Tag Archives: Nicolas Kazarian

The Crisis of Orthodox Multilateralism A Challenge for Pan-Orthodox Conciliarity

by Rev. Dr. Nicolas Kazarian  |  ελληνικά  |  ру́сский  |  српски

The contemporary Pan-Orthodox conciliar process appeared in parallel to the creation in 1920 of the first global, political and multilateral institution, the League of Nations, which later became the United Nations after the Second World War. This correlation is even more apparent when we look at the well-known Encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued in 1920, which clearly established a link between the international response to the tragedy of the Great War and the multilateral engagement of states in preventing future war and called Churches to come together and act as peace builders.

“Wherefore, considering such an endeavor to be both possible and timely especially in view of the hopeful establishment of the League of Nations we venture to express below in brief our thoughts and our opinion regarding the way in which we understand this rapprochement and contact and how we consider it to be realizable; we earnestly ask and invite the judgment and the opinion of the other sister churches in the East and of the venerable Christian churches in the West and everywhere in the world.”

This quote is often used as proof of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s leadership in terms of Ecumenical Dialogue. The creation of the World Council of Churches three years after the United Nations, in 1948, proved it right. Continue Reading…

The First Test for Orthodox Unity after the Holy and Great Council: The Chieti Document

by Rev. Dr. Nicolas Kazarian

September 2016, Chieti, Italy. The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, established in 1979, gathered once again. But this meeting was crucial in many ways, and not only for Orthodox-Catholic relations. It was also the first test at a global level for inter-Orthodox unity on a topic that is far from consensual among the Orthodox Churches, namely ecumenism. Continue Reading…

Orthodox Reformation

by Rev. Dr. Nicolas Kazarian

As the Orthodox Church prepares to convene its Holy and Great Council, the Protestant world is getting ready to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which will be celebrated next year. While at first glance these two events seem to have nothing in common, they are linked by a common desire to bear witness to the authenticity of the Christian faith by translating the experience of the early years of Christianity into today’s world. This issue is central for the Pan-Orthodox Council, and in addition to raising the question of Orthodoxy’s relationship to Protestantism, it asks the Orthodox Church to define its path towards reform and renewal while safeguarding the unity of the Church in time and space. Continue Reading…

New Orthodox Geopolitics

by Rev. Dr. Nicolas Kazarian

The Orthodox Church is a complex geopolitical reality, and does not constitute a homogenous block. On the contrary, the rise of irredentism during the 19th century has created the basis for constant fragmentation throughout the 20th century. A series of historical events have reduced the territory of Orthodox communities, leading local populations to leave for the West, redefining the map of Orthodoxy. The events in question include the Russian Revolution (1917), the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey (1923), the Ustashe massacres (1942-1944), the rise of Communism in the Balkans (1945), the beginning of the modern conflicts in the Middle East (1948), the invasion and division of Cyprus (1974), the Lebanese Civil War (1975), the Balkan conflicts (1991-2000), the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991), the invasion of Iraq (2003), the independence of Kosovo (2008), the Russo-Georgian War (2008), the Arab Spring (2010) as well as the Syrian crisis (2011), and more recently the conflict in Ukraine (2013). Continue Reading…