The differences of Orthodoxy from Papism.
Source: Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron
The differences between Orthodoxy and Papism are many and significant, old and recent and concern as much the dogmatic matters as matters of ecclesiastical experience, worship, art and generally perception and life's theory. We shall attempt here to provide a concise presentation derived from the texts of the Holy Fathers and contemporary theologians, Metropolitans and Elders of our Church, who with clarity and Orthodox prudence demonstrate the aberration from the true faith and the falsehoods of Papism. For a better understanding of the differences between Orthodoxy and Papism it is necessary to investigate the overall ecclesiastic, social and political conditions of the period. For this reason we provide very briefly some historical events that proved as waypoints in the birth of Papism and the course towards its separation and schism.
The early Orthodox Latin Church of the West in old Rome was always in communion with the Orthodox East and its Patriarchates. The event that interrupted this harmonious communion between East and West was the conquering of the Western Roman Empire by the Franks during the 5th and 6th century, when Western Europe suffered the storming of the barbarian hordes that radically changed her social and religious conditions.
The Franks, a primitive and uncultured people of that period, from the first moment of their christianization, they received and assimilated incorrectly the Christian teaching. The Christology and Triology always proved to them problematic as well as their understanding of the Holy Trinity was strongly influenced by Arianism.
In the Frankish Synod at Toledo in 589 despite the apparent condemnation of Arianism, they adopted a different and false form of Triology, the processing of the Holy Spirit also from the Son, which they later included in the Creed of Faith.
In the 8th century Charles the Great (Charlemagne) became king of the Franks who went on to subdue other countries and leaders of Europe and formed the unified Western Roman Empire. The social and religious orientation of this new Western Empire had the major stigma of diversification and opposition towards the Eastern Byzantine Empire. This opposition by the Franks was displayed through ignoring and jeering the Byzantine Greeks, who already started to disparagingly refer to them as "heretics" and "Greeks" (ie thieves). It is characteristic that from the 9th to the 13th century we repeatedly read in the West articles with the title "Contres errors Graecorum"- "Against the falsehoods of the Greeks". The society and the orthodox faith of the Greeks for the uncultured Franks were an incomprehensible dimension and elusive but at the same time unapproachable and unattainable, and for this they preferred to present it as falsehood and heresy.
Since the 9th century the Franks, having expelled the Roman Orthodox bishops, declared themselves as bishops and abbots of France. They also took over by force the Orthodox Latin Patriarchate of Rome and from 1009 to 1046 they replaced the orthodox Popes of Rome with Franco-Latins, thus setting up the present Papism. "Therefore the so called Schism between the Western and Eastern Churches was not between Western Orthodox Romans (Patriarchate of Rome) and the Eastern Orthodox Romans (Patriarchate of Constantinople)" (Fr. John Romanidis, The cause of Schism).
With the Frankization of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome, falsehoods permeated into it and the anti-hellenism of the Franks, elements that have not ceased since then to constitute the main distinguishing feature and quintessence of Papism.
1. Filioque (and from the Son)
It regards the perception of the procession of the Holy Spirit "and from the Son" (Filioque) and not only from the Father. This perception, that was introduced also into the Creed of Faith, goes in complete opposition to the words of our Lord Himself in the Bible that say: "when therefore the paraklete will come ......, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father...." (John 15:26). It also completely contradicts the decisions of the Second Ecumenical Synod, which declared the specific article of the Creed of Faith, as well as of other Synods.
The addition of the Filioque in the Creed of Faith, constitutes a substantial and obvious heresy, since it contravenes the Bible and the decisions of the Ecumenical Synods. And just because of this falsehood the papists are heretics and not schismatics, as some falsely maintain that technically there was no Ecumenical Synod that condemned Papism as heresy. Of course it is about a na¨ve argument since it is known that the Ecumenical Synods dogmatized and stipulated the true faith and every departure from her, every opposing position to the decisions of the Ecumenical Synods obviously constitute heresy. In any case, there was no Ecumenical Synod that condemned for example the Protestants, the Pentecostals etc, as heretics, without this meaning that they are not.
Great Photios, this luminary and Great Teacher of our Church condemns in a characteristic way the Papist heresy of the Filioque: "Who shouldn't seal his ears to the extent of such blaspheme? This goes against the gospels, opposes the Holy Synods and the blessed and holy Fathers extinguishes the great Athanasius, the great theologian Gregory, the royal uniform of the Church, the Great Basil, the golden mouth of the world, the ocean of wisdom the true Chrysostom. And what do I say, this certain person or that certain person? Against all the holy prophets, apostles, hierarchs, martyrs and the despotic voices, this blaspheming and God fighting voice becomes armed".
With the addition of the Filioque it is one of the most basic and earlier dogmatic differences with Papism, which as we mentioned earlier, was introduced by the Franks and forced it on the then Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome. It is this one, that since its enactment and for the rest of the course of the East and West, constitutes and continues to constitute an unbridgeable chasm, having been one of the most important causes that led to the schism. "The schism of course happened because of the inclusion in the Creed and it was thus proper to repulse the Latins, for it was proper in averting its inclusion" (Gennadius Scholarius).
The Papists even dared to accuse us the Orthodox that we removed from the Creed of Faith the Filioque!!! This was the main accusation that was leveled against the Orthodox by the emissary of the Pope, Cardinal Umberto, when on the 15th July 1054 he placed the libel with anathemas on the Patriarch and all the Orthodox, on the Holy Altar of Saint Sophia, that ostensibly accusing the Orthodox "as spirit and god opposers" removed from the Symbol of the Holy Spirit, its procession "and from the Son". The perseverance of the Papists on the heretical position of the "Filioque", holds them separated from the Church and the truth and comprises a significant obstacle on every attempt to return to the orthodox faith, despite the well meaning initiatives, even the lifting of the anathemas.
Like the well aimed formulation by the Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos "some maintain that the anathemas have been lifted and therefore there is no more any problem. Of course there is a problem, because with a simple action they lifted the anathemas but did not lift the heresy of "filioque" which in fact was even more strengthened".
•2.The teaching on the uncreated essence and uncreated energy of God.
A very large and basic difference between Orthodoxy and papism is the topic of the essence and the energies of God. The correct teaching on this topic is that since the essence of God is uncreated, so are His energies also uncreated. In contrast the Westerns believe that the energies and grace of God are created.
The Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St. Gregory, Archimandrite George Kapsanis specifically writes: "Until today the Westerns believe the Divine Grace to be created, the energy of God. It is unfortunate that this which is one of the many differences between us, that should be taken seriously under consideration in the theological dialogue with the Roman Catholics. It is not only the "filioque", the position of primacy and the "infallibility" of the Pope, form the basic differences between the Orthodox Church and the Papists. It is also the above. If the Roman Catholics do not accept that the Grace of God is uncreated, we cannot unite with them even if, they accept everything else. For who would energize the theosis, if the Divine Grace is uncreated but not the uncreated energy of the Holy Spirit?"
3. The Primacy of the Pope
One of the basic heretical beliefs of papism constitutes the "primacy" of the pope. According to the decision of the 1st Synod of the Vatican (1870), the pope is the lieutenant of Christ and His representative on earth. He is the leader and visible head of the Church. In his person the whole Church is summarized. This position however is purely heretical, since "the truth is that only Christ is the Head and Leader of the Church. This we also read in St Paul's epistle to Ephesus (Eph 1:22-23), namely the Heavenly Father. "Him (Lord Jesus) He made head, above all the Church, which is His body", Arch Gerv. Raptopoulos, heresies in Greece and the falsehoods of papism pp 153-154.
4. The infallibility of the Pope.
The first Vatican Synod enacted the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope. In other words, it concerns the arrogant perception of the "ex-cathedra" infallibility of the Pope. According to this dogma, the Pope is above even the Ecumenical Synods and claims the complete and highest jurisdiction to infallibly pronounce and his teaching must be accepted by all the Church. Whoever dares to "argue", and oppose this teaching, "let him be anathematized" (Chap. 4 of the 2nd Vat. Synod). In fact theologians of the Roman-Catholic "Church" have gone as far as to declare that even if the Pope said a lie, it must be accepted by the faithful as truth!".
The proclamation of one and only man as infallible, no matter if he holds the highest office of the hierarchy, is a foreign action and against the Holy Bible and the Holy Tradition. According to the Russian Orthodox theologian Boulgakov "the infallibility belongs to the Complete Church. That is why the 6th May 1848 encyclical of the Orthodox Patriarchates of the Eastern Orthodox Church stipulated that "the guardian of Orthodoxy, the body of the Church, is her people". The Church on its totality, clergy and laity together is the "faithful guardian of the Apostolic Tradition, guarding it as entrusted heritage". (Archm. Gerv. Raptopoulos pp 163-166).
Archimandrite George Kapsanis notes that "the infallibility has extended to every decision of the Pope. In other words, while the 1st Vatican Synod declared that only the "ex-cathedra" decisions of the Pope with the use of the term "definimus" were infallible, the 2nd Synod of the Vatican pronounced that the Pope is infallible not only in his official pronouncements as Pope but also in all his pronouncements. It becomes clear from the above that the ecumenical synod does not belong to the ecumenical synod but to the Pope. Who however pronounced the Pope infallible? The fallible Synod?
In this manner the synodic leadership, delivered by the holy Apostles, is replaced by the "Papo-centric" leadership. The "infallible" Pope contributes the centre and source of the Church's union, which means that the Church needs a man to keep it united. In this way the position of Christ and the Holy Spirit is set aside and downgraded. Moreover, the translation of the Holy Spirit to the person of the Pope, the eschatological perspective of the Church is contained within history and thus rendered worldly"
5. The abolishment of the Holy Canons.
"The Vatican since long time ago had already abolished most of the Holy Canons of the Ecumenical Synods and produced its own "Canon Law" to be free to proceed on the route that leads to all sorts of innovations. The uniate Fr. Gregory confesses it thus: "the East and West disagree about these, the sources of the Canon Law. The Church of Rome officially having accepted in the beginning only the canons from the 1st Ecumenical Synod (325) at Nicea, and at Sardis (343), was indifferent to the legislation regarding the ecclesiological order and discipline of the remainder Eastern Synods, Ecumenical or local......"
Completely arbitrarily, the Popes, due to their dominant overview over the whole Church, abolished the Holy Canons of the six Ecumenical synods and the canons of the local Synods and of the Fathers, which were bestowed ecumenical validity, having been validated under the 2nd canon of the 6th Ecumenical Synod, specifically the Vatican abolished the Canons of the 6th Ecumenical Synod, because some of them were directed against the innovations of the papist Church (2nd, 13th,55th , etc) Archm. Sp Bilali.
6. The Papist Nation.
The view that it is not possible for the "representative of God", on earth be found under worldly authority(!), drove to the establishment in 1929 (after an agreement of the Pope with the dictator Mussolini) of the present papal nation of the Vatican. This way papism became a worldly nation that has an army, practices diplomacy and influences the international economy with its participation in large companies and enterprises. It concerns in other words, an anthropo-centric organization for the secularization and in fact in the institutionalized secularization. However the coexistence of the worldly authority with the hierarchal, episcopal authority is somewhat incompatible, something that is foreign to the spirit of the Bible, the Synodal Canons and to the traditions of the Church in general.
"It is a frightful sign of the worldliness of the Church, the confusion of the heavenly and the worldly, of the two kingdoms, the heavenly and the worldly. This way the Church succumbs to the second temptation of Christ by the devil who asked Him to worship him, that he may then give him all authority over all the kingdoms of the world. The Lord answered him: "Your Lord God you shall worship and Him only you shall worship" (Archim. George Kapsanis, Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism (Papist) (Main Differences) Stamoulis 2006 issue).
7. Purgatory- Supererogation of the Saints.
Concerning the fall and salvation of man there are important differences. Adam, says the Synod of Trent (1546), with his disobedience, he brought about the "wrath and anger of God and as a result death". It is expected therefore that the salvation of man requires the atonement of the wrath of God. The blood of Christ eliminates the eternal punishments of sinful man, which are due to the mortal sins. Apart from these sins there are heavy and light sins which require temporary penalties. Man must complete the penalties with works of repentance (penance) that are dictated by the Church. Many people die before completing the imposed penalties and go on to what is known as "purgatory" that exists between paradise and hell where they are called to pay their debts. From there, with the prayers of the Pope and the living, the souls continue on to paradise. However, the "Church" can satisfy the incomplete penance based on the "treasury of the supererogation of the saints" (the extra good works of the saints not required for their salvation, which went to the treasury of the Church), which is disposed of by the Pope. (A. Alivizopoulos, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Orthodoxy, p16). In other words, they believe the supererogation could save other people. It concerns what is known as the absolution or abrogation by the Roman Catholic Church.
Nowhere however does the Bible teach about such things, nor does it accept "surplus supererogation" of men no matter how saintly they may have been during their life. Concerning the "purgatory" St. Nektarios, in his book "Study on the immortality of the soul" p168-169 Athens 1901, specifically writes "According to the Orthodox Church, after death there is absolutely no intermediate stage between those who ascend to Heavens and those who descend to Hell". There is no special place of in between living where the souls of the repented are found and not having availed of the fruit of repentance....".
8. The Latin Mariology or Mary worship.
The papist "Church" by deviating from the correct teaching of our Fathers, was driven to falsehoods, innovations and false dogmas in the person of the All Holy (Panagia, the Theotokos). Thus in 1854 the dogma of the immaculate conception of the Theotokos, namely, "that Virgin Mary from the first moment of her conception was kept clean from all ancestral pollution of sin.
In 1950 Pope Pius 12 declared as dogma the incorporation of the translation of the Theotokos according to which "the ever virgin Mother of God after her earthly life, was translated body and soul to the heavenly glory". The last few years it is observed by the papists, a strong inclination towards granting exaggerated honours to the Theotokos, that reach the limits of worship. "Co-redeemer", "Mother of the Church" "Intercessor for all the graces" are some of the honourary titles they grant to the All Holy, with an erroneous and problematic content.
According to the Orthodox teaching, the ancestral sin is passed on to all the people, even to those that comprise the elected implements, as was the Most Holy Theotokos. According to St. Nikodim, the Agiorite, the Theotokos was "subject to the ancestral sin until the annunciation. For then she was cleansed through the advent of the Holy Spirit". What concerns the translation of the Theotokos, Orthodox teaching mentions the post repose translation, without however this becoming raised to dogma, as it not confessed in the Holy Bible or in the Apostolic Tradition.
In Orthodoxy, worship belongs totally and only to the Trinitarian God, where as towards the saints and the Most Holy, it befits the veneration of honour and intercessory capacity to the only Saviour, our Lord, Jesus Christ. With great clarity the 7th Ecumenical Council (787) declares: "Honouring and magnifying we learnt firstly, primarily and truthfully the bearer of God and the holy and angelic powers and the glorious Martyrs but also the holy men whose intercessions are requested".(book by : Archim. Sp Bilali, Orthodoxy and Papism, Pub. Orthodox Print, Athens 1969 pp 164-191).
A general difference that pours out of the primacy of the Pope is the position of the priests in the citing of the mysteries, who seem to perform them in.....their name. "I baptize you, I forgive you etc", in contrast to the Orthodox Mysteries in which the priest is a plain servant : "The servant of God is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the grace of the all Holy Spirit through our insignificance has loosed and forgiven you, etc.
The Orthodox Church performs the baptism by triple immersion in the water, which symbolizes the three day burial and resurrection of the Lord. In any case, it is clear the exhortation of the Lord to His disciples, to Baptize "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". On the other side, the papist "Church" innovates and introduces a baptism by the pouring or sprinkling.
The papist "Church" innovated even the mystery of Chrismation. It recommends that the mystery of Chrismation on the baptized, be postponed until the 7th or according to others to the 14th year of age, before which they do not receive communion. The early Church provided exactly to introduce them from the first instance in the realm of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, given that for the baptized to support himself, in the spiritual life would always need the life giving Divine Grace. This tradition is followed by the Orthodox Church until now, which performs the Chrismation with holy myrrh, in contrast to the papist who performs it by the placing of the hand of the Bishop.
On the mystery of repentance, the Holy Confession of the Roman Catholics is like a trial and the communication is impersonal. The repenter tells his sins, separated and unknown to the confessor (within the wooden booths) and receives the penalties and absolution. There is no relationship with the shepherd, and the ecclesiastical fellowship but a legalistic and impersonal relationship. The legalistic justification of the sinner and not the forgiveness, the return and restitution to the father's home (The Church) and to the father's bosom.
In contrast, in the Orthodox Church there is a personal interaction of the faithful with the priest. The forgiveness of sins finds its source in the sacrifice upon the Cross of our Lord and not through the intercessions of the saints and the other factors as the papists preach.
13. Divine Eucharist
In this Mystery the papists have introduced many innovations:
a) They use factory produced unleavened bread, called "ostia", and not leavened that is used in the Eastern Church, based on early practice. This however is not supported by the truth. The Last Supper was served with leavened and not unleavened bread. In reality, the unleavened do not constitute early practice but was brought about by heretics of earlier centuries.
b) The blessing of the bread-wine in the Body and Blood of Christ is performed in the Orthodox Church by the invocation of the Holy Spirit. In contrast the papists perform it through the announcing of the words of the Lord, "Receive, eat" etc.
c) The papists excluded the laity from receiving the Blood of the Lord, since only hierarchs thus commune, for they believe it is adequate for the salvation of the faithful by receiving only the Body. In contrast the Orthodox Church communes every faithful with the Body and Blood of Christ.
d) Toddlers and children until their 10th or 12th year, abstain from the Mystery of Divine Eucharist, for according to the papist teaching, they are not capable in perceiving the Body and Blood of the Lord, in contrast to the Orthodox who allow the Divine Communion to baptized babies.
The Lord underlined the insolubility of the mystery of marriage, "except on grounds of fornication". The papists did not respect this exception and adopted the insolubility of marriage without exceptions.
The papist "Church" has arbitrarily instituted the general celibacy of the clergy, based on the Apostolic saying,: "He who is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord" (1Cor 7:32). In essence though the celibacy is due to the position of the Roman Catholic "Church" which wants to extol the clerics above the laity, separating them from every bond with the lay people and social life and especially to demonstrate the superiority of its own clergy against those of the Orthodox Church.
The 1st Ecumenical Synod follows the spirit of the Eastern Church, namely, the free selection of the clergy between married and unmarried. Celibacy is a grace, a special grace of God for specific people. But to the required celibacy that the Papist Church imposed on her clergy, the most ascetic, confessor and miracle worker, holy and bishop, Great Panphotios gives this answer: "Do not burden the yoke of the clergy"
16. Holy Unction (Holy Myrrh)
In the Orthodox Church the Mystery of Unction is performed for any occasion. The exhortation of Adelphotheos Jacob is explicit: "Is any sick among you? Let him call the elders of the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14). In contrast the papists again, use the mystery of the holy Unction only once and only on the dying, as a last rite.
17. The Sign of the Cross.
The Tradition of the Church is to cross over ourselves with the three fingers that symbolize the three personages of the Holy Trinity. In contrast, the Papists make the sign of the Cross with four fingers, for close to the personages of the Holy Trinity, they added the person of the Most Holy Theotokos, corollary of the Marian worship.
18. Divine Liturgy
The early order of the Church is for the priest to perform the Divine Liturgy once a day and on the Holy Altar. The Divine Liturgy can only be performed once daily. The Papist "Church" however instituted that the priest can perform more than one Divine Liturgy, even on the same Altar.
19. The Temple
The Papist Temples do not face the East like the Orthodox ones but to the West. This is shown most provocatively in the large temple of Rome, St. Peter's Basilica.
Great Basil specifically writes: "Everyone faces to the east during the prayers for we seek our original country, Paradise, which Adam planted in Eden, in the East".
20. Ecclesiastical Art
The Western art, music, architecture and agiography, has clearly an anthropo-centric character, in contrast to the Orthodox Church. In the Western drawing depiction of Christ he appears as a human and the Theotokos and the saints as common, non-transformed people. And their nature appears "naturalistically" without participation in the uncreated light. In contrast the Orthodox icon draws the God-Man Christ and the transformed faces of the Theotokos and of the saints in the also transformed, through the Uncreated Grace, created world.
In their temples the westerners have statues instead of icons and in their services they use musical instruments, something that is not in agreement with the Tradition of the Orthodox Church.
Lax perceptions have prevailed by the Roman Catholic Church even on the holy institution of fasting. Spyridon Makris writes about the fasting of the Latins: "The fasting of the Western Church is lighter than that of the East, forbidding mainly the meat only, while the bishops of various areas can set the frequency of fasting". The Uniate bishop Jakinthos, referring to the rule of the Latin fasting writes: "The rule of fasting allows only one meal per day, during which one can eat as much and whatever he wishes. Only that the meal should be within two hours". Fasting for the Roman Catholics has ceased to comprise a spiritual weapon for the cleansing of the iniquities of the flesh and a perfect means for general self restraint. The intrinsic abolition of the sacred practice of fasting by the papist Church constitutes a materialistic novelty. Great Basil rebukes everything that undertakes the abolition of fasting. "Fasting is an ancient gift that does not become obsolete nor ages but always regenerates ....fasting was enacted in paradise. Adam received the first commandment, "From the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat". The "You shall not eat" constitutes a fasting and restraint enactment. (Archm. Sp. Bilali, Orthodoxy and Papism pp250-251)
The consequence of all the above is that in Papism we have a deviation from the Orthodox Ecclesiology. While in the Orthodox Church, great importance is placed in the theosis consistent and in communion with God, by the vision of the uncreated Light, those thus having received theosis, join Ecumenical Synods and surely enact the revealed truth during periods of confusion, while in Papism, great importance is given to the institution of the Pope, who prevails above even the Ecumenical Synods. According to the latin theology, "the authenticity of the Church exists only when supported and harmonized by the will of the Pope. In contrary situations it is nullified".
There are great theological differences, which were condemned at the Synod by Great Photios and at the Synod by St Gregory Palamas as is apparent in the "Synodic of Orthodoxy". Moreover the Fathers of the Church and Local Synods until the 19th century also condemned all the deceits of Papism. The situation did not get any better nor improved by the formal apology that the Pope gave for some historic wrong doings, when his theological viewpoints are outside the revelation and their ecclesiology proceeds in the wrong direction, while the Pope appears as the leader of the Christian world, as if Christ passed on His authority over to the Pope while He happily rests in Heaven" (Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and St Vlasio Hierotheos, basic points of differences between the Orthodox Church and Papism, pub. Paremvasi, April 2001).
From everything thus provided above, we observe that Western Christianity (Papism and Protestantism) is a totally different world. Different theology, different anthropology, which all lead to a different theory of life, different culture, different civilization and eventually to a totally different mentality that results in a foreign spirituality and daily life to the Orthodox.
During the age where all tend to unions and a lot is said about the future of the European Union, the words of blessed Fr. Justin Popovitz, reverberate in our ears as a prophetic invitation to vigilance.
All the European humanisms from before, during and after the Renaissance, the protestants, philosophers, religious people, socialites, scientists and politicians, people in knowledge or ignorance, ceaselessly tried to achieve one thing: to replace the faith in the God- Man with the faith in man, to replace the Bible according to the God-Man with the bible according to man, the philosophy according to the God-Man, with the philosophy according to man, the culture according to God-Man, with the culture according to man. This was happening for centuries, until last century, in 1870, during the 1st Synod of the Vatican when all these were brought together within the dogma by the infallible Pope. Since then this dogma was raised to the "central dogma of Papism". For this, during our days in the 2nd Synod of the Vatican, it tenaciously and skillfully discussed and supported the inviolability and unalteration of this dogma.
This dogma has a socio-historical meaning for the fate of all Europe and especially for her apocalyptic times that she has already entered. Through this dogma all the European people have obtained their ideal and idol: Man was declared highest God, complete God. The European humanistic pantheon received its Zeus" (I. Popovitz, Man and God-Man, pub. Astir, 5th issue 1987, pp149-150).
"For all the above reasons, the union is not a matter of agreement over few dogmas but acceptance of the Orthodox, God-Man centered, Christ centered, Trinity centered spirit on the dogmas, on piety, on ecclesiology, on social justice, on pastoral duties, on art, on asceticism.
To achieve true union either we must give up our Orthodox God-Man centrism, or the Papist give up their man-centrism. The first is impossible to happen with the Grace of our Lord, for this would have been a betrayal of the Bible of our Christ. But the latter is also difficult to happen. However, "what is impossible by man is possible by God".
We believe that it also does not benefit the non Orthodox for us to depart from Orthodoxy. As long as Orthodoxy exists, the unblemished evangelical faith is saved, "once delivered to the Saints".
There exists the living confession of the true community of God with man, the Truth of the Church as a God-Man community. So even the heterodox who lost it, know that it exists somewhere. They hope. Perhaps once they will search for it individually or collectively. They will find her and they will rest. Let us hold on this holy faith not only for us but for all the heterodox brothers, and for all the world. The two lung theory by which the Church breaths, namely Papism and Orthodoxy, cannot be accepted by the Orthodox side, because the one lung (Papism), does not worship rightly and in any case it presently suffers incurably.
We thank the All Holy (Theotokos) and the life giving Trinity for the big gift, our holy Orthodox Faith and for the pious ancestors, teachers, priests and archpriests and our spiritual fathers, who taught us and delivered to us this holy Faith.
We confess that we would not have rested in a Church where in much she substituted the God-Man Christ with the "infallible" man the "pope" or "the protestant".
We believe that our Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, that has the fullness of Truth and of Grace. We are sad that the heterodox Christians cannot enjoy this fullness and even when sometimes they try to derail and proselytize the Orthodox that live in their communities where they have a partial, fragmented and distorted perception of the Truth. We appreciate the love they have for Christ and for their good works but we cannot agree with the interpretation they give of the Bible of Christ that it is in agreement with the teaching of Christ, of the holy Apostles, of the holy Fathers and of the holy Ecumenical Synods.
We pray that the head-shepherd Christ, the only one who is infallible, Leader and Head of the Church, that He guide them to the Holy Orthodox Church, that is their father's house from which once they defected, and that He enlighten us Orthodox, so that we persist in our faith to our death, always faithful to our holy and unaltered Faith, even more so to become anchored and more profound in her, "until we all become united in faith and awareness of the Son of God, a perfect man, and in measure of the age of fullness of Christ. Amen".