In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
All of us who were baptized in the Orthodox Church and believe in Orthodoxy are full members of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is the Body of Christ. Through the Sacrament of the Holy Myrrh we received the Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit and through Holy Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ we unite with Him and become members of His Body.
Being members of the Holy Church, which is only the Orthodox Church, the only Church where we unite with the True God, the only one where man can save his soul, we show and reject publicly the heresies that have gripped some of the members of the Church.
A heresy does not affect only the person who believes in it, it also affects the members of the Church, as long as there are those who think heretical and preach heresy by word and deed, sharing the microbe of heresy throughout the Body of the Church. Heresy preached by the bishop or priest affects the believers as well. Also, the bishop or priest must take care so that the members of his flock do not learn heresy. If moral sins separate man from God, more so heresy does that. It is the duty of the bishop to teach rightly the Word of the Truth, because holiness is organically linked to the Truth (“Sanctify them in Your Truth, and Your Word is the Truth” – John 17,17). Christ is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14, 6).
Heresy is a lie and blasphemy against the Incarnate Word, God-Man Jesus Christ. It is born as a spiritual deception, becoming an ideology contrary to the Truth and cutting off the possibility of holiness and salvation.
As a disease does not affect only a sick organ, but the whole body, heresy does the same by poisoning some of the members of the Church, causing pain throughout Her entire body. That is why, every time a heresy appeared that threatened the body of the Church, Ecumenical and Local Synods met, which anathematized the heresy and the heretics who supported it, in other words, they cut from the body of the Church the heretical teaching and those who promoted it.
Saint Paul the Apostle says in his Epistle to the Romans: “But as we have many limbs in one body, and not all limbs have the same office, so we are all one body in Christ, and each one is a member of one another, but we have different gifts, according to the grace that was given to us” (Rom. 12, 4-6). And in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, Saint Paul says: “And the eye cannot tell the hand: I have no need of you; and again, the head cannot tell the feet: I have no need of you. But much more the limbs of the body that seem to be weaker are more necessary”(1Cor. 12, 21-22). The Apostle further shows that “if a limb suffers, all the limbs suffer together; and if a limb is honest, all the limbs rejoice together”(1 Cor. 12, 26-27).
Taking into consideration that so far no Local Synods have been convened to condemn those who have been violating both the Apostolic Canons and the decisions of the Ecumenical and Local Synods for almost 100 years, we – as the living members of the Body of Christ – reject and dissociate ourselves from all practices condemned by the Church:
- prayers in common with the heretics and the so-called “Week of prayer for Christian unity”, “Vespers for Christian unity”, and other such actions held in Orthodox Churches during the “week of prayer for Christian unity”, where heretics are invited to preach in front of the Holy and Frightening Orthodox Altar, where Christ God is sacrificed.
- attending inter religious and inter Christian syncretistic meetings, where syncretistic symbolic gestures and common prayers with heretics are made.
We show ecumenism as heresy and we publicly reject it and all its manifestations:
- the presence of the Orthodox Church in the “World Council of Churches “.
- the heresy according to which Orthodoxy is only a part of the Church
- the heresy according to which all Christian denominations represent branches of the One Holy Church.
- the heresy according to which Orthodox Church would be a Church among many other “families of Churches” that together would form the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
the heresy according to which Church unity has been lost. According to the Orthodox teaching, the Church is One and Only, because Her Head is the One Lord Jesus Christ, and the unity of the Church is expressed through the unity of faith and the submission of believers to Her hierarchy, as long as the hierarchy maintains the unity of faith.
- the heresy according to which the Church “ would be split into Christian denominations” and that we should “rebuild Her unity” through “dogmatic minimalism”, that is, by accepting the minimum faith as the basis for the union of the Orthodox believers with the other Christian denominations, that is, faith in the Holy Trinity and in Jesus Christ as God Incarnate and Savior, ignoring all the other Dogmas of the Church, including the sacramental priesthood, the icon, the Uncreated Grace, the veneration of the Saints, etc.
the heresy according to which there is an “unseen unity” of the Church through the common faith in the Holy Trinity and in Jesus Christ as God Incarnate and Savior, and a “seen unity” will be achieved by uniting denominations (unity in the diversity of dogmas and traditions).
the heresy according to which in order to be part of the Church it is enough to believe in the Holy Trinity and in Jesus Christ as God and Savior (the Church being seen as an assembly of all Christian denominations).
the heresy according to which the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Assembly (pope-filioquista) would be “Sister Churches” or “the 2 lungs of the Church”.
- the heresy according to which there would be no dogmatic difference between the Orthodox Church and the papism (Roman Catholicism), claiming that the only difference would be the Papal Primacy.
the unorthodox agreements signed by the representatives of the Orthodox Churches in the inter Christian dialogue. We agree with this dialogue as long as it is done solely on an Orthodox basis, in order to bring heretics into the Orthodox Church through the Sacrament of Baptism, Anointing and Holy Communion.
- The Balamand Agreement, where representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches accepted a new type of union and recognized the pseudo-sacraments of the Roman Catholics. This agreement was rejected by the representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches who gathered in Baltimore in 2000.
the heresy according to which Filioque (the pursuit of the Holy Spirit “also from the Son”) would be just a simple terminological misunderstanding, and not a change of the Holy Trinity Dogma – dogma that God Himself revealed to us through His Incarnate Son Jesus Christ (John 15, 26).
the so-called “rise of anathemas” between Orthodox and Roman Catholics, as well as those on the Monophysites, Monothelites and Monoenergists, anathemas given at the Ecumenical Synods. According to the Orthodox teaching, a dogmatic anathema cannot be magically raised without the reasons for anathematization being removed.
the heresy according to which there would be saving grace outside the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and that there would be valid baptism and working grace of the priesthood outside the Holy Church (the mere historical presence of a succession from the Apostles and the mere recital of the formula of the Holy Trinity, do not validate the “sacraments” of heretics).
the heresy according to which the Holy Fathers can no longer be taken into consideration today, a heresy that denies the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Holy Fathers at the Ecumenical Synods, and therefore the very continuity of the existence of the Church as a divine-human institution.
the heresy which states that we cannot know where the boundaries of the Church are, and that the entire mankind would be incorporated in an “unseen Church”. According to the Orthodox teaching, the Church is historical, visible, with Apostolic succession which kept the Right Faith (the dogmas formulated at the Ecumenical Synods and the anathemas that delimit the Dogmatic Truth from the heretical lie). The Right Faith is carried on to the end of the ages only in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
- the heresy according to which heretics would be incorporated in a certain way into the Church.
the transformation of economy (oikonomia) into dogma or rule; according to the Orthodox teaching, economy is a temporary deviation from exactitude (akriveia), from the rule of faith, due to human weakness, in exceptional circumstances, where its purpose is to bring people to Orthodoxy, despite any obstacles. Economy is applied only in cases of force majeure, for a good purpose in unfavourable circumstances. However, when in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the application of economy continues, it disturbs and circumvents the canonical order; then this adaptation is not a wise measure, but in defiance of the Holy Tradition, which leads to the disregard of Orthodoxy.
the so-called “mixt marriages” between Orthodox and unorthodox, because one cannot unite something which cannot be united, the condition of the Sacrament of Marriage being that the two spouses be baptized and practicing Orthodoxy. The Sacrament of Marriage is the Sacrament of Love and union in the Right Faith. This Sacrament cannot be granted to only one member, that is, to the Orthodox. Therefore, a “mixt marriage” is struck by nullity, being at the same time a common prayer with the heterodox.
- the dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the heretics on the criteria of the Protestant platform (World Council of Churches) and not on the Orthodox Confession, the so-called “restauration of Christian unity” and the historical designation of “Churches” for heretics.
- the Constitution of the so-called “World Council of Churches” as the basis for the dialogue with the heretics – dogmatic minimalism.
- “The Declaration of Toronto” from 1950 which states the following:
– there are members of the Church outside the walls of the Orthodox Church;
– the Church of Christ is more than the denomination of each member of the so-called “World Council of Churches”;
– to be a member of the Church of Christ is more than to be a member of one’s own denomination.
The Orthodox Church is Ecumenical (Universal) and not ecumenist, and that is why we expect from Her members to practice and preach Orthodoxy to all creatures, bringing many to the Ship of Salvation which is the Orthodox Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, as we testify in the Nicene Creed. Therefore, we dissociate ourselves from the position of all those who teach or practice the heresies mentioned above, whether they are elaborated by pan-Orthodox synods (as it happened in Crete in 2016), local synods, patriarchs, hierarchs, priests, deacons, monks or believers.
We, through this confession, rebuke those who do not seek to correct their fallen brothers in the ecumenist deception, adopting a passive, peaceful and tacit attitude, which Saint Gregory Palamas sees as the third type of atheism, after atheism and heresy.
May God the Trinity, glorified and worshiped, help us!
I have taken note of the above text which was read to me by the Orthodox clergyman (Matei Vulcanescu, priest) because of the problems I have with my eyes, and I fully agree with the content of the text, giving, moreover, this Orthodox and patristic confession to my ordination as a bishop.
Friday, 26th January, 2018.
† Al Sinaiului, Damianos,
The Orthodox Church of Sinai is an autonomous Christian Orthodox Church, whose territory consists of St. Catherine’s Monastery (which is located on the Sinai Peninsula, at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt) along with several outbuildings. The Church is pastored by an archbishop who is traditionally ordained by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and who, at the same time, is the abbot of the monastery.