Happy Maslenitsa, everyone!
Today, let’s get uncomfortable.
Recently I determined that NFTU was serving less of a positive purpose and acting in more of a divisive manner than it could have, so I shut it down for a few days.
Anyway, taking a look at older issues of Matushka Anastasia Shatilovna’s Church News, it dawned on me that ecumenical news stories still abound, in the U.S. and elsewhere. In our discussion of who has fallen to ecumenism, we have forgotten what it is; in our back and forth about the Moscow Patriarchate and official Orthodoxy, we have forgotten why we’ve taken the “illegal” path, the so -called “non-canonical” path, why we bother to put the word “True” in front of our names at all.
Yet ecumenism abounds. Sergianism abounds. Massive capitulation on the part of people who bear the name of Christ abounds and we just sit there– even us True Orthodox— and we take it. It abounds so much, that we, the super-true-Orthodox in our high-and-mighty place at the “table of the Lord” sit on our couches and when we read about “ecumenical unions” and “paschal joy” we scoff and we feel so “right”.
Well, maybe that’s the difference between our generation and that last one; we have turned it into a big political game of picking “who’s the best bishop to be under”. Back in the days when you could only pick the Greek Old Calendarists and the Church Abroad, people actually had something to do– to warn people about the danger of ecumenism. Now, we spend more time “jurisdiction shopping” than living our faith and preaching the gospel in the face of world apostasy. Any look at the traditional Orthodox groups on the Internet and what are we talking about? “Oh, my bishop is so great, my synod is the real confessing synod.”
Does anyone know why we are True Orthodox anymore? And even more important– does anyone outside bother to understand anymore? The answer is, I think, no– because we have stopped giving them a real answer. We refer to an anathema in 1983 and a concelebration in 1969 and well, that’s good enough for people to understand because even if it took us years to figure out the truth, well, they should just trust us.
Today I want to move NFTU to a different level. I want to go back to the old school. I want to start talking about what’s happening NOW in ecumenism.
Did you know they are trying to push a cathedral in Spain to become an “Ecumenical temple”, where all religions can celebrate? (Remember the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York? Oh, you don’t?) Did you know that in many towns in the United States, the oldest pastor– regardless of religion– celebrates the community “Ash Wednesday service”? Did you know that the new Pope in Rome, Benedict XVI– the former Cardinal Ratzinger, the supposedly strict “grand inquisitor” — is fully committed to Ecumenism under the Papal throne?
Folks, nothing has changed. And if you call yourself True Orthodox, you remember the shock when you learned stuff like the above.
What right do we have, as True Orthodox, to do anything less than expose the ecumenism that continues to infect our society?
It is our job to document and comment and say that right is right and wrong is wrong.
And that is what NFTU will be about today: and so we are changing the subtitle.
Welcome to NFTU: An Ecumenical Odyssey. Hope you read it, but try not to enjoy it.