ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF SAINT EDWARD THE MARTYR 
AND SAINT PARASKEVI OF ROME
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland

His Beatitude Patriarch John X

And the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Patriarchal Residence,
Balamand
Koura
Lebanon

6 December 2023

Our Father, Your Beatitude the Patriarch,

And Your Eminences the Metropolitans of the Holy Synod,

Your blessing!

I would like to express the gratitude of our parish community to His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan (Oner) of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland, who received us in November 2021. We are blessed and honoured to be part of the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch, established by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. It is a great honour for us to be in this Apostolic Church where “…the disciples were first called Christians”.[1]

Since I felt the work of the Holy Spirit in the one and unique Body of Christ, the Orthodox Church, I try to dedicate all my life to Him. I was ordained as a presbyter of the Church of Greece in 2007, and since then I, the sinner, with humility, have been fighting with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength and with all my mind for the Truth of Christ. While I was a clergyman of the Church of Greece, I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with important contemporary theologians in Greece.[2] During our fight against Ecclesiological and Christological heresies, especially from the so-called synod of Crete, we organised conferences and went as part of ecclesiastical delegations to various local Churches.[3]By the grace of God, these conferences and discussions helped the local Churches of Bulgaria, Georgia and Russia, understand and realise the heresies that were about to be adopted in the so-called synod of Crete. Professor Demetrios Tselengidis, a member of the ecclesiastical delegation, is also my advisor on all the theological issues discussed below. I have also written this letter with the blessing of my spiritual father, Archimandrite Maximos (Caravas) of the Holy Monastery of Saint Paraskevi Milochoriu, Ptolemaida, Greece.

With the blessing of His Eminence Seraphim, Metropolitan of Piraeus, on every Sunday of Orthodoxy, we have served the service of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy with its anathemas against all heresies. This service includes the anathemas against the current fallen and uncanonical patriarchs of the Anti-Chalcedonians (Miaphysites/Monophysites). These anathemas are also pronounced by Their Eminences Archbishop Damianos of Sinai, Metropolitan Longhin of Banceni of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Metropolitans Andreas of Dryinoupolis, Seraphim of Kythera, the reposed Paul of Glyfada, the reposed Cosmas of Aetolia and the reposed Jeremias of Gortyna of the Church of Greece. Since I was received into the Church of Antioch, we have continued this Orthodox tradition and proclaimed these anathemas publicly on every Sunday of Orthodoxy. [4]

The two main reasons why I humbly asked to join the Patriarchate of Antioch were the fact that the Church of Antioch did not participate in the so-called synod of Crete and had not recognised the Ukrainian schismatics.[5] I departed from the Church of Greece due to Her recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics as well as at a liturgical level through commemoration at the Metropolis of Piraeus by the Archbishop of Greece. The other two local Churches of Bulgaria and Georgia which did not participate in Crete (even if they are not open to creating and receiving new missions in a multinational context), have issued statements highlighting some of the heresies of the texts of Crete.[6]The Church of Antioch has so far rejected the so-called synod of Crete based on the non-synodality and non-consensus of the meeting. However, this position is unclear, as there is no condemnation of the Ecclesiological and Christological heresies adopted in Crete.[7]

We are very concerned over the recent statement of the Holy Synod on October 21, 2023, to restore ecclesiastical communion with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which has adopted a non-Orthodox ecclesiology in the so-called synod of Crete, and this is the reason for writing this letter.[8] We have been waiting for the synodal report on the results of the so-called synod of Crete, that was commissioned by the Holy Synod (in 27 June 2016), to be made public.[9] We have not seen any equivalent statement highlighting the heresies of the texts of this so-called synod, as the Holy Synods of the Churches of Bulgaria and Georgia have issued. However, instead of this, the restoration of communion with the Church of Jerusalem was announced. As far as we know, the Church of Jerusalem has not renounced the heretical Ecclesiological and Christological teachings of the texts signed in Crete and has not removed Her bishop from Qatar. This restoration of communion without resolving the original cause of ceasing communion with the Church of Jerusalem, and to which the Ecclesiological and Christological heresies adopted by Her in Crete are added, does not heal the schism but allows it to continue.[10]

Therefore, we would like to humbly ask what the position of the Church of Antioch is regarding the following theological subjects we will describe below: the membership in the World Council of ‘Churches’ (WCC), the fact that the Holy Synod has until now not condemned the heresies of the texts of the so-called synod of Crete, the acceptance of the so-called ‘Chambesy agreements’ (1989 and 1990), the 1991 decision of the Holy Synod to have inter-communion with the Anti-Chalcedonians and receiving the heterodox who have been ‘baptised’ in the Name of the Holy Trinity in their cult without Orthodox baptism.

1.Participation in the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the non-condemnation of the heresies of the texts of the so-called synod of Crete (2016)

The ‘World Council of Churches’ (WCC) defines itself as “a fellowship of ‘churches’ which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour.”[11]The dialogue on the WCC platform is based on Protestant premises, which contradict the Orthodox criteria of the Holy Apostle Paul.[12]  This is evident in the ‘Toronto Statement’ (1950) that is the basis of Orthodox participation in the WCC, and is considered “of paramount importance” by the so-called synod of Crete.[13] The Ecclesiology of the participating local Orthodox Churches has been altered after 75 years of membership in the WCC.[14]

The Ecclesiological heresies of the ‘World Council of Churches’ have been condemned by the Inter-Orthodox Council held in Moscow (8-19 July 1948) signed by 10 of 14 local Autocephalous Orthodox Churches including the representative of the Church of Antioch (His Eminence Metropolitan Elias of Lebanon), and by many others (clergy, monastics and lay people).[15]

The local Churches which adopted the so-called synod of Crete, have adopted all the Ecclesiological heresies of the ‘Toronto Statement’. According to Elder Gabriel of Mount Athos, the synod also has Christological heresy because the Church is identified with the Body of Christ, and heresy against the Church is heresy against Christ. [16]

Based on the experience of the Holy Fathers of the Church over 2000 years, the local Churches that condemned the so-called synod of Crete should cease communion with those local Churches which have adopted it, in this way raising an alarm signal of the gravity of these heresies.[17]

On the Sunday of Orthodoxy, in our small parish of Saint Edward the Martyr and Saint Paraskevi of Rome in Liverpool, we read the anathemas against all heresies including:

  • “those who teach and accept the so-called “World Council of Churches” (of heresies) which teaches that each Protestant branch is part of the Church of Christ and those who take part in common prayers in the blasphemy and transgression of the Canons, the so-called “Week of Prayer for Christian unity” in January, who consider the heretics as ‘brothers in Christ’: Anathema!”, and
  • “those who teach and accept the Toronto Statement (1950)[…]: Anathema!”[18]

With all the pain in our hearts and with all humility, we ask ourselves how could it be possible to participate in this council of heresies? We feel that we are adopted by You and Metropolitan Silouan and all the other Metropolitans of the Church of Antioch as our natural fathers, and this gives us the courage to raise this question as a parish in our Antiochian family. As we have mentioned above, we proclaim the anathema against the WCC. Considering this fact, are there intentions in the Holy Synod to stop participating in the WCC? We write this with all pain, with all love in Christ and with all gratitude as You are our beloved family that adopted us.

2.Agreed Statements and Proposals for Lifting Anathemas with the Anti-Chalcedonians (Chambesy Agreements)

[19]

I would like to humbly express my pain caused by the un-Orthodox decisions made by the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch in 1991 towards the Anti-Chalcedonians (Miaphysites/Monophysites)[20], as an effect of non-patristic and non-Orthodox theological dialogues, according to Father Theodore Zisis.[21]

Archimandrite George Kapsanis, the reposed Igumen of Grigoriou Monastery of Mount Athos, also stated in many theological letters and books about the heretical character of the adopted texts in Chambesy (1989 and 1990), in the dialogues with the Monophysites.[22]

In the ‘First Agreed Statement’ in Chambesy (1989), the Orthodox agreed that “when we speak of the one composite (synthetos) hypostasis of our Lord Jesus Christ, […] to form an inseparably and unconfusedly united real divine-human being, […] Who in these last days became a human being and was born of the Blessed Virgin.”[23]

In the formulation, “to form an inseparably and unconfusedly united real divine-human being”, the formula ‘divine-human being’ is the same as the formulation of the heretic Severus of Antioch, “composite divine-human nature”.[24] The Coptic Pope Shenouda III in his book ‘The Nature of Christ’, talks about “one nature of Christ” and “only one divine-human nature”, following the heresy of Severus.[25]  Saint John of Damascus states that “the Lord’s natures are hypostatically united without [mixture], with each nature keeping its own distinction.” [26]

Based on the evidence above, it is demonstrated that the Anti-Chalcedonians are still Monophysites in their Christology and under the anathema of the 4th and later Ecumenical Councils. This position is also the conclusion of the Orthodox theologian, Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet, in his very well-researched book ‘Person and Nature’.[27] A similar theological analysis was undertaken by the Holy Synod of the Church of Georgia which led them to conclude and declare that the so-called ‘Chambesy Agreements’, ‘Balamand Agreement’, the 1991 preliminary agreement with the Monophysites, are unacceptable from an Orthodox dogmatic viewpoint.[28]

Based on the statement of the Georgian Church and many other theological statements, we can conclude that the ‘Chambesy Agreements’ (1989 and 1990) and the 1991 Synodal Letter of the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Church, contain Ecclesiological and Christological heresies.[29] The 1991 Synodal Letter also allowed inter-communion and con-celebration with the Monophysites, as shown in the following decisions:

  • “Both Churches shall refrain from accepting any faithful from one Church into the membership of the other…” (No. 3),
  • Meetings between the two Churches, at the level of their Synods…” (No. 4),
  • “If bishops of the two Churches participate at a holy baptism or funeral service, the one belonging to the Church of the baptised or deceased will preside.” (No. 6),
  • “The [order of concelebration] is not applicable to the concelebration in the Divine Liturgy.” (No. 7),
  • “[The order of concelebration that] applies to bishops equally applies to the priests of both Churches.” (No. 8),
  • In localities where there is only one priest, from either Church, he will celebrate services for the faithful of both Churches, including the Divine Liturgy, pastoral duties, and holy matrimony…” (No. 9),
  • “If two priests of the two Churches happen to be in a locality where there is only one Church, they take turns in making use of its facilities.” (No. 10),
  • “If a bishop from one Church and a priest from the sister Church happen to concelebrate a service…” (No. 11), and
  • Godfathers, godmothers (in baptism) and witnesses in holy matrimony can be chosen from the members of the sister Church.” (No. 13). [30]

As mentioned earlier in this letter, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, in our small parish of Saint Edward the Martyr and Saint Paraskevi of Rome in Liverpool, we read the anathemas against all heresies which also includes: 

  • “To Jacob the Armenian, Dioscorus of Alexandria and Severus, Sergius, Paul and Pyrrhus, with Sergius the disciple of Lycopetrus: Anathema!”,
  • “To the fallen and the anticanonical patriarchs denying the Fourth Ecumenical Council, Karekin II of Armenia, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria the Coptic Patriarch, Abune Mathias of Ethiopia, Ignatius Ephrem II of the Syrian-Jacobites, Baselios Thomas of the Malabarian Indians, who mistakenly call themselves “orthodox” and those who are in communion with them: Anathema!”,
  • “To those who deny the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Holy Ecumenical Councils, monophysites, monothelites and monenergists: Anathema!”, and
  • “To the Eutychianites, Jacobites and Artzivurites: Anathema!”[31]

There are cases of mixed-marriage families between the Orthodox and the Monophysites, where the Monophysite spouse communes in the Orthodox parish. Does this also apply to our Archdiocese in the UK and Ireland?

Another question that we would like to ask, with all humility and obedience, is if there are any plans in the Synod of the Church of Antioch regarding the re-evaluation of 1991 synodal decision and the ‘Chambesy Agreements’ that led to heresy and blasphemy against the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils? In our little and modest parish, we pronounce the above anathemas. They are also on the Internet in the Greek, English and Romanian languages.[32] These questions arose in my mind when I heard about the restoration of communion with the Church of Jerusalem, which was done without explaining the dogmatic and canonical basis of the action. This can lead to the possible conclusion that there are no real concerns about such important dogmatic matters, but we do not want to make our own conclusions.

3.Acceptance of heterodox ‘baptism’ in the Name of the Holy Trinity

We would also like to humbly ask if the statement in several English liturgical books and the statement of the Metropolitan of the North American Archdiocese in 2018, regarding the reception of the heterodox into the Church by Holy Chrismation are valid?[33] These statements affirm that the condition of reception is that the heterodox believe in the Holy Trinity and have been ‘baptised with water in the Name of the Holy Trinity’, and because of this, the ‘baptism’ cannot be repeated. 

Canon 47 of the Apostolic Canons forbids the repetition of a true Orthodox baptism in the Orthodox faith and form (triple immersions).[34] Canon 1 of Saint Basil and the Canon of the Third Council of Carthage under Saint Cyprian (258), which has been ratified by Canon 2 of the Council of Trullo and elevated to ecumenical authority, also requires that all heretics must be baptised into the Orthodox Church.[35]

The last official Inter-Orthodox statement on the reception of heretics is the 1755 Synod of the Eastern Patriarchs held in Constantinople, which is still valid today.[36] The Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch in July 1933 issued a synodal decision (no. 8) that all heretics are to be baptised, which adopted the 1755 Oros.[37]

There are also clergy in some Orthodox Churches that have been received by Chrismation only. Unfortunately, they were not given the chance to be born again of water and the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church.

In conclusion, we would like to ask in our humility, what the position of the Church of Antioch is on all the matters mentioned above. Is Her intention to fight against all heresies by: withdrawing from the WCC, condemning the so-called synod of Crete, cancelling and condemning the so-called ‘Chambesy agreements’ (1989 and 1990), and the 1991 synodal decision for inter-communion with the Monophysites, officialising the anathemas to condemn all heresies, including against Miaphysitism/Monophysitism, Papism, Protestantism, the pan-heresy of ecumenism, the ecclesiological and Christological heresies of the so-called synod of Crete, and receiving every heretic who comes to the Church with Holy Orthodox Baptism?

We are humbly waiting for Your response on these theological matters that are crucial for the salvation of souls.

Kissing Your right hand and asking for Your prayers,

With all my love in Christ,

Protopresbyter Matthew (Ion-Valentin) Vulcanescu

Parish of Saint Edward the Martyr and Saint Paraskevi of Rome

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland

The letter continues with the signatures of the parish members, endnotes, bibliography and with the letter of Father Johnn Patrick Ramsey to Patriarch John X.

Fr. John (Patrick) Ramsey Letter to Patriarch John

His Beatitude Patriarch John X

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Patriarchal Residence

Balamand

Koura

Lebanon

The Feast of St Nicholas of Myra

6 December 2023

Your Beatitude, the Patriarch, John of Antioch;

Bless!

Following the letter of Protopresbyter Matthew, I too wish to add a letter on similar matters as he has raised in his letter. 

We came together with thanksgiving into the diocese of Metropolitan Silouan in the UK as a stable place to continue as presbyters of the Holy Church for the good fight for the faith and to obtain the Holy Spirit to union with God along with the laity given to our care. We do this in unity with Metropolitan Silouan and with the great See of Sts Peter and Paul in Antioch of which you are now presently Bishop and Patriarch. We seek to be of one faith, one hope, under one Lord in one Church through one baptism all together with the same mind partaking of one Eucharist in one Spirit.

In recent times, questions have started to arise whether we are truly keeping to the Apostolic instruction on these points. Are we of one mind, in one Church, with one faith with one hope having been baptised with one baptism and partaking of one Eucharist? Are we keeping the Apostolic Tradition just as passed down to us from the Apostles by the Holy Fathers as affirmed in the definitions and canons of the Ecumenical Councils as guided by the Holy Spirit of Truth? The questions are even being raised in regard to the great Petrine Sees, the rocks of the Church, the stability of our communion and our Faith, just as St Peter confessed to the Lord. There are reasons to question whether the Great See of Constantinople, New Rome, having inherited the privileges of Rome, the first of the Petrine Sees, together with Alexandria and Antioch, has turned its way from the narrow path of the Fathers in proclaiming the council recently held in Crete as a Great and Holy Synod on par with the God-inspired Ecumenical Councils. We are aware, though, that the Great Patriarchate of Antioch did not participate in this council.

Given that, does the Patriarchate of Antioch receive the Synod of Crete in AD2016 as an Ecumenical Council as inspired by the Holy Spirit? If not, given that it claims to have such status that it is binding on all the faithful, is the Patriarchate of Antioch working to deny the council this status such as the Fathers fought against the councils of Ephesus in AD449, and Hiera in AD754 that claimed to be ecumenical councils? Also, if the Council of Crete is not received then what are the grounds of rejection, such as: was it only not properly constituted as an ecumenical council due to the lack of your presence or that of your legate; or was it that the council taught or ruled inconsistently with the Tradition of the Church as testified in the previous ecumenical councils?

Also, does the Patriarch of Antioch accept the right of the Patriarch of Constantinople to invoke an ecumenical council, which historically was the done in obedience to the authority of Emperor as civil ruler of the Empire and not according to the authority of any bishop even that of Rome?

On other matters of interest: I am unsure of the official position of the Patriarchate of Antioch with the non-Chalcedon communities in its territory. This issue is causing some scandal among the faithful here and some are tempted to join schismatics due to this. Does the Patriarchate of Antioch still affirm the decrees, condemnations and canons of the Fourth Ecumenical Council? Is it the case that the non-Chalcedon communities have officially signed documents anathematising those anathematised at Chalcedon such as Dioscorus and Severus according to Canon 95 of the Fifth-Sixth Council? Have the non-Chalcedon communities come under the bishops of the Patriarchate and repudiated their separated hierarchy consistent with Canon 8 of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea? There are some “agreements” written in Geneva in the early 1990s that seem to indicate dropping the anathemas and continuing in separated hierarchies while concelebrating. How are such agreements consistent with the ecumenical councils?

If there is some necessary economy for this, is the necessity of the economy limited to a certain region or does it apply to all regions such as in the UK and US?

Next, given the schism with Jerusalem due to the bishop in Qatar being a breach of the territorial jurisdiction of Antioch as Patriarch of the East, on what grounds is the Patriarchate of Antioch have bishops and dioceses in the West such as in the UK or in the USA? Is the Ecumencial Patriarchate unable to manage these regions? Is there a principle that because Old Rome fell into heresy that the West became the common territory of all without any territorial rule? 

Does the Church in Antioch still recognise Canon 95 of the Fifth-Sixth Ecumenical Council, which states that all heretics not named in the canon are to be received as Greeks, that is pagans, through baptism? Does the Patriarchate of Antioch accept the teaching of St Basil the Great when he states:

“Whence is it that we are Christians? Through our faith, would be the universal answer. And in what way are we saved? Plainly because we were regenerate through the grace given in our baptism. … Whether a man have departed this life without baptism, or have received a baptism lacking in some of the requirements of the tradition, his loss is equal. (St Basil the Great On the Holy Spirit, Chapter 10) 

“In three immersions, then, and with three invocations, the great mystery of baptism is performed, to the end that the type of death may be fully figured, and that by the tradition of the divine knowledge the baptised may have their souls enlightened.” (Chapter 15)”?

Also, are the priests of the Patriarchate of Antioch required to obtain documents from those being received into the Church anathematising their heresy and all heresies including those condemned at Chalcedon from those coming into the Church as according to Canons 7 and 95 and Canon 8 of Nicaea: “ Above all, that it is fitting for them to confess to this in writing, to wit, that they will agree to and will adhere to the dogmas of the catholic and apostolic Church. …So that they may adhere to the dogmas of the catholic Church in everything. ?”

Is there a right of appeal in the Patriarchate without prejudice if one has contention with his bishop? Why has the Patriarchate of Antioch followed the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate last century to raise all bishops to the rank of metropolitan thus effectively denying the proper rights of metropolitans to ordain bishops in their provinces with the patriarch effectively taking the ordinations of all bishops by making them all metropolitans?

“…It is arranged so that only the Metropolitans… shall be ordained by the most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople… each Metropolitan… together with the Bishops of the province, shall ordain the Bishops of the province, just as is prescribed by the divine Canons.”

(Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council.)

This practice damages mission because it prevents establishing local synods in each nation to manage their own affairs in their own language while remaining in communion with and under guidance of the ancient patriarchs. It also forces the missions to be governed by bishops who are foreign to the local culture and unable to address local needs adequately because there is only the patriarchal synod and all bishops must speak in the local language of the Patriarch. Also, it also prevents local customs being established by a local synod in that nation, so mission becomes a conversion to an ethnic culture as much as to the Orthodox Faith. This is a scandal in places such as the UK and some people do not come into the Orthodox Church because they think that it is only an ethnic church for Greeks, Russians or Arabs.

In conclusion, how are we to be of one faith under one Lord, with one baptism, with one hope in one Church uniting around the one Petrine See in whose throne you sit, except we accept the same Ecumenical Councils and believe the same definitions of faith and condemn the same heresies and obey the same canons? How can the churches be united in many nations without this common confession and obedience? How can we be united to Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever, if we do not hold fast to the Apostolic Tradition passed down to us by the Fathers as testified by the God-breathed Holy Ecumenical Councils and the Holy Fathers in one permanent and universal confession of the same Christ who is thus present in the Church? How can the Church become local to each place if it does not have a local synod of bishops but rather a confusion of bishops of different nations outside their canonical territories all divided from each other due to each one’s national customs?

A response will be much appreciated so that we may know if we are truly of the same mind and opinion as yourself and the bishops of the Patriarchate, that we are preaching the Gospel properly and not fighting nor running the good race in vain.

I look forward to your reply as one enthroned on the chair of Sts Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, the rock of the Faith and centre of communion of the churches.

Kissing your hand and asking for your holy prayers.

The unworthy presbyter in Christ,

Priest-monk Patrick (John) Ramsey.

St George’s Hermitage.

UK.

Footnotes

[1] Acts 11:26.

[2] Emeritus Professor of Orthodox Dogmatics Demetrios Tselengidis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, a disciple of Protopresbyter Professor John S. Romanides, Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis, Emeritus Professor of the School of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the reposed Protopresbyter George Metallinos, Emeritus Professor of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Protopresbyter Peter Heers and Protopresbyter Anastasios Gotsopoulos.

[3]  Holy Monastery of Pantokrator of Melissochori, Theological Seminar on “Holy and Great Synod: Great Preparation without Expectations”; Metropolis of Piraeus, “Holy and Great Council” (Crete, 2016): Between Providence and Failure (in Romanian); Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Meeting of the Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte with Professor Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis (in Bulgarian); Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Discussion on the topic: “Orthodoxy today” took place in the building of Sofia Metropolis (in Bulgarian); Orthodox Ethos, Gathering of Clergy and Monastics in Moldavia Petitions the Patriarch of Moscow to Reject Crete; Orthodox Ethos, Ecclesiastical Delegation from Greece Meets Patriarch and Hierarchs of the Church of Georgia.

[4] Video recordings of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy proclaimed have also been sent to His Eminence Silouan, Metropolitan of Great Britain and Ireland: Vulcanescu, The Sunday of Orthodoxy 2022; Vulcanescu, The Sunday of Orthodoxy 2023.

[5]  Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch, 6 June 2016; Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch, 27 June 2016.

[6]  Russian Orthodox Church, Resolutions of the Holy Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church (29th Nov.– 2nd Dec. 2017); Bulgarian Orthodox Church, “The Final Decision of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on the Council in Crete (2016) and the text ‘Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World’” (in Bulgarian); Patriarchate of Georgia, Minutes of the Meeting of the Holy Synod on the Great and Holy Council. (in Georgian)

[7] Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch, 27 June 2016, op. cit.

[8] Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Holy Synod of Antioch, 21 Oct. 2023.

[9] Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch, 27 June 2016, op. cit.; Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch issued 9 June 2017.

[10] Canon 2 of the Second Ecumenical Council, Canon 8 of the Third Ecumenical Council, Decree on the Jurisdiction of Jerusalem and Antioch, Session 7 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council: Schaff, NPNF Vol. 14, pp. 348, 442 & 490.

[11] World Council of Churches, Constitution and Rules of the World Council of Churches.

[12] Tselengidis, The importance of dogma in dialogues with heterodox. (in Romanian)

[13]   Para. 19: “It is their deep conviction that the ecclesiological presuppositions of the 1950 Toronto Statement… are of paramount importance for Orthodox participation in the Council.”: Holy and Great Council, ‘Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World’; World Council of Churches, Toronto Statement; Vulcanescu, Historical Approach To The Context Of The Dialogue With The Non-Orthodox: The Toronto Statement; see also: Serdaru, Analysis from the point of view of logical principles of the texts of the Council of Crete. (in Romanian)

[14] Refer to: Holy Monastery of Pantokrator of Melissochori, Letter of Protest to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece on the WCC decision in Busan. (in Greek))

[15]   Ioniță, The Decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Meetings From 1923 to 2009, p. 151-154(in Romanian), Vulcanescu, The official anathema of the ROCOR against ecumenism; Heers, The 1998 Synodical Decision of the Orthodox Church of Georgia on the Chambesy and Balamand Agreements; Vulcanescu, Confession of the Orthodox Faith against all heresies by His Eminence Damianos, Archbishop of Sinai, op. cit.; Metropolitan of Piraeus, “Stop fruitless dialogues with heretics” (in Greek); Synaxis of Orthodox Clergy and Monastics, Orthodoxos Typos, no. 1984, pp. 1 & 6. (in Greek)

[16]   Vulcanescu, Discussion with Elder Gabriel about the Council of Crete; Vulcanescu, Elder Gabriel the Athonite: The Synod of Crete fell into Christological heresy. (in Greek)

[17]  Papadakis, The Struggles of the Monks for Orthodoxy. (in Greek)

[18]  Vulcanescu, The Sunday of Orthodoxy 2023, para. 25-27 & 30-36, op. cit.

[19]  The ‘Anti-Chalcedonian’ Monophysites are: the Syriac-Jacobites, Malankara-Jacobites (Indians), Armenians, Copts, Tewahedo-Ethiopians and Tewahedo-Eritreans. Refer to: Joint Commission, First Agreed Statement; Joint Commission, Second Agreed Statement; Joint Commission, Recommendations On Pastoral Issues; Joint Commission, Communique: Proposals for Lifting Anathemas (1993).

[20]   Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Orthodox Church of Antioch on the Relations between the Eastern and Syrian ‘Orthodox’ Churches.

[21]   Zizis, Letter to Patriarch Daniel. (in Romanian)

[22] Kapsanis, Contemporary Iconoclasts; The Sacred Community of Mount Athos, Concerning the Dialogue Between the Orthodox and Non-Chalcedonian Churches.

[23] Joint Commission, First Agreed Statement.

[24]  Refer to: Zizis, “St. John of Damascus and the ‘Orthodoxy’ of the Anti-Chalcedonians”.

[25]  Shenouda III, The Nature of Christ, ch. 3.

[26]  Chase, St. John of Damascus: Writings, p. 284, op. cit. (emphasis added)

[27] Larchet, Person and Nature. (in French)

[28] Heers, The 1998 Synodical Decision of the Orthodox Church of Georgia on the Chambesy and Balamand Agreements, op. cit.; Vulcanescu, We ask the Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church to follow the example of the Orthodox Church of Georgia… (in Romanian)

[29] Kapsanis, Contemporary Iconoclasts; The Sacred Community of Mount Athos, Concerning the Dialogue Between the Orthodox and Non-Chalcedonian Churches; Grigoriatis, Theological Notes On Recent Proposals For Inter-Communion Orthodox And Anti-Chalcedonians. (in Greek); see also: Zizis, “St. John of Damascus and the ‘Orthodoxy’ of the Anti-Chalcedonians”, op. cit.

[30] Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Statement of the Orthodox Church of Antioch on the Relations between the Eastern and Syrian ‘Orthodox’ Churches.

[31] Vulcanescu, The Sunday of Orthodoxy 2023, para. 6, 8-10, op. cit.

[32] Vulcanescu, The Sunday of Orthodoxy 2023, op. cit.

[33] See officially approved books in English by the Archdiocese of North America: Najim & O’Grady, The Services of Initiation: Into the Holy Orthodox-Catholic and Apostolic Church, p. 91-93, footnote 34; Hughes, The Service for the Chrismation of Converts into the Orthodox Faith, p. 4-8; Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Baptism: Baptism Given to All Persons; Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Statement Regarding Reception of Converts to the Orthodox Christian Faith.

[34] Canon 47 of the Apostolic Canons: Agapios and Nicodemus, The Rudder, pp. 89-75; Vulcanescu, Arguments on receiving the heterodox into the Orthodox Church, op. cit.

[35] Canon of the Third Council of Carthage and Canon 1 of St. Basil: Orthodox Ethos, On the Reception of the Heterodox into the Orthodox Church, pp. 80-81 & 83-90; Agapios and Nicodemus, The Rudder, pp. 485-488 and 773-789.

[36] Orthodox Ethos, On the Reception of the Heterodox into the Orthodox Church, p. 301, op. cit.; Metallinos I Confess One Baptism…, p. 34.

[37] Lacombe, Échos d’Orient, vol. 33, no. 173, (Paris, 1934), p. 99. (in French); Orthodox Ethos, On the Reception of the Heterodox into the Orthodox Church, p. 299, op. cit.

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