Sunday, February 14, 2016

More Fr. Theodoros Zisis on the upcoming Council


  1. I'm sorry, but once again this man is extremely unreasonable. He is saying things that are verifiably false.

    For example, "What is ecumenism? It is the World Council of Churches. It is Protestantism."

    Father Theodoros, ecumenism includes much, much more than that. You cannot use the WCC as a straw man to condemn ecumenical activity.

    For example, are you aware that the Roman Catholic Church is not and has never been a part of the WCC? I'm sure you would commend them for that. Meanwhile, the great majority of ecumenical activity among Orthodox is with Roman Catholics.

    Furthermore, many agree that one of the most important ecumenical fields today is between Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox. Please allow me to recommend this fine article by Fr. Chad Hatfield, which will update you on the whole issue.

    There is certainly more to say here, but this already covers a large portion of the video.

  2. Obviously Fr. Theodoros was not attempting to be specific in his definition. None of the anti-ecumenists take issue with Fr. Florovsky, since his brand of ecumenism was to reconcile everyone to the Tradition of the first millenium, IOW, Orthodoxy.

  3. Perhaps a good question then would be whether Fr. Theodoros sees the value of holding a council to provide directives on the issues of ecumenical activity. One would hope, for example, that a council might be enough to move the bishops into a theological agreement with the Orientals over the natures of Christ that could allow communio in sacris. A council seems to be the only way to move this dialogue forward. Yet Fr. Theodoros is against holding this council, because he is worried that the Patriarchs are trying to engage in false ecumenism.

    1. You should really look up Fr. Theodoros' extensive theological formation, background, and experience before you conclude that he is "extremely unreasonable". He has written and spoken on all of the topics you question him on over the course of his career, which has spanned over 50 years. His comments proceed from a wealth of theological and personal experience. At the very least you ought to ask yourself "why" someone of his stature (a Professor and Patrologist at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for over 35 years) is making these statements before you dismiss them so flippantly.

      Try searching, "Protopresbyter Theodoros Zisis (Biographical notes)" & "Fr. Theodoros Zisis' escape from the Babylonian Captivity of Ecumenism", if you are truly interested in beginning to consider more seriously who this man is and the possible reasons behind his comments. No one is saying you need to agree with him, but don't dismiss him by claiming he is uninformed or ignorant.

      Just a suggestion.

    2. Thanks for the reminder. I do appreciate the significance of his education. Allow me to mention along with your point that educated persons have a responsibility, an obligation, to express themselves clearly when they speak publicly. The audience cannot be expected to infer a wealth of learning when what is said seems to lack even a basic familiarity with the issues under discussion.

    3. "seems to lack even a basic familiarity"... Eye of the beholder, I suppose.

      I wonder, though, if Fr. Theodoros isn't holding the Hierarchy to just such a standard as you mention when he makes the statements he does (especially as they prepare for a Great & Holy Council). The difference being, his statements urge caution and being mindful of the Church's Tradition & saints, as opposed to what he sees as the opposite taking place (a view he has developed as result of his decades of personal involvement in the preparations & consultations).

      Point taken about being careful when speaking publicly. To what degree, though, this applies as a criticism to Fr. Theodoros in this instance is a matter of personal opinion, I guess.
      Thanks for your comments.