On Ecumenoclasm: Let Us Pray?

Ecumenoclasm seems to be, lately, a disease that affected to a large extent Romanian Orthodoxy. Lord have mercy!

Public Orthodoxy

by Paul Ladouceur

Orthodox opponents to ecumenism are highly critical of Orthodox participation in prayer and other services in common with non-Orthodox Christians. This opposition is usually based on ancient canons forbidding prayer with “heretics and schismatics.” Among frequently cited canons are Apostolic Canons 10, 11, 45, 65 and 71. Apostolic Canon 10, for example, reads: “If one who is not in communion prays together, even at home, let him be excommunicated;” and Canon 45: “Let any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them to perform any service as clergymen, let him be deposed.” (See, for example, here and here.)

Referring to ancient canons is relevant to Orthodox involvement in ecumenical prayer services, but several major qualifications are in order. Most importantly, the invocation of such canons in isolation from both their historical context and the…

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