Elder Paisios the Agiorite on Ecumenism
He particularly respected the Ecumenical
throne. He recognized its pan-orthodox mission and understood the difficult
position it was in. He prayed a lot and publically defended it during many instances.
As a mouthpiece we witnessed the Elder to be a strong fighter against the
heretics. On matters of faith he was precise and uncompromising. He had a great
Orthodox sensitivity and for this he would not accept common prayers and
communion with non Orthodox persons. He would stress: "For us to pray together
with somebody, we must agree on the faith". He would break his relationship or
avoid meeting clerics who participated in common prayers with the heterodox.
The "mysteries" of the heterodox he would not recognize and he would advise
that those who were coming over to the Orthodox Church be properly catechized before
baptism. He fought intensely against ecumenism and would talk about the
greatness and uniqueness of Orthodoxy, information which derived from his heart
that was full of divine grace. His life indicated the superiority of Orthodoxy.
For a period he stopped, together with almost the rest of the Holy Mountain, to
commemorate the patriarch Athenagoras for his dangerous openings to the Roman
Catholics. But he would do so with anguish. "I pray" he would say to someone,
"so that God cut some days off my life and give them to the patriarch
Athenagoras to complete his repentance". About the Anti-chalcedonians
(monophysites) he would say: "They do not say that they did not understand the
Holy Fathers but that the Holy Fathers did not understand them. Namely, as if
they are right and were misunderstood". He characterized as blasphemy against
the Holy Fathers the proposed cleansing of the Liturical books from the
characterizations of the heretics Dioscorus and Sevirus. He said "So many Holy
Fathers who had divine illumination and were their contemporaries, did not understand
them but misunderstood them, and here we come so many centuries later to
correct the Holy Fathers? Why don't they even consider the miracle of Saint
Euphimia? Is it possible that even she
had misunderstood the book of the heretics?"
Without seeking to appear as confessor, with his ways, he would react,
talk and write to ecclesiastic people. "The church" he would say "is not a boat
of every bishop to do what he pleases". His reactions were followed by a lot of
prayer and love for the Church but also for those who deviated and by assumed
apathy, distinction and greater elightenment
(+ Hieromonk Isaac, Life of Elder Paisios the Agiorite, Holy Mountain 2004, p. 690-691).