Tag Archives: Edward Siecienski

The Liturgical Consent to War

by A. Edward Siecienski

Image: iStock.com/Victority

In a famous scene from A Man for All Seasons, Thomas More defended his silence on the Act of Supremacy by citing a maxim of the law, “Qui tacet consentire videtur” (Silence betokens consent). His argument was that by saying nothing, the court must assume he agreed with the Act regardless of whatever his private opinions may be. Today, as the representatives of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) stand silently by and concelebrate with Patriarch Kirill while he blesses Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the question must again be asked—Does the church’s silence betoken its consent?

There is no doubt that the OCA has been in a delicate position since the war began. The ties that bind the OCA to Moscow are strong, as it was the Moscow Patriarchate that granted the OCA its autocephality in 1970 despite the Ecumenical Patriarch’s refusal to acknowledge it. When the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) was granted autocephality by Patriarch Bartholomew in 2019, the OCA continued to recognize Metropolitan Onufriy of the Moscow Patriarchate, although (unlike Moscow) it did not cut off communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch as a result.

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Response to the Pre-Conciliar Document on Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World

by Fotios Apostolos, Rev. Dr. Radu Bordeianu, Paul Ladouceur, Very Rev. Dr. Harry Linsinbigler, and Edward Siecienski

We have joyfully received the text of the Pre-Conciliar document on Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World and the invitation to comment on it, in the spirit of Orthodox conciliarity. We applaud it for its bold statements, which include: defining the goal of dialogue as the complete restoration of unity in true faith and love (12), recognizing that not all differences are equal and the existence of a certain “hierarchy of challenges” (12), referring to other Christian communities as “Churches” (6, 16, 20), the censure of those who would break the unity of the Church under the pretext of defending Orthodoxy (22), and the continued participation of all Orthodox Churches in the Ecumenical Movement (7) consistent with the apostolic faith and our tradition (4). We would like to focus here on the relationship between the Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church, and the other Churches, as well as its implications for the ecumenical dialogue.   Continue Reading…

Four Questions for Orthodox Ecumenism

by Edward Siecienski

(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.)

As the Orthodox churches gather to consider their common approach to ecumenism, it is perhaps worthwhile to look at how the Roman Catholic Church approached this same issue when it gathered in council over 50 years ago. I do not mean to suggest that the Orthodox need to find the same answers, but it may be quite helpful to examine some of the same questions. Among them, the four most important would be: Continue Reading…