Gregory Palamas on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Gregory Palamas on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

The commemoration of each of the saints on the appointed feast day is an occasion for town and country, citizens and their rulers to share in rejoicing, and brings great benefit to all who celebrate. “The memory of the just is praised,” says the wise Solomon (Prov. 10:7), “When the righteous is praised the people […]

Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part Two: The Witness of Scripture)

Ecumenism as Dialogue or Monologue? (Part Two: The Witness of Scripture)

In the first part of this series, I offered an overview of the traditional Orthodox method for addressing non-Orthodox communities, highlighting two notable events in Church history. In this essay, I’ll discuss the ecumenical method—that method of God’s covenant people interacting with those outside the covenantal body—as found in the Holy Scriptures. Examples from the Old Testament […]

A Note from the Vatican on the Expression ‘Sister Churches’

A Note from the Vatican on the Expression ‘Sister Churches’

This is the official, Vatican perspective on not only ecumenical efforts in general, but also the relationship between the Vatican See and the Orthodox Church. Written under the oversight of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope emeritus Benedict XVI), Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, this document was approved by Pope John Paul II (June 9, […]

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 […]

Orthodox Saints and the Ecumenical Movement

Orthodox Saints and the Ecumenical Movement

For Christians, the criterion of truth is fidelity to Christ and the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The Saints, being wholly united to Christ by the Spirit in his holy Church, in turn become the empirical datum par excellence by which truth is measured. This is why, for Orthodox Christians, […]

Triumphalism and the Church Triumphant

Triumphalism and the Church Triumphant

Every student of Church history knows that history is messy. There was never a ‘Golden Age’ of the Church, nor will there ever be one before the Last Day. And yet, as Orthodox Christians, we believe that the Church is the one, true Body of Christ. We believe that she is the pleroma or ‘fullness’ of God (Eph. […]

Reveal Your Saints and You Reveal Your Church

Reveal Your Saints and You Reveal Your Church

Understandably, there have been several articles, podcasts, press releases, videos, and other media in recent weeks for the meeting between the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis, the present archbishop of the city of Old Rome. The Patriarchate of Constantinople has spared no expense in promoting this event, which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of a similar meeting in Jerusalem […]

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 […]

The Road to Rome? Why Orthodoxy Deserves a Look

The Road to Rome?

A few years ago, I came across a series of posts by Jason Liske, a convert to Roman catholicism. In one such post, he laid out a few reasons why he had chosen Rome over the Orthodox Church. (For those interested, the full post can be found here.) Before I respond to some of Jason’s thoughts, I will provide a few disclaimers: […]

The Church is a Mystery, Not an Institution

The Church is a Mystery

The Church is a Mystery with institutions, not an institution with Mysteries. This a phrase I once heard on a podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko, and I can’t think of many phrases this short and as equally profound. To put it in more Western terms, the Church is a sacrament, not an institution with sacraments; the Church […]