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Orthodox Christian Laity - December 2004

Another Opinion on Orthodox Christian Unity in our Lifetime

   By George Matsoukas

I t is interesting to read the statements and reflections of the bishops who attended Ligonier ten years after that historic meeting.  They are published in the November issue of The WORD magazine, the monthly publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and on the OCL Web site.  I found the statement by Metropolitan Maximos of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh very interesting.  He congratulates The WORD Issue, commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Ligonier meeting of Orthodox North American Bishops.  He also hopes that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will assume a leadership role to make Orthodox Christian unity happen in North America in our lifetime.

I have not read any statements commemorating this historic meeting written by the  "Patriarchal Nuncio," Father Alex Karloutsos or Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which is an Archdiocese "without members" (Archdiocese legal documents state that members of parishes are not members of the Archdiocese).  Could we conclude that Maximos' statement reflects the official position of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?

It should be noted that the press accounts regarding the return of ancient relics from Rome to Istanbul indicate that the Patriarchate is vigorously pursuing a policy of reunification with the Roman Catholic Church, while the Patriarch has clearly stated that pursuing Orthodox Unity in the Americas puts a great burden on his back.  Once again,  we respectfully request that he assume leadership and convene the Great and Holy Council which he indicated would be called before the end of the last century.  It has been in preparation stages for at least 80 years.  The Orthodox Christian world has not met in a universal council in over 1,000 years.  The conciliar nature of the Church requires that decisions be made in council.  How many more Metropolitans and Metropolises will the Patriarch have to create before the council is convened?

[ Orthodox Truth | www.orthodox-truth.bugs3.com/art_2004_matsoukas.html  -  December { },2004 ]