of Archimandrite Athanasios Anastasiou,
Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron - Holy Meteora
to the Conference: "‘Primacy,' Synodicality and Unity of the Church"
Piraeus, April 28, 2010
Your Eminence, reverend Fathers, learned Professors,
Christ is Risen.
It is an exceptional blessing for us to have received His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim's invitation to attend this conference and deliver a humble monastic address. This conference which he has organized with particular care and attention to detail once again demonstrates his confessional candor, his understanding for struggle and his inspired witness.
Our presence here tonight is a conscious and important witness against the great problem of ecumenism, which presents serious dangers for our Church and the spiritual progress of the faithful with deep spiritual and soteriological ramifications.
It is a witness of support and participation to the healthy concern and uneasiness of the rest of those present - the organizers, speakers and listeners - but also of so many others of the faithful in our Church, who are grieved by and indignant with the present-day ecumenical advances, and who are expressing their extreme displeasure and distress.
It is our shared resolute and unyielding witness to the fact that we refuse to accept these "irreversible events", which the workings of the New Age and New World Order fashion and attempt to impose in the sphere of the ecumenical dialogues and the union with the heterodox; and this, in the face of the difficult times for our homeland and our people, who now are most tragically living the consequences of these workings in the maelstrom of universal scorn, unreliability, decay, subjugation and compliance.
Exactly the same things are being undertaken in the sphere of faith through the unhealthy and estranged environment of ecumenism, with inadmissible and ruinous concessions, relativity, falsifications, alterations, modifications and compromises, that take place under the veil of peaceableness, inter-existence, mutual enrichment, fraternity and in a climate of profuse and vapid agapology (that is, under the pretense of love - trans. note).
However, the truth of our faith is and will remain unchanged, genuine and without innovation. Our Orthodox faith is and will remain non-negotiable. There is no need of support mechanisms, pacts of stability, supervisory contracts, international tutelage. It cannot be limited, undermined, scorned; it is not afraid of speculators, it cannot go bankrupt!
This our holy Orthodox faith, handed down from the Apostles, the living and salvific faith of our Holy Fathers - in spite of the scheming and fierce attacks which it endures from those inside and outside of its walls, visible and invisible combatants - by the grace of our Resurrected Lord, our Panagia and our Saints, will save this our beloved homeland and will lead us to our future homeland on high.
Our message is clear and simple: there is no allowance for reductions and compromises in matters of the faith. In matters of the faith there are not governors and governed, superiors and subordinates, law-givers and followers. We do not obey on account of intimidations and threats. We do not accept ultimatums and accomplished facts. We refuse to abandon the saving faith and saint-bearing tradition of our Orthodox Church to be led to extra-ecclesiastical paths of false unions and uniate accessions.
We would like to thank you and congratulate you on your confessional witness in the matter of ecumenism. Your presence as a leader, in face of the lack of episcopal [leadership] in this particular sphere, gives us comfort and strength. We also thank you and congratulate you on the coordination of tonight's conference on the well-chosen and pertinent theme: "Primacy, Synodicality and Unity of the Church," upon which most noteworthy speakers will expound.
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