Patriarch Bartholomew tells Athonites reunion with Catholics is inevitable, reports UOJ

Mt. Athos, November 27, 2019

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On November 12, Patriarch Bartholomew participated in the Vespers service at the Catholic Abbey of Our Lady of St. Rémy in Rochefort, Belgium, together with Archimandrite Alexios, the abbot of Xenophontos Monastery, and Hieromonk Theophilos of Pantocrator Monastery, both on Mt. Athos.

According to a new report from the Union of Orthodox Journalists, during his trip to Mt. Athos the previous month, Pat. Bartholomew attempted to convince several Athonite abbots and monks that there are no dogmatic differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and that reunion with the Catholic church is inevitable.

Pat. Bartholomew expressed his personal convictions during a private talk at Pantocrator Monastery with the brethren and guests of the monastery, including other Athonite abbots. Eyewitnesses report that Pat. Bartholomew’s security did not allow anyone to record the conversation.

In his opinion, the division that now exists between Orthodoxy and Catholicism is merely a matter of historical events, not dogmatic differences.

Catholics “are just as Christian as we are,” Pat. Bartholomew emphasized, adding that the recent gift of the relics of St. Peter from Pope Francis is proof of the Catholic church’s nearness to Orthodoxy.

According to the UOJ’s sources, Pantocrator abbot Archimandrite Gabriel, Xenophontos abbot Archimandrite Alexios, Vatopedia abbot Archimandrite Ephraim, the brethren of several monasteries, and other guests were all present for the talk.

Most of the brethren were at a loss, hearing Pat. Bartholomew’s ecumenistic arguments, though none present objected. Some of those present reportedly began to weep when Pat. Bartholomew said that reunion with the Catholic church is inevitable.

Recall that Xenophontos and Pantocrator Monasteries have been the most receptive to the Ukrainian schismatics. Abbot Alexios of Xenophontos concelebrated in the enthronement of Epiphany Dumenko as primate of the OCU, and Pantocrator was the first monastery where schismatics served Liturgy on Mt. Athos.

At a recent meeting in Constantinople with representatives of Tbilisi University, Pat. Bartholomew said that dialogue with other Christians, especially Catholics, is one of the priorities of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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kostya2/19/2020 3:20 pm
eleni1/16/2020 8:11 am
St. Mark of Ephesus: I am convinced that the further I depart him [the Patriarch] and from those like him [the Latin-minded] . . . Icon of St. Mark of EphesusI am convinced that the further I depart from him [the Patriarch] and from those like him [the Latin-minded], the closer do I draw near God and all the faithful and the holy Fathers; and the more I am separated from them, by so much more am I united to the truth and the holy Fathers. + St. Mark of Ephesus, PG 160:536 Share this: FacebookTwitterEmailMore This entry was posted in Sayings from Saints, Elders, and Fathers, St. Mark of Ephesus and tagged Drawing to God, False Ecumenism, Heresy, Heretic, Holy Fathers, Latins/Roman Catholics on May 17, 2014. Elder Paisios: . . . This is how the Fathers maintained Tradition. Photo of Elder Paisus of Mount AthosWhen there is a respect for small things, there will be an even greater respect towards the bigger things. When there is no respect for small things, then neither will there be for the bigger ones. This is how the Fathers maintained Tradition. + Elder Paisios Share this: FacebookTwitterEmailMore This entry was posted in Sayings from Saints, Elders, and Fathers, St. Paisios of Mount Athos and tagged Holy Fathers, Holy Tradition, Respect on May 15, 2014. St. John of Damascus: If any one preach to you something contrary to what the holy catholic Church has received . . . Icon of St. John of DamascusListen to me, people of all nations, men, women, and children, all of you who bear the Christian name: If any one preach to you something contrary to what the holy catholic Church has received from the holy apostles and fathers and councils, and has kept down to the present day, do not heed him. Do not receive the serpent’s counsel, as Eve did, to whom it was death. If an angel or an emperor teaches you anything contrary to what you have received, shut your ears. + St. John of Damascus, Apologia of St. John Damascene Against Those Who Decry Holy Images Share this: FacebookTwitterEmailMore This entry was posted in Sayings from Saints, Elders, and Fathers, St. John of Damascus and tagged Angels, Councils, Defending Orthodoxy, Eve, Heresy, Heretic, Holy Fathers, Holy Tradition, King, Old Testament Events, Old Testament People, The Evil One on May 4, 2014. Elder Paisios On Common Prayers: . . . Is it proper to mix trash with gold? So much struggle was waged to distil the dogma. . . .) Photo of Elder Paisus of Mount AthosToday unfortunately, the European courtesy has come in and they try to show themselves as being nice. They wish to show superiority and finally they end up worshiping the two horned devil. “One religion, they tell you, should exist” and they level out everything. Some also come to me and tell me “All of us who believe in Christ should create one religion.” “Now it is as if you are telling me, I told them, about gold and copper, so many carats gold and that much copper, that was separated, to gather them and make them one again. Is it correct to mix them again? Ask a jeweler. Is it proper to mix trash with gold? So much struggle was waged to distil the dogma.” The Holy Fathers must have known something for prohibiting the relationships with the heretics. Today they say: “we should pray together not only with a heretics but also with the Buddhist and with the fire worshiper and the demon worshiper. The Orthodox must also be present in common prayers and in their conferences. It is a presence.” What presence? They resolve everything with logic and justify the unjustifiable. The European mind believes that also the spiritual matters can also come into the Common Market. Some of the Orthodox who are shallow and wish to make a promotion, “a mission,” they arrange conferences with the heterodox to cause a sensation, believing this way that they promote Orthodoxy, by becoming so to speak “Hungarian goulash” with the false believers. Then the super-zealots take hold of the other end; they also blaspheme
eleni1/16/2020 8:02 am
scary††† Wherever those of us are, that know the difference and ridiculousness of this fake "unity" there the the FULLNESS of the truth and HIS one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church will be! love and truth are synonymous, we preserve the fullness of His truth to His glory and will die for it in our love for HIM, as so many did before us, blood of the martyrs††† The Orthodox Church is His Bride to whom He will return. The Womb from which we are birthed into eternal life. No way will well studied devout suffering Orthodox brothers and sisters fall for this or the Athonites. It is the same mentality that is setting the stage for the antichrist!!! "unity"? for what? There is only one we are all to unite to and that is Christ, what a trick the evil one devised with this!!! we traditionalists know we are uniting in the manner of the path of the Holy Fathers who established it UNCHANGED, in extreme humility. "The way is narrow and few will find it" Those that fall for this will make the way even narrower, but worse than that as leaders and teachers that will be judged harshly for this and as far as I am concerned it is blaspheming against the HOLY Spirit as we were established at Pentecost and beyond under the auspices of the HOLY spirit. Only the Orthodox Church has the true experience of the HOLY SPIRIT and as I said it will be with those of us who are steadfast through these end times when many are being fooled. I could write volumes on why this is an abomination but trust that those the Lord has chosen will find their way and this as is everything else, an allowance from God, a test for those of us who see right thru the evil ones schemes††† May our Lord God and savior Jesus Christ have mercy on us, The sinner eleni, God mother to many adults, many of whom are converts from the roman catholic church.
Birdie12/8/2019 5:27 pm
Christ is the ultimate center of meaning in the universe. It is through Christ that all people will be led to the father. How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us. Jesus said Unite! Unite! Be one now, as the Father and I are one and the same!
CHRIS LYNCH12/6/2019 6:27 am
Advent greetings from a Roman Catholic! I wish the grace and peace of our savior for you and your families as we approach Christmas. I hope that all of us here can agree that for all those who love and seek to follow the Christ, it is better to strive for unity than to rest content in a body of Christ that is divided. I did not have to read the comments here to know that ecumenism is a sensitive subject. I was a fallen away Catholic who came back with the zeal of a convert, and who had little patience with anyone who would dilute or soft-pedal any part of Catholic teaching. I know Catholics across the spectrum of secular and church politics who are in my opinion unnecessarily separating themselves from other Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, and others. Dialogue is sometimes frustrating, but can be rewarding, too. I hope those who are skeptical or negative about it can reconsider. In Pax Christi. Chris
Joseph12/3/2019 1:44 pm
Theodoros: Cheers to you also. The problem is that most Catholics don't get it. Of course we don't judge them--it's not necessarily their fault. But you get people leaving comments, whining about unity. We can be friends, but how can we be in Eucharistic Communion with people who don't share our view of the Eucharist? Even we must prepare ourselves to receive Communion. The new "open Communion" that even some Greek Orthodox bishops (namely, the one in Chicago) are mandating is just a preparation for accepting people who, never mind preparing themselves, are living against Christ's commandments. They will only commune to their own condemnation. The New Testament is clear about this. If we just float downstream we'll go over the dam to our destruction.
Theodoros12/3/2019 1:04 pm
Dear Joseph, I got it. But where is it said that we Orthodox Christians will need to give up our traditions if union was to occur with our siblings in the Roman Catholic Church. That said, reunification (if it ever happens) is probably very very long away. Cheers Theo
Joseph12/3/2019 12:53 pm
Theodoros: Perhaps you didn't get it, but I was trying to underscore the enormous differences between (practicing) Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics. The differences are too huge to even think about any unification. Unless, of course, the Orthodox simply give up all of their own traditional pious practices and declare them no longer necessary--as the Roman Catholics have. Catholics I know who have converted to Orthodoxy have done so for that very reason. They perceive that there is no longer any encouragement for piety in the Catholic Church. Should we now get rid of all our centuries of Orthodox tradition and unite with a church that is clearly getting only worse? Just ask believing Catholics themselves how they feel about all of these things.
Theodoros12/3/2019 12:47 pm
Dear Joseph, Reacquaint yourself with the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. Cheers Theodoros
Dr Thomas B. Lucente12/3/2019 12:41 pm
I ask nothing more than prayers to the Holy Spirit to heal the wounds and errors on both sides. I am not blind to the bias visible by both Latin and Eastern Catholics. We must never stop praying for unification. The terrible open wound of separation is a stench before the Altar of the Lord. Born on the fringes of both East and West my heart belongs to both just a son of warring parents.
Joseph12/2/2019 2:10 pm
Natalie: We're fine with that! First of all, renounce your heresies, renounce the papacy, and then we'll celebrate Pascha (what you call Easter) according to the Julian calendar. But first of course you have to start observing the fasts. 60 days before Pascha, you observe Great Lent. You don't eat anything for 3 days in the first week, then no cooked food and no oil. No animal products throughout Great Lent. Oh, and in the first week, you go to all the services with the Great Canon, and the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts. You go to confession often, and if you don't repent of moral lapses, you don't receive Communion. Don't know what all of that is? Learn it! And your cardinals will all need to retire. There can only be one bishop in every diocese, all over the world. And no more clown Masses, no more Amazon idols, and the list could go on and on. And once everyone has seen that you all really mean it, then of course, let's unite!
Natalia12/2/2019 1:52 pm
Thanks and respect for the Patriarch. We profess the same faith in Jesus Christ. The union of Christians can only bring God's blessing. Let's start by celebrating Easter together. Let's unite to celebrate the Eucharist together. The lack of unity among Christians is a scandal for the world.
Maria12/2/2019 7:07 am
Orthodox do not believe in the Immaculate Conception as Dogma. Why would Mary/Theotokos have to be an Immaculate Conception if she was to have a "miracle" birth being a human humble handmaid of the Lord? Then there would be no miracle. And if this was true, why did it take so long for it to become Dogma? It would have been recognized long before it was approved. I read it got approved by one of the Popes to stop a disagreement between 2 groups of people and for no other reason. The filoque implies the Father and Son are separate entities when we know EVERYTHING proceeds from the Father. Father is the source or beginning = "proceeds from." If the Trinity is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit then why wouldn't the Creed read, proceeds from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - there is an obvious splitting up of the Trinity in the filioque and this to me is dangerous wording.....
Maria12/2/2019 6:38 am
I think several people need to read more about what the Pope is doing, saying and corrupting these days. The most recent scandal is pagan rituals and prayers on Vatican property with Pachamama statues. Prior to that promoting Bishops and Cardinals to positions knowing they have scandalous history unresolved. Who on earth would want to join this and see it as unity? It would be more like selling one's soul and taking the rest of the sheep down with you! Stop making excuses for a phony unity with wordy honey speech and get to the source and summit of the problems at hand - the weightier matters. Yes, we can pray but we still have to use our hearts and minds according to the teachings as handed down from the Apostles and Christ and this should not need to be thought about for too long - it makes perfect sense to do! Protect the Church/sheep and also your vocation.
Mike Gladieux12/1/2019 10:06 pm
I am Roman Catholic, with highest respect for my Orthodox brothers. I know that our Lord desires that we be one as a testimony that the Father sent Him it is vital to our witness before the world (John 17:20-21). BUT there are very significant differences between our positions, as some have noted. These would have to be resolved in some way, and I don't see how that can happen without the intervention of God Himself. It is significant to note that, while Jesus commanded us to love one another, He did NOT command us to be one. Rather, He asked the Father to make us one. It will indeed take an act of God to bring this about, and that miracle will indeed be a testimony to the world that the Father sent Jesus, just as He requested. Therefore I believe that the present long-standing divisions are a set-up for the miraculous answer to that the prayer of our Lord. But we must wait on the hand of God to move on behalf of His Beloved Son, and on our behalf as well.
Joseph12/1/2019 4:57 pm
Dr. T. B. Luciente: You are wrong on all points. The heresy of the Filioque doesn't need to be clarified, it needs to be rejected (although it certainly isn't "clear" to us but only to Jesuits and papists, who are able to twist any truth around in order to serve their own interests). The immaculate conception is wrong Mariology, and the Orthodox are not free to believe it if they want to remain Orthodox. And of course we all know about your Uniates, who spread their papism through violence. Your beatification of Josaphate Kunstevich speaks very loudly about what the Vatican thinks about the subject. And I suppose that Greek communities living in Calabria know about the Catholic saints you mentioned, but no own else in the Orthodox Church does. And we have not been unified for centuries. The difference between us have only grown worse ecclesiastically. One can put whatever label on any content, but that doesn't change the content. People who know better will not buy it.
Mihalis Hatzikostantis12/1/2019 3:48 pm
No!!!! I will never give up my Orthodox Christian beliefs and Church. I will never acknowledge the Pope. Historical events? Is he taking too much Turkish opium? They will not give up their power so we will lose our Orthodoxy. Oust this guy. Lost all respect for him now. Shame on you and any who would sacrifice our Faith.
DR THOMAS B. LUCENTE11/30/2019 7:35 pm
The differences cited are not a detriment to union...the Filioque has been sufficiently clarified, the Immaculate Conception has never been an issue since Orthodox are free to believe it ....mandated clerical marriage laws are easily adjusted we have uniate married priest, infallibility of the Pope is not a detriment since it applies to ex Cathedra pronouncements....The people of the Italo Greek Catholic communities of Southern Italy have not had a problem with loyalty to both Constantinople and Rome. I have always felt a part of both. Check out Grottaferratta in Rome and St John in Biviongi Calabria....we have been united for centuries!!!
Misael11/29/2019 5:28 am
Why are Roman Catholic so disrespectful of Orthodox doctrine? They know they have a different theology but they say stuff like "let's all get together". It feels like hypocrisy.
Fr Christopher Miller11/28/2019 5:55 pm
May it happen at the 1700th anniversary of Nicaea in 2025!!!
matt collins11/28/2019 5:09 pm
Who is the Prodigal Son, my brothers and sisters in Baptism? You do know that Christ continues to suffer His wounds while His adopted children bicker. I pray for the unification of all Christians, but in particular that all Eucharistic People reconcile our differences. With love, Your Lowly Papist Brother in Christ.
Rex Trugo11/28/2019 4:22 pm
Our Lord and King Jesus Christ wills loving unity of Christians. May this happens sooner between Orthodox and Catholics.
Mark Betts11/28/2019 4:20 pm
"Pat. Bartholomew said that dialogue with other Christians, especially Catholics, is one of the priorities of the Patriarchate of Constantinople." Right, yet dialogue with other Local Churches concerning a matter whereby you have divided the whole of the Eastern Orthodox Church, that's of secondary or nominal importance is it?
OGi11/28/2019 4:05 pm
I don't see it coming. They would have to give up re-marrying people and would have to accept the primate of the bishop of Rome.
Popsy11/28/2019 11:09 am
@ Catherine I believe the Catholics will give up on everything, as long as the Orthodox Church will accept "the infallibility of the pope and his primacy". That's the most important thing the pope cares about. And then he will slowly re-introduce everything, as he sees fit, because he's "infallible", isn't he?
Michael11/28/2019 9:29 am
The precedent set by the case of Honorius is relevant. He professed and was posthumously anathematised for the heresy of monotheletism. It was common ground that this destroyed only his personal faith. Does it destroy the official faith of the Apostolic See of Rome? If YES, then the case against union with Rome succeeds. If NO, then the case for union with Rome succeeds.
Candy Giannoutsikos11/28/2019 9:08 am
It is the will of God that all christians are united for as long as we are divided we are in sin. Forgive and reconcile with our brothers that is the sign of true christians.
dorothy hashman11/28/2019 8:08 am
With God All Things Are Possible.
sherlock_holmes11/28/2019 8:01 am
Saint Justin Popovich: " In the history of the human race there have been three principal falls: that of Adam, that of Judas, and that of the pope."------- It looks like Patriarch bartholomew wants to add one more.-------
Catherine Hostetler11/27/2019 11:47 pm
How will the 2 churches reconcile the following: purgutory and indulgences, the filioque, the infallibility of the pope and his primacy, the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, the mandated celibacy of the parish clergy, just to name a few??
Rada11/27/2019 9:07 pm
It is inevitable ONLY if no one stands up to object. The Faithful need to voice their objections. There are definitely dogmatic differences; Bartholomew is living in a fantasy world. Why doesn't he just go over to the Catholics and leave the rest of us alone.
Renato11/27/2019 7:09 pm
Nessuna sorpresa lo sappiano da tempo prima che fosse eletto patriarca. Qui in Italia il suo clero greco è apertamente filocattolico e pronto all'unione,per questo noi ortodossi disertiamo da tempo le loro chiese,
John11/27/2019 5:50 pm
This is nothing new, it's what Patriarch Bartholomew has been saying since he was Metropolitan of Philadelphia in the 1970s and 80s. The only thing that really bothers me about this article is the report that none of the monks present objected.
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