Ecumenism

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'''''Ecumenism''''' in common use can refer to two different ideas, either relations with non-Christian or non-Orthodox religious groups or instead it is the teaching that the [[Orthodox Church]] is not uniquely the one Church of Jesus Christ but rather one of many branches.  The former activity can be of dubious value to some, while the latter is considered a heresy by many.  To many in the Orthodox Church, participation in ecumenical relations with other religious groups is often an indication that the teaching regarding the Orthodox Church's non-uniqueness is being promulgated, either openly or surreptitiously.
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'''Ecumenism''' is, principally, dialogue between Christian groups aimed at promoting the restoration of unity among all Christians through understanding, through mutual respect and toleration, and through practical cooperation in areas of common concern, such as care for the poor, sick, and needy.
  
Between these two ideas is the activity of relating to the non-Orthodox with either the notion of witnessing to them the ancient Christian faith or of pandering to them and making concessions in order to build relations.  In the 20th century particularly, some ecumenical activities have drawn sharp criticism from various voices within the Orthodox Church, particularly participation in the [[World Council of Churches]] and the [[National Council of Churches]] in the USThose opposing ecumenism are often self-labelled as ''Traditionalists'' and may be either within or outside mainstream Orthodoxy, particularly within the [[Old Calendarist]] movements, who often regard the [[New Calendar]] as being a symptom of "branch theory" ecumenism.
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Orthodox Christians were engaged in the foundation of the ecumenical movement from its inception.  The primary basis for the Orthodox role in the ecumenical movement was a statement issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1920 entitled "Unto All the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They Be."  A number of Orthodox churches were present at the initial founding conference of the World Council of Churches, and most have continued to participate in the life of the WCC, as well as in national and regional councils of churches.
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Some Orthodox Christians have criticized participation in the ecumenical movement.  They believe that ecumenical witness represents a concession to the "Branch Theory," which suggests that the various divisions in Christianity all represent branches of the same Church just as the branches of a tree are all integrally part of the same living treeUnder such a model, Orthodoxy would be defined not as exclusively the [[One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church|one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church]], but rather as a relatively small segment of the Church: one denomination among many.  (However, this understanding of ecumenism is not supported by the agreements which define ecumenical structure, most notably the [[Toronto Declaration]].)
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In the Twentieth Century particularly, some ecumenical activities have drawn sharp criticism from various voices within the Orthodox Church, particularly participation in the World Council of Churches and, in the United States, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.   
  
 
One of the more controversial documents drawn up in recent years pertaining to ecumenism is the [[Balamand Statement]], an unofficial joint document of recommendation on [[Uniates|Uniatism]] signed by representatives of the [[Orthodox Church]] and the [[Roman Catholic Church]] in 1993.
 
One of the more controversial documents drawn up in recent years pertaining to ecumenism is the [[Balamand Statement]], an unofficial joint document of recommendation on [[Uniates|Uniatism]] signed by representatives of the [[Orthodox Church]] and the [[Roman Catholic Church]] in 1993.
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Recently, many of the Orthodox Churches in the United States, including the [[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America]], the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]], and the [[Orthodox Church in America]] have joined a new ecumenical organization called [[Christian Churches Together]]. CCT is intended to represent a broader coalition of Christian communions, including Roman Catholics and Evangelicals (who do not participate as full members in either the WCC or NCCCUSA.)
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==See also==
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* [[North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
*[http://www.scoba.us/resources/documents/guide_for_orthodox.pdf Ecumenical Guidelines for SCOBA]
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* [http://www.scoba.us/assets/files/guide_for_orthodox.pdf Ecumenical Guidelines for SCOBA]
* [http://www.scoba.us/resources/sac-economy.asp Baptism and "sacramental economy": An agreed statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation] - Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, Crestwood, New York - June 3, 1999
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* [http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html Baptism and "sacramental economy": An agreed statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation] - Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, Crestwood, New York - June 3, 1999  
*[http://uncutmountain.com/index.php/uncut/pages/ecumenism_origins_expectations_disenchantment_table_of_contents/ Ecumenism: Origins - Expectations - Disenchantment], September 2004 Conference on Ecumenism, held at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
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* [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ Orthodox Information Center: Ecumenism Awareness]
**[http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/Conclusions_of_the_Conference_on_Ecumenism.pdf Conclusions of the Conference on Ecumenism]
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* [http://uncutmountain.com/index.php/uncut/pages/ecumenism_origins_expectations_disenchantment_table_of_contents/ Ecumenism: Origins - Expectations - Disenchantment], September 2004 Conference on Ecumenism, held at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
**[http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/bpartemy_soc.pdf The Church of Serbia vis-à-vis Ecumenism], by Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren
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** [http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/Conclusions_of_the_Conference_on_Ecumenism.pdf Conclusions of the Conference on Ecumenism]
**[http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/fralexios_contours.pdf Contours of Conversion and the Ecumenical Movement], by Hieromonk Alexis (Trader) of Karakallou
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** [http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/bpartemy_soc.pdf The Church of Serbia vis-à-vis Ecumenism], by Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren
**[http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/ReevesEcumenicism.shtml The Consequences of Orthodox Participation in the Ecumenical Movement on the Orthodox Witness to the Heterodox West], by Fr. John Reeves
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** [http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/fralexios_contours.pdf Contours of Conversion and the Ecumenical Movement], by Hieromonk Alexis (Trader) of Karakallou
**[http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/heers_baptism.pdf The Mystery of Baptism and the Unity of the Church], by Fr. Peter A. Heers
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** [http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/ReevesEcumenicism.shtml The Consequences of Orthodox Participation in the Ecumenical Movement on the Orthodox Witness to the Heterodox West], by Fr. John Reeves
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** [http://uncutmountain.com/uncut/docs/heers_baptism.pdf The Mystery of Baptism and the Unity of the Church], by Fr. Peter A. Heers
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* [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/Heers-TheMissionaryRootsofModernEcumenism.pdf The Missionary Origins of Modern Ecumenism] by Fr. Peter A. Heers
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* [http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=27&SID=3 Orthodox Christianity and The "Branch Theory"]. OCA - Q & A.
  
*[http://www.incommunion.org/articles/essays/orthodoxy-ecumenism In Communion: Orthodoxy & Ecumenism]
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* [http://www.incommunion.org/articles/essays/orthodoxy-ecumenism In Communion: Orthodoxy & Ecumenism]
*[http://incommunion.org/articles/ecumenical-movement/ In Communion: Ecumenical Movement], resources on the Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement
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* [http://incommunion.org/articles/ecumenical-movement/ In Communion: Ecumenical Movement], resources on the Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement
*[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ Orthodox Information Center: Ecumenism Awareness]
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* [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ Orthodox Information Center: Ecumenism Awareness]
*[http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=188&SID=3 OCA Q&A: Ecumenism and Church Leaders]
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* [http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=188&SID=3 OCA Q&A: Ecumenism and Church Leaders]
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* [http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/assembly/porto-alegre-2006/4-messages-other-statements-sermons/pre-assemblies/17-02-05-report-of-the-orthodox-pre-assembly-meeting.html Report of the Orthodox Pre-Assembly Meeting (WCC), Rhodes, January 10-17, 2005]
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* [http://sites.google.com/site/orthodoxresistance/ Resistance to Ecumenism in the Orthodox Church]
  
[[Category:Church Life]]
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[[Category:Heresies]]
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===Ecumenical organizations=== 
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*[http://www.wcc-coe.org/ World Council of Churches] 
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*[http://www.ncccusa.org National Council of Churches]  
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*[http://www.christianchurchestogether.org Christian Churches Together]
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*[http://www.churchworldservice.org Church World Service] 
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[[Category:Church Life]]  
 
[[Category:Inter-Christian]]
 
[[Category:Inter-Christian]]
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[[el:Οικουμενισμός]]
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[[ro:Ecumenism]]

Latest revision as of 07:29, January 20, 2010

Ecumenism is, principally, dialogue between Christian groups aimed at promoting the restoration of unity among all Christians through understanding, through mutual respect and toleration, and through practical cooperation in areas of common concern, such as care for the poor, sick, and needy.

Orthodox Christians were engaged in the foundation of the ecumenical movement from its inception. The primary basis for the Orthodox role in the ecumenical movement was a statement issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1920 entitled "Unto All the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They Be." A number of Orthodox churches were present at the initial founding conference of the World Council of Churches, and most have continued to participate in the life of the WCC, as well as in national and regional councils of churches.

Some Orthodox Christians have criticized participation in the ecumenical movement. They believe that ecumenical witness represents a concession to the "Branch Theory," which suggests that the various divisions in Christianity all represent branches of the same Church just as the branches of a tree are all integrally part of the same living tree. Under such a model, Orthodoxy would be defined not as exclusively the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, but rather as a relatively small segment of the Church: one denomination among many. (However, this understanding of ecumenism is not supported by the agreements which define ecumenical structure, most notably the Toronto Declaration.)

In the Twentieth Century particularly, some ecumenical activities have drawn sharp criticism from various voices within the Orthodox Church, particularly participation in the World Council of Churches and, in the United States, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

One of the more controversial documents drawn up in recent years pertaining to ecumenism is the Balamand Statement, an unofficial joint document of recommendation on Uniatism signed by representatives of the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in 1993.

Recently, many of the Orthodox Churches in the United States, including the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and the Orthodox Church in America have joined a new ecumenical organization called Christian Churches Together. CCT is intended to represent a broader coalition of Christian communions, including Roman Catholics and Evangelicals (who do not participate as full members in either the WCC or NCCCUSA.)

See also

External links


Ecumenical organizations

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