Tag Archives: Edith Humphrey

Relations of the Orthodox Church with Other Christians and Their Communities

by Edith M. Humphrey, Very Rev. Maxym Lysack,  Bradley Nassif, Rev. Dr. Anthony Roeber, and Rev. Dr. Theodore Stylianopoulos

As recognized in the Chambésy pre-conciliar document, relations between the Orthodox Church and other Christians are challenging and complex. They are challenging because of the variegated groups which we engage, and because Orthodox variously assess ecumenical endeavors, some fearing that dialogue relativizes Orthodox claims. They are complex, because they involve several actions:  witness to the historic Church, bilateral discussion for mutual understanding, and involvement in common causes.

The Orthodox Church’s ecumenical mission flows from her responsibility to preserve unity (as expressed in the Scriptures, Ecumenical Councils, Liturgy and Fathers), and is based on the apostolic faith and the Church’s sacramental communion. While it is important to invite non-Christians to embrace the truth, there are also patterns for approaching those who already know something of God’s work.  Continue Reading…

Ecumenical Relations and the Pan-Orthodox Council

by Edith Humphrey

(This essay was originally delivered as a public talk at the June 2015 Fordham/OTSA conference on the upcoming Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church. It was part of a panel on ecumenical relations.)

“A household divided against itself falls.” This seems an apt proof-text for the 1920 encyclical of the Patriarch of Constantinople regarding ecumenical relations in his day, words ratified some forty years later by leaders preparing for the Great and Holy Council, and carried into our day by the selection of this topic as essential for 2016. The Patriarch fastened upon “manifest dangers” threatening the Church, joined by those who (in commending topic nine) urged that Orthodox participation in ecumenical endeavors is “indispensable:” the urgency is more keenly felt in the twenty-first century, with the increasing dissonance between secular perspectives and Orthodoxy, division among Orthodox themselves, and the mounting scourge of extreme Islam. Only a united household will stand. Continue Reading…