A new draft Catechism of the Moscow Patriarchate states:
“The Church condemns those who, using unreliable information, deliberately distort the mission of the Orthodox Church to the non-Orthodox world and deliberately slander the Church’s hierarchy, accusing it of ‘treason to Orthodoxy.’ To such people, who sow seeds of temptation among ordinary believers, one should apply canonical rebukes ….
“Participation in the ecumenical movement has always been based on the Orthodox Tradition, on the decisions of the Holy Synods of the Local Orthodox Churches and all-Orthodox meetings … Participants are unanimous in their understanding of the need to continue participating in various forms of inter-Christian activities. “
The draft of the new Catechism was unanimously approved by the MP Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission (under the guidance of the well-known MP ecumenist and head of the Department of External Church Affairs, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev). In February of 2016, the MP Bishops’ Council decided to send the draft Catechism to ROCOR-MP, various MP schools and institutions, and other autonomous bodies under the MP. November 2017 is when any changes to the document will no longer be accepted.
This would even more formally and firmly enshrine ecumenism in the official views of the MP , as well as penalizing those within it that condemn such participation. Even the milquetoast criticism of the ‘fighting from within’ figures would become subject to ‘canonical rebuke’. If this document passes fully in the MP, it will provide a final tool to stamp out any smoldering embers against ecumenism that chose to remain within the MP.