Four Questions for Orthodox Ecumenism

Some necessary clarifications.

Public Orthodoxy

by Edward Siecienski

(This essay was originally delivered as a public talk at the June 2015 Fordham/OTSA conference on the upcoming Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church. It was part of a panel on ecumenical relations.)

As the Orthodox churches gather to consider their common approach to ecumenism, it is perhaps worthwhile to look at how the Roman Catholic Church approached this same issue when it gathered in council over 50 years ago. I do not mean to suggest that the Orthodox need to find the same answers, but it may be quite helpful to examine some of the same questions. Among them, the four most important would be:

1 – What is the goal of Orthodox ecumenism?

Often in the Orthodox world one hears ecumenism described as “cooperation with other churches in preserving Christian values,” which seems to have as a goal not full ecclesial union, but rather coordinated action for…

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