Relations of the Orthodox Church with Other Christians and Their Communities

Public Orthodoxy

by Edith M. Humphrey, Very Rev. Maxym Lysack,  Bradley Nassif, Rev. Dr. Anthony Roeber, and Rev. Dr. Theodore Stylianopoulos

As recognized in the Chambésy pre-conciliar document, relations between the Orthodox Church and other Christians are challenging and complex. They are challenging because of the variegated groups which we engage, and because Orthodox variously assess ecumenical endeavors, some fearing that dialogue relativizes Orthodox claims. They are complex, because they involve several actions:  witness to the historic Church, bilateral discussion for mutual understanding, and involvement in common causes.

The Orthodox Church’s ecumenical mission flows from her responsibility to preserve unity (as expressed in the Scriptures, Ecumenical Councils, Liturgy and Fathers), and is based on the apostolic faith and the Church’s sacramental communion. While it is important to invite non-Christians to embrace the truth, there are also patterns for approaching those who already know something of God’s…

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