Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part One: An Overview)

Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part One: Overview)

On the eve of the highly-promoted meeting in Jerusalem between the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church1, this ‘Apostolic Pilgrimage’2 has produced a fair amount of press. Largely positive, media coverage lauds the potential for “a new era”3 in Rome-Constantinople relations, which the 1964 meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope […]

Iconoclasm: The Heresy of Heresies (Part Two)

Iconoclasm: The Heresy of Heresies (Part 2)

In Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine, Fr. John S. Romanides suggests: The schism between Eastern and Western Christianity was not between East and West Romans. In actuality, it was a split between East Romans and the conquerors of the West Romans. By the end of the seventh century, whole areas of the western part of the Roman Empire were […]

Iconoclasm: The Heresy of Heresies (Part One)

Iconoclasm: The Heresy of Heresies (Part 1)

It’s not surprising that iconoclasm persists in contemporary Christian culture, and especially in America. Without a proper understanding of both the Incarnation and the deeper purpose of creation—throughout which God is ‘everywhere present and filling all things’—we are left with a worldview that is distorted. With no emperor or royal family to honor, we venerate celebrities, pornographers, amoral politicians, and […]

Is Orthodoxy a Stagnant Faith?

Is Orthodoxy a Stagnant Faith?

At the conclusion of a recent synaxis of Orthodox hierarchs in Istanbul (March 6–9, 2014), an announcement was made that the local Orthodox churches would gather for a pan-Orthodox synod in the Spring of 2016. At this synod, a number of issues facing the global Orthodox Church will be addressed, and many of them long-coming. […]

The Filioque and Arianism: Was It Really Necessary?

The Filioque and Arianism: Was It Really Necessary?

Was the addition of Filioque to the Nicene Creed necessary to combat Arianism in the West? This is an assertion often made in its defense, but is this really true? Filioque—”and the Son” in Latin—is a phrase later added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in Western churches. This Creed or Symbol of Faith has been recited […]

Martin Luther on Mary as Theotokos

Martin Luther on Mary as Theotokos

Like many other Protestant Reformers, Martin Luther had no problem honoring Mary as the ‘Mother of God.’ Following the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), he was adamant that Mary be referred to and honored as the Θεοτοκος or ‘Birth-giver of God’ (also, ‘Mother of God’). The importance of this title is chiefly in its […]

The Events of the ‘Great Schism’

The Events of the Great Schism

Ever since the reign of the emperor (Saint) Justinian I (AD 527-565) — who attempted to drive out foreign invaders from the west and reunite the whole of the empire — the east and the west were being driven apart. After the invasion (by the Avars and Slavs) of the Balkan peninsula and the conquest […]

A Summary of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils

A Summary of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils

When the Roman emperor Constantine I converted to the Christian faith (out of gratitude for military victory through what he believed to be divine intervention), the persecution of the religion was put to an end at the Edict of Milan (AD 313) and later made to be the state religion by emperor Theodosius I (AD […]