Indifference in regard to Christian unity is not an option for the disciples of Jesus, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has stated in an encyclical issued on the occasion of the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
“It is not possible for the Lord to agonize over the unity of His disciples and for us to remain indifferent about the unity of all Christians,” Bartholomew wrote in the encyclical. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is commemorated this year on 21 February.
The encyclical refutes “fanatical” challenges brought against theological dialogues among different Orthodox churches and against ecumenical contacts with the wider community of Christians by “certain circles that exclusively claim for themselves the title of zealot and defender of Orthodoxy.”
“They speak condescendingly of every effort for reconciliation among divided Christians and restoration of their unity as purportedly being ‘the pan-heresy of ecumenism’ without providing the slightest evidence that, in its contacts with non-Orthodox, the Orthodox Church has abandoned or denied the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Church Fathers,” Bartholomew criticizes.
You may read HERE the text of the Encyclica of the Ecumenical Patriarch for the Sunday of Orthodoxy (21 February 2010).