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In accordance with the ontological nature of the Church, her unity can never be perturbed. In spite of this, mantuide Orthodox Church accepts the historical name of other non-Orthodox Christian Churches and Confessions that are not in communion with her, and believes that her mantuirs with them should be based on the most speedy and objective clarification possible of the whole ecclesiological question, and most especially of their more general teachings on sacraments, grace, priesthood, and apostolic succession.
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Thus, she was favorably and positively disposed, both for theological and pastoral reasons, towards theological dialogue with other Christians on a bi-lateral and multi-lateral level, and towards more general participation in the Ecumenical Movement of recent times, in the conviction that through dialogue she gives a dynamic witness to the fullness of truth in Christ and to her spiritual treasures to those who are outside her, with the objective aim of smoothing the path leading to unity.
The Orthodox Church, as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in her profound ecclesiastical self-consciousness, believes unflinchingly that she occupies a central place in the matter of the promotion of Christian unity in the world today.
The Orthodox Church founds the unity of the Church on the fact of her establishment by our Lord Jesus Christ, and on the communion in the Holy Trinity and in the sacraments. This unity is expressed through the apostolic succession and the patristic tradition and is lived out in the Church up to the present day.
The Orthodox Church has the mission and duty to transmit and preach all the truth contained in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, which also bestows upon the Church her catholic character.
The responsibility of the Orthodox Church for unity as well as her ecumenical mission were articulated by the Ecumenical Councils. These stressed most especially the indissoluble bond between true faith and sacramental communion. In particular, she has played a leading role in the contemporary search for ways and means to restore the unity of those who believe in Christ, and she has participated in the Ecumenical Movement from its outset, and has contributed to its formation and further development.
Moreover, the Orthodox Church, thanks to the ecumenical and loving spirit which distinguishes her, praying as divinely commanded that all men may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth 1 Tim 2: Hence, Orthodox participation in the movement to restore unity with other Christians in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is in no way foreign to the nature and history of the Orthodox Church, but rather represents a consistent expression of the apostolic faith and tradition in a new historical circumstances.
The contemporary bilateral theological dialogues of the Orthodox Church and her participation in the Ecumenical Movement rest on this self-consciousness of Orthodoxy and her ecumenical spirit, with the aim of seeking the unity of all Christians on the basis of the truth of the faith and tradition of the ancient Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils.
In this spirit, all the local Most Holy Orthodox Churches participate actively today in the official theological dialogues, and the majority of these Churches also participate in various national, regional and international inter-Christian organizations, in spite of the deep crisis that has arisen in the Ecumenical Movement.
The contemporary bilateral theological dialogues, announced by the Pan-Orthodox meetings, express the unanimous decision of all local most holy Orthodox Churches who are called to participate actively and continually in them, so that the unanimous witness of Orthodoxy to the glory of the Triune God may not be hindered.
In the event that a certain local Church chooses not to assign a representative to a particular dialogue or one of its sessions, if this decision is not pan-Orthodox, the dialogue still continues.
Prior to the start of the dialogue or of the session, the absence of any local Church ought to be discussed at all events by the Orthodox Committee of the dialogue to express the solidarity and unity of the Orthodox Church. The bi-lateral and multi-lateral theological dialogues need to be subject to periodical evaluations on a pan-Orthodox level. The problems that arise during the theological discussions within Joint Theological Commissions are not always sufficient grounds for any local Orthodox Church unilaterally to recall its representatives or definitively withdraw from the dialogue.
As a general rule, the withdrawal of a Church from a particular dialogue should be avoided; in those instances when this occurs, inter-Orthodox efforts to reestablish representational fullness in the Orthodox Theological Commission of the dialogue in question should be initiated. During a pan-Orthodox meeting the Ecumenical Patriarch shall seek unanimous consensus among the Orthodox Churches about possible courses of action, which may also include— should this be unanimously deemed necessary—a reassessment of the progress of the theological dialogue in question.
The methodology followed in the theological dialogues aims at both the resolution of the received theological differences or of possible new differentiations, and to seek the common elements of the Christian faith. This process requires that the entire Church is kept informed on the various developments of the dialogues.
In the event that it is impossible to overcome a specific theological difference, the theological dialogue may continue, recording the disagreement identified and bringing it to the attention of all the local Orthodox Churches for their consideration on what ought to be done henceforth.
It is clear that in the theological dialogues the common goal of all is the ultimate restoration of unity in true faith and love. The existing theological and ecclesiological differences permit, however, a certain hierarchical ordering of the challenges lying in the way of meeting this pan-Orthodox objective.
The distinctive problems of each bilateral dialogue require a differentiation in the methodology followed in it, but not a differentiation in the aim, since the aim is one in all the dialogues. Nevertheless, zavoraful is essential if necessary for an attempt to be made to coordinate the work of the various Inter-Orthodox Theological Committees, bearing in mind that the existing unity of the Orthodox Church must also be revealed and manifested in this area of these dialogues.
The conclusion of any official theological dialogue occurs with the completion of the work of the relevant Joint Theological Commission. The Chairman of the Inter-Orthodox Commission then submits a report to the Ecumenical Patriarch, who, with the consent of the Primates of the local Orthodox Churches, declares the conclusion of the dialogue. No dialogue is considered complete before it is proclaimed through such a pan-Orthodox decision.
Upon the successful conclusion of the work of any theological dialogue, the pan-Orthodox decision about the restoration of ecclesiastical communion must, however, rest on the unanimity of all the local Orthodox Churches. At the same time, there are other inter-Christian organizations and regional bodies, such as the Conference of European Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches and the African Council of Churches.
These, spe with the WCC, fulfill an important mission by promoting the unity of the Christian world. They have their own particular opinion on the work of the World Council of Churches and hence do not participate in its activities and those of other inter-Christian organizations.
The local Orthodox Churches that are members of the WCC participate fully and equally in cakea WCC, contributing with all means at their disposal to the advancement of peaceful co-existence and co-operation in the major socio-political challenges.
The criteria were approved and included in the Constitution and Rules of the World Council of Churches. In this spirit, the unity that is sought within the WCC cannot simply be the product of theological agreements, but must also matnuire founded on the unity of faith, preserved in the sacraments and lived out in the Orthodox Church.
The Orthodox Churches that are members of the WCC regard as an indispensable condition of their participation in the WCC the foundational article of its Constitution, in accordance with which its members may only be those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior in accordance with the Scriptures, and who confess mantuore Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in accordance with the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. It is their deep conviction that the ecclesiological presuppositions of the Toronto Calez, On the Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches, are of paramount importance for Orthodox participation in the Council.
No Church is obliged to change her ecclesiology on her accession to the Council… Moreover, from the fact of its inclusion in the Council, it does not ensue that each Church is obliged to regard the other Churches as Churches in the true and full sense of the term. The prospects for conducting theological dialogues between the Orthodox Church and the rest of the Christian world are always determined on the basis of the canonical principles of Orthodox ecclesiology and the canonical criteria of the already established Church Tradition Canon 7 of the Second Ecumenical Council and Canon 95 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council.
Nonetheless, the Orthodox Church maintains reservations concerning paramount issues of faith and order, because the non-Orthodox Churches and Confessions have diverged from the true faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Orthodox Church considers all teofxn to break the unity of the Church, undertaken by individuals or groups under the pretext of maintaining or allegedly defending true Orthodoxy, as being worthy of condemnation.
As evidenced throughout the life of the Orthodox Church, the preservation of the true Orthodox faith is ensured only through the conciliar system, which has always represented the highest authority in the Church on matters of faith and canonical decrees. Canon 6 2nd Ecumenical Council.
The Orthodox Church has a common awareness of the necessity for conducting inter-Christian theological dialogue. In this spirit, the Orthodox Church deems it important for all Christians, inspired by common fundamental principles of the Gospel, to attempt to offer with eagerness and solidarity a response to the thorny problems of the contemporary world, based on the prototype of the new man in Christ. The continued witness of the Orthodox Church to the divided Christian world on the basis of the apostolic tradition and faith is imperative.
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit With a hymn of thanksgiving, we praise and worship God in Trinity, who has enabled us to gather together during the days of the feast of Pentecost here on the island of Crete, which has been sanctified by St. The Church lives not for herself. She offers sprd for the whole of humanity in order to raise up and renew the world into new heavens and a new earth cf.
Hence, she gives Gospel witness and distributes the gifts of God in the world: His love, peace, justice, reconciliation, the power of the Resurrection and the expectation of eternal life.
Body of Christ, zavogatul of zavortul Holy Trinity. In this spirit, emphasis was always placed on the indissoluble relation both between the entire mystery of the divine Economy in Christ and the mystery of the Church, and also between the mystery of the Church and the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, which is continually confirmed in the sacramental life of the Church through the operation of the Holy Spirit.
The Orthodox Church, faithful to this unanimous apostolic tradition and sacramental experience, constitutes the authentic continuation of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, as this is confessed in the Symbol of faith and teofam confirmed in the teaching of the Fathers of the Church. Thus, she is conscious of her greater responsibility not only to ensure the authentic expression of this experience in the ecclesial body, but also mantukre offer a trustworthy witness to the truth to all humankind.
The Church in herself is a Council, established by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, in accord with the apostolic words: Through the Ecumenical and Local councils, the Church has proclaimed and continues to proclaim the mystery of the Holy Trinity, revealed through the incarnation of the Son and Word of God. The Conciliar work continues uninterrupted in teofzn through the later councils of universal authority, such as, for example, the Great Council convened at the time of St.
Gregory Palamas,through which the same truth of faith was confirmed, most especially mantuite concerns the procession of the Holy Spirit and as concerns the participation of human beings in the uncreated divine mantire, and furthermore through the Holy and Great Councils convened in Constantinople, in to refute the unionist Council of Florencein, and to refute Protestant beliefs, and in to condemn ethno-phyletism as an ecclesiological heresy.
Holiness proceeds aavoratul the One who alone is Holy. Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: The saints embody the eschatological identity of the Church as an eternal doxology before the earthly and heavenly Throne of the King of Glory Ps The principle of autocephaly cannot be allowed to operate at the expense of the principle of the catholicity and the unity of the Church.
We therefore consider that the creation of the Episcopal Assemblies in the Orthodox Diaspora, comprising all the recognized canonical bishops, who in each area are appointed to tsofan respective assembly, and who remain under their canonical jurisdictions, represents a positive step towards their canonical organization, and the smooth functioning of these assemblies guarantees respect for the ecclesiological principle of conciliarity.
The mission of the Church in the world. This mission must be fulfilled, not aggressively, but freely, with love and respect towards the cultural identity of individuals and peoples.
All Orthodox Churches ought to participate in this endeavor with due respect for canonical order. Participation in the holy Eucharist is a source of missionary zeal for the evangelization of the world. The contemporary crisis in marriage and the family is a consequence of the crisis of freedom as responsibility, its decline into a self-centered self-realization, its identification with individual self-gratification, self-sufficiency and autonomy, and the loss of the sacramental character of the union between man and woman, resulting from forgetfulness of the sacrificial ethos of love.
Contemporary society approaches marriage in a secular way with purely sociological and realistic criteria, regarding it as a simple form of relationship — one among many others — all of which are entitled to equal institutional validity.
The crowns that are placed on the heads of the bride and groom during the sacramental rite refer to the dimension of mantkire and complete devotion to God and one another. They also tfofan to the life of the Kingdom of God, revealing the eschatological reference in the mystery of love.
The Holy and Great Council addresses itself with particular love and care to children and to all young zavorautl. Amid the medley of mutually contradictory definitions of childhood, our most holy Church presents the words of our Lord: Orthodox youth should become aware that they caela bearers of the centuries-old and blessed tradition of the Orthodox Church and also the continuers of this tradition who will courageously preserve teofxn will cultivate in a dynamic way the eternal values of Orthodoxy in order to give life-giving Christian witness.
From among them will come the future ministers of the Church of Christ. In our time, new tendencies can mantuirf observed in the realm of upbringing and education in regard to the content and aims of education as well as in the way childhood, the role of both teacher and student and the mantuore of the contemporary school are viewed. Since education relates not only to what man is, but also to what man should be and to the content of his responsibility, it is self-evident that the image we have of the human person and the meaning of teogan determine our view of his education.
The dominant secularized individualistic educational system that troubles young people today is of deep concern to the Orthodox Church. sore
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Thus, the fullness of the Christian people finds an existential support in the divine-human communion of the Church and experiences in this the resurrectional perspective of theosis by grace. The Church of Christ today finds herself confronted by extreme or even provocative expressions of the ideology of secularization, inherent in political, cultural and social developments.
A basic element of the ideology of secularization has ever been and continues to be the full autonomy of man from Christ and from the spiritual influence of the Church, by the arbitrary identification of the Church with conservatism and by the historically unjustified characterization of the Church as an alleged impediment to all progress and development. In contemporary secularized societies, man, cut off from God, identifies his freedom and the meaning of his life with absolute autonomy and with release cale his eternal destiny, resulting in a series of misunderstandings and deliberate misinterpretations of the Christian tradition.
The identification of the Church with conservatism, incompatible with the advancement of civilization, is arbitrary and improper, since the consciousness of the identity of the Christian peoples bears the indelible imprint of the diachronic contribution of the Church, not only in their cultural heritage, but also in the healthy development of secular civilization more generally, since God placed man as steward of the divine creation and as a co-worker with Him in the world.
Through the contemporary development of science and technology, our life mmantuire changing radically. And what brings about a change in the life zavoratu, man demands discernment on his part, since, apart from significant benefits, such as the facilitation of everyday life, the successful treatment of serious diseases and space exploration, we are also confronted with the negative consequences of scientific progress.
The dangers are the manipulation of human freedom, the use of man as a simple means, the gradual loss of precious traditions, and threats to, or even the destruction of, the natural environment.
Unfortunately, science, by calfa very nature, does not possess the necessary means to prevent or address many of the problems it creates directly or indirectly. In our age, there is a very prevalent enthusiasm for the impressive developments in the fields of Biology, Genetics and Neurophysiology.
These represent scientific advances, the wide-ranging applications of which will, in all likelihood, create serious anthropological and moral dilemmas. The uncontrolled use of biotechnology at the beginning, during, and at the end of life, endangers its authentic fullness.
Man is experimenting ever more intensively with his own very nature in an extreme and dangerous way. He is in danger of being turned into a biological machine, into an impersonal social unit or into a mechanical device of controlled thought. The Orthodox Church cannot remain on the sidelines of discussions about such momentous anthropological, ethical and existential matters. She rests firmly on divinely taught criteria and reveals the relevance of Orthodox anthropology in the face of the zavoratlu overturning of values.