Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and “Ecumenism”: An Editorial

Recent discussions on some posts on this weblog, as well as some I’ve seen elsewhere on social media, have spurred questions about what the official positions of this site are, what my own positions are, etc. I have even had a few instances where commenters quoted to me from Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy, attempting to catch me in a contradiction with something I…

Do They See the Difference in Our Lives?: Encyclical on Ecumenism, the Pope and the Patriarch

Translator’s Note: His Eminence Nicholas (Hatzinikolaou) is metropolitan bishop of Mesogaia and Lavriotiki, suburban areas of Athens, Greece. He studied physics in Thessaloniki, Harvard, and MIT (receiving his PhD from the latter), and went on to work for NASA. His career took a decidedly different turn, however, when, after several years on Mt Athos, he became a monk in 1989 at the…

The Future of Protestantism and Catholicism: A Few Orthodox Comments

Over at First Things, R. R. Reno reflects as a Roman Catholic on his recent attendance at Peter Leithart’s Future of Protestantism conference, in which Leithart et al advocated for a post-Protestant future, especially in terms of what Leithart calls “Reformed Catholicism.” Reno notes that, while Protestants like Leithart may be looking at engaging with Catholicism to imagine their own future, Catholics…

Which Path to Church Unity? Recognition vs. Reception

From time to time, my friends and I get into a discussion about Christian unity.  Anglicans and Roman Catholics seem to be especially eager to reunite with the Orthodox and I have to explain why such efforts are difficult, if not improbable.  This position is often met with frustration and perplexity: Why can’t we just be one?  What’s the hang up?  I began…

The Ecumenism of Fr. Georges Florovsky

A short piece on the ecumenism of Fr. Georges Florovsky has been written by Florovsky scholars Fr. Matthew Baker and Seraphim Danckaert and published in Orthodox Handbook on Ecumenism: Resources for Theological Education. It’s brief but fascinating it its detail. Here are a few highlights: Georges Florovsky (1893-1979) was the leading architect of Orthodox ecumenism in the 20th century. He combined magnanimity…

Is Orthodoxy the Same Everywhere?: Understanding Theological Controversy Within the Church

What do we mean when we say that Orthodoxy is the same everywhere? One of the “features” of Orthodoxy that is commonly put forward especially by converts as proof of the truth of the Orthodox Christian faith is that Orthodoxy is the same everywhere. They may point to the unanimity of liturgical practice, that all Orthodox look to the same councils and…

“A Sign of Contradiction”: A Forgotten Reflection by Florovsky on the Pope and the Patriarch

Upon his election to the chair of bishop of Rome in March of this year, Pope Francis announced his intention for a personal meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in the Holy City of Jerusalem for the coming year of 2014. Although the trip has not yet been confirmed, the event is intended to commemorate the meeting of Patriarch Athenagoras and…

The Doctrine of Transubstantiation in the Orthodox Church

Does the Orthodox Church believe in “transubstantiation” (μετουσίωσις in Greek) with regards to the Eucharist? Or is that only used in the Latin (Roman Catholic) church? There’s certainly a lot of confusion and conflicting information out there, so let’s take a closer look. As a long-time blogger, I can vouch for the necessity of extending grace towards a writer when they are…

Conversions and Conversions: Romanians between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism

The following by guest author Mihai Oara is in response to the 2006 Gospel Coalition piece John’s Story: Why I Left Eastern Orthodoxy for Evangelicalism. While in the United States we can see many conversions of Evangelicals to Orthodoxy, the situation is quite the reverse in traditional Orthodox countries. This phenomenon is relatively easy to explain in a purely mathematical way: if…

An Orthodox Circuit Preacher: St. Anastasius of Sinai and the Church Today

The following piece by Nicholas Marinides was originally a talk given at Princeton University to the Florovsky Orthodox Theological Society on December 10, 2011. It followed on a talk given by about the theology of St. Maximus the Confessor. Both were part of a half-day workshop on “Athens vs. Jerusalem,” intended to allow doctoral students to present their research on Church Fathers…