against Christ and His Church as totally and completely as Papism”.
  • “The history of the human race has suffered three great falls: Adam’s, Juda Iscariot’s, and the Pope’s”.
  • Schism”, the division of the Church, is an ontological impossibility. It is impossible for the Church to be divided [since it is the Body of Christ]. Therefore, ‘division’ actually means that one falls away from the Church. The Gnostics were the first to fall away from the Church, then the followers of Arian, then the Monophysites, the Roman Catholics, and the Protestants”.

PICTURES DOCUMENTING

ECUMENIST ACTIONS OF PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW

The pictures are a sample of evidence taken from the site anti-ecumenist.blogspot.gr, where there are a lot more documents regarding the heresy of Ecumenism. 

Greenland 2007. Patriarch Bartholomew is aboard a ship, praying together with leaders from other religions (Cardinals, Imams, Buddhists, Hinduists, etc.) in front of a crystal globe (an idol of the goddess Gaea) on climate change.

Geneva, 2008. The Patriarch participated in the celebration of the 60 years of the institution of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and prayed together with Protestant men and women pastors.

New York, 2009. The Patriarch is honored by the Hebrew Synagogue, which he calls “blessed” and “places of worship of God”, disregarding St. John the Chrysostom who calls them “abodes of demons”. 

Constantinople, 2011. The Patriarch is giving a Quran as gift to the chief mufti of Constantinople.

Komotini, Greece, April 2014. Pat. Bartholomew is praying together with Monophysites in the Armenian “Church”, disregarding completely the resolutions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council that condemned Monophysitism as heresy.

Phanar, Constantinople, November 2014. At the doxology in honor of the Pope’s visit, the chanters wished him “many years”, chanting, “We also pray for the most Holy Bishop and Pope of Rome, Francis, and for our Archbishop and Patriarch Bartholomew, that the Lord may lead them to every good work.”

Assisi, Italy, September 2016. Leaders of various religions, including Pat. Bartholomew, are lighting candles one after the other to the common god of all religions. However, for the Orthodox, this “common god” cannot be other than Satan, since it is stated in the Scriptures that the “gods” of other religions are demonic idols (“all the gods of the nations are idols”, Ps. 96:5 NIV). 

June 2017. The Patriarch is celebrating an Orthodox service in an Evangelical Church in Stuttgart, Germany, in the presence of Protestant representatives, who are considered the modern iconoclasts.