October 08, 2014 (Source: http://theorthodoxchurch.info)
Patriarch Irenei, of the Serbian Patriarch, met with and was officially received in the Syro-Jacobite Monophysite manner on a visit to Sweden. Pat. Irenei wore the Syro-Jacobite Phelonion, as well as the Syro-Jacobite accoutrements. The teachings of the Orthodox Church forbid joint prayers, services, etc, with non-Orthodox. The Syro-Jacobite Monophysites have been separated from Orthodoxy for about 1500 years, since they refused to accept the Holy Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.
Patriarch Irenei’s activities should not seem strange, seeing that the Antiochian Patriarchate, with which he is in full communion, has maintained a communion and concelebration agreement with the Syriac Monophysite church since 1991 (the Alexandrian Patriarchate some years later reached a similar agreement with the Coptic Monophsyite Church). Such agreements demonstrate the sad apostasy of the Antiochian and Alexandrian Patriarchates; the participation of Serbia in this just manifests its concord with their behaviour. While it is necessary to proselytize (attempt to convert) the Syro-Jacobites to Orthodoxy this is not what is being done; instead, by engaging in joint-ecumenical services it confirms them in their error. And, one would wonder, what could the other Ecumenist Patriarchs even say? What would they even want to say? Pat. Irenei even awarded honours to the heretical Monophysite metropolitan.
The majority of the Coptic and Syriac populations of Egypt and Syria have been deprived of Orthodoxy for 1500 years. Now, it is entirely true, that there were always Orthodox Syriac populations (that is, those who spoke Syriac, followed the distinctive Antiochian liturgical customs, and maintained Chalcedon), however, this population shrunk over the centuries. Initially the Maronites were Orthodox, however, in the late 7th century they abandoned Orthodoxy, adopting Monotheletism, and even going so far as to reject the 5th Ecumenical Council which they had previously accepted (see St. Germanus of Constantinople on this in “De Synodis”); eventually they united with Roman Catholicism in the late Middle Ages during the Crusades, and simply abandoned most of their ancient customs.
Even in those regions under the Orthodox Antiochian Patriarchate in the 17th century, we still find Horologions and other liturgical books in Syriac. The history is a little complicated, since it involves the later disputes with Theodore Balsamon and his attempt to attack and destroy the Liturgy of St. James (and St. Mark); however, one need only turn the pages of history to realize that Balsamon, while valued as an important canonical commentator, was never accepted on this point. Many commentators have noted Balsamon’s error on this and a few other point (his equating of imperial novellas as equal to ecclesial canon for Church usage).
However, this history is ignored; it is ignored because it would throw a monkey wrench in the ecunenical movement. If the Antiochians, Serbs, Alexandrians, etc, were actively trying to convert Monophysites and refused joint-prayer with them, etc, it would end the ecumenical movement in this area. Instead, Pat. Irenei has chosen to confirm the heterodox Syrians in their error; this is, ultimately, because he himself is in error (heresy), about the Faith and a great many things.
At this point, it should be mentioned that there is in fact a working True Orthodox mission in Serbia led by the True Orthodox Bishop, Akakije.
There seems to be a ‘weak spot’ in many when it comes to dealing with Monophysites. The idea seems to be that because they are fellow Easterners that ecumenism with them is alright. Fr. John Romanides, the well-known New Calendarist writer, was an avid ecumenists for the Monophsysites, and viciously attacked St. Leo the Great, the Orthodox Pope of Rome, because St. Leo condemned the Monophysites. Ultimately, the false World ‘Orthodox’ Patriarchates, which have fallen into heresy and schism, are unable to enlighten the Monophysites to their own heresy, because the Patriarchates themselves are just as much outside the Orthodox Church now as the Monophysites have been for ages.