Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crisis of Ecumenism according to the Patriarch of Moscow

As expressed before, on this blog, there are many who support the modern Ecumenical Movement; however, there are those who are against Ecumenism and who critically identify certain problems. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow explains, below, the crisis of Ecumenism:

“…the current crisis of ecumenism is in the first instance a methodological crisis. Why? Because, at the start of inter-confessional dialogue, instead of attempting to agree on the most important thing (that is, an understanding of Holy Tradition as normative for Christian faith and practice and a criterion of theological truth), Christians began to discuss individual questions, however important these may be in themselves. The manifest success in the discussion of these questions is really almost irrelevant, because what meaning can doctrinal agreement have when one party (a significant portion of Protestant theologians) does not recognise the very concept of normativity for Christian faith and practice? Any agreement in these fields is open to withdrawal or revision when new ideas and new arguments appear, introducing new seeds of division. Is not this the phenomenon we are facing today with the problem of women’s priesthood and acceptance of homosexual lifestyles? Apropos, the histories of women’s priesthood and of homosexuality are the best proofs of the thesis on the liberal nature of Protestantism. It is very clear that the introduction of women’s priesthood and acceptance of homosexual lifestyles occurred under the influence of the liberal idea of human rights. In the case in point, these rights represent a radical departure from Holy Tradition, and a portion of Protestantism has resolved the problem in favour of human rights, ignoring the clear norm of tradition”[1].

[1] Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow, Freedom and Responsibility, (London, Darton, Longman and Todd, 2011),p. 6

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