Orthodox Leader Writes to Encourage Ecumenism

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I of Constantinople, the head of the Orthodox Churches in a manner similar to the Pope for the Catholic Church, wrote recently to encourage Orthodox dialogue with other Christian communions against a surging fanaticism that wishes to end attempts at Christian unity. His letter, read in Orthodox churches worldwide just a couple weeks ago, encouraged:

Orthodoxy must be in constant dialogue with the world. The Orthodox Church does not fear dialogue because truth is not afraid of dialogue. On the contrary, if Orthodoxy is enclosed within itself and not in dialogue with those outside, it will both fail in its mission and no longer be the “catholic” and “ecumenical” Church. Instead, it will become an introverted and self-contained group, a “ghetto” on the margins of history. This is why the great Fathers of the Church never feared dialogue with the spiritual culture of their age – indeed even with the pagan idolaters and philosophers of their world – thereby influencing and transforming the civilization of their time and offering us a truly ecumenical Church.

You can read the full letter here.

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