Ecumenism

Through several of its key decisions, including the adoption of a consensus decision-making process as well as of stricter theological and ecclesiological criteria for Council membership [consisting of the Orthodox delegates’ right to write their own separate statements and to only allow churches in some way related to Christianity in – NFTU], the Assembly established a “new basis that will allow the Orthodox church not only to participate in the ecumenical dialogue without reticence but also to contribute effectively to it,” Christodoulos said.

Advocating for “dialogue in truth, according to the spirit of truly Christian love for God and humankind,” the archbishop affirmed that the Church of Greece is ready “to contribute its support to the new perspectives of ecumenical dialogue”. He also emphasized the need for “coherence” and a “sense of responsibility in the planning of future actions” and programmes by the WCC governing bodies.

Christodoulos recognized that the “journey towards unity is long and difficult, because it demands that the church’s historic memory be cleansed of burdens and traumatic experiences that have shackled it for centuries”. However, he affirmed that the final goal of the ecumenical movement is “the ecclesial communion around the Lord’s table,” and asked for all to persevere, trusting that “the divine gift of communion will come in its own good time”.

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June 7, 2006

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