Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus: “Stop the fruitless dialogue with heretics”

Piraeus, Greece, March 19, 2021

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It is essential to cling to the right faith and reject and denounce all heresies, His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus of the Orthodox Church of Greece writes in his pastoral encyclical for the Sunday of Orthodox this year. Expressing his characteristic strict stance to the ecumenical movement, the fiery Metropolitan calls for the Orthodox to give up all such fruitless and harmful dialogues with heretics.

Opening his letter, Met. Seraphim reminds that the Sunday of Orthodoxy is dedicated to the restoration of the icons, but also to the Church’s triumph overall heresies and sects in general. The Rite of Orthodoxy includes anathemas against all heresies the Church has faced, His Eminence notes.

And it is no coincidence that the Church placed this celebration on the first Sunday of Great Lent. It was done, Met. Seraphim explains, to teach that our struggles to kill the passions and acquire the virtues are useless without maintaining the true faith. “There is no salvation outside the Church, even if man achieves all the virtues through fasting and ascetic struggles,” he states.

The wolf of heresy cannot harm us as long as we remain inside the Church, His Eminence continues, referring to the teaching of St. John Chrysostom.

He also refers to the story about Abba Agathon, who accepted to be slandered with every type of sin but refused to be called a heretic. “Heresy is separation from God, and I do not want to be separated from God,” the great elder explained.

The Holy Fathers struggled greatly to preserve the Orthodox faith, even to the point of martyrdom at times. “Their sensitivity is due to the fact that they realized that deviation from the truth of the faith means a transition to the state of heresy, means spiritual death and the loss of salvation,” Met. Seraphim writes. Even the slightest deviation has destructive consequences, the Holy Fathers teach, as His Eminence emphasizes.

“Therefore, there is no room for compromise in matters of faith, no room for economy, and no one has the right to add, or remove, the slightest thing from the content of Divine revelation, from the only surviving truth of Orthodoxy.”

And the truths of the faith are not mere dogmatic formulations, but refer to the whole ethos and life of the Church. And altering doctrine inevitably leads to altering morality, the Piraeus hierarch writes. The Holy Fathers fought not simply for the correct formulation of the Church’s truths, but first of all to personally experience those truths and to personally know the presence of Christ in their souls.

Likewise, it is the duty of all Orthodox to safeguard the truths of the faith, which is more imperative today than ever before, according to Met. Seraphim, because the Church is under attack by numerous heresies and sects, the most dangerous of which is Ecumenism, which has given rise to anti-Orthodox teachings like the branch theory, dogmatic minimalism, baptismal unity, the two-lung theory about the Orthodox Church and the Catholics, and more.

Such a movement reduces and degrades the heroic labors of our fathers in the faith, Met. Seraphim emphasizes. The return of heretics to the Orthodox faith is no longer seen as a necessary condition for the union of churches, and thus Sts. Photios, Gregory Palamas, and Mark Ephesus, champions of Orthodox against the Papacy, “are canceled and condemned in practice,” explains the Greek hierarch.

Ecumenism promotes a superficial unity, ignoring the “huge dogmatic differences that divide us,” and ends in referring to the heterodox as “sister churches” with “valid sacraments,” His Eminence states. Heresy and falsehood is thus respected equal to truth.

And, unfortunately, “this conspiracy” quickly spread even beyond the bounds of Christendom to include non-Christian religions, Met. Seraphim notes. Such unity, sought through conferences, meetings, dialogues, etc is one of the most essential goals of Ecumenism.

“The dialogues that have taken place so far have not only brought no results, but on the contrary have inevitably led to the decay and erosion of the Orthodox mind, to compromises and unacceptable concessions to our dogma and ecclesiastical self-consciousness,” His Eminence rightly warns. The Orthodox representatives in such dialogues lack spiritual experience, he notes, “Thus we came to the tragic phenomenon of Orthodox representatives making unorthodox statements and signing texts of common acceptance with heretics, foreign to the tradition and dogmatic teaching of our Church.”

And this “terrible diversity” that prevailed throughout the 20th century reached its peak at the “Council” of Crete in 2016, His Eminence writes, which did not condemn any heresies, but rather legitimized Ecumenism, “and filled the triumphant and militant Church of Christ with indescribable sorrow.”

The fact that Ecumenism still exists more than 100 years after its appearance underscores the debt that we all owe in the fight against it, as it prepares the world for the New World Religion of satan, Met. Seraphim exhorts.

Let the Church give up these harmful dialogues with heretics, and instead “proclaim that the only Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ, without Whom there is no salvation and life,” His Eminence concludes.

Speaking of the Ukrainian schismatics’ ecumenism with the Catholic church in 2019, Met. Seraphim remarked that they “lack the fear of God.” He has also condemned ecumenistic statements from the Patriarch of Alexandria and the participation of a bishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in an ecumenistic prayer service with Catholics and Protestants.

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Zoey Metaxas 4/3/2021 6:17 pm
Mikhail: Quit attacking Met. Seraphim for taking the vaccine, he most probably did not know what’s in them like most of us had no idea. Be appreciative instead for his stand to defend Orthodoxy from contamination of Leftist propaganda. I’m also proud of Seraphim for asking Queen of England to take back undeserved Knighthood of the disgraceful musician Elton John for his blasphemy against Lord Christ! Elton John is known for long history of mental illness.
Andreas Panayiotis3/28/2021 11:28 am
While Metropolitan Seraphim Of Piraeus is saying all these empty words, throwing words in the air, why didn’t he do and say anything when those left wingers in Greece ripped and trampled on an icon of The Theotokos, when Orthodox churches are being vandalised and desecrated by left wingers, when the tabernacles are being desecrated, when more and more holy icons are being ripped and trampled upon everyday by left wingers, when Holy Communion are being given to Golden Dawn and when the Orthodox Church in Greece tolerates their activities. Seriously Metropolitan Seraphim stop singing the same song again and again and look at the reality thats happening in the churches in Greece!!!!
Paul F MD3/22/2021 4:43 pm
As Hobbes wrote in the 17th century: "the kingdom of nothing else but a kingdom of deceivers that, to obtain dominion over men in this world, endeavor, by dark and erroneous doctrine, to extinguish in them the light." The confederacy of deceivers reigns in Washington and its vassal states in western Europe.
Mikhail3/22/2021 4:35 pm
Let all the Orthodox Christians be aware of the wolves in sheep clothing professing to be Orthodox "faithful" or "doctors" or "scientists" or "clergy"...who tell us it is okay to get experimental vaccines which either use abortive fetal tissue cells in pre-trials...or have the abortive fetal tissue cells in the actual vaccine. A child was murdered. God will judge in the end. I do not want to be one of the people standing at the fearful judgement seat of God trying to explain why I received a vaccine that was developed by means of the murder of one of His holy innocent that I could protect myself from a virus with a 99% plus survival rate.
Nicolae Vlah3/22/2021 1:15 pm
Met. Seraphim is all mouth, nothing more. I'm sick of this kind of people.
sherlock_holmes3/22/2021 4:27 am
If I am not wrong,there is another beloved Metropolitan who got vaccinated in front of the cameras, others who do not consult with the holy people and fall into error.I remember a poem I read long time ago,as a teenager:...The Albatross...Often, for pastime, mariners will ensnare...The albatross, that vast sea-bird who sweeps...On high companionable pinion where...Their vessel glides upon the bitter deeps...Torn from his native space, this captive king...Flounders upon the deck in stricken pride...And pitiably lets his great white wing...Drag like a heavy paddle at his side...This rider of winds, how awkward he is, and weak!...How droll he seems, who late was all grace!...A sailor pokes a pipestem into his beak;...Another, hobbling, mocks his trammeled pace...The Poet is like this monarch of the clouds...Familiar of storms, of stars, and of all high things;...Exiled on earth amidst its hooting crowds,...He cannot walk, borne down by his giant wings.
Paul F MD3/21/2021 10:42 pm
Let all the Orthodox christians be aware of the few wolves in sheep clothing pretending to be the Orthodox "faithful" who continuously and with unremitting venom attack our Orthodox bishops and fathers who strive to maintain our true Orthodox church in it's traditions by speaking the truth and indicating through their sermons who the heretics are among us. These are the "faithful" whose mission like the Bolsheviks before them is to not only to erode and destroy the Orthodox Church but also the Russian Orthodox culture.
Mikhail3/21/2021 6:25 am
That's too bad. I had immense respect for this Metropolitan. He is one of the Hierarchs that I was relatively certain would not receive a vaccine that performed pre-trial testing using abortive fetal cells. The disappointments just keep on coming.
Herman3/20/2021 6:45 pm
Mikhail: He got the Pfizer drug. Greece is part of the EU and NATO at this point, having rejected their Orthodox heritage, so now they get experimental drugs shipped in from the American pharmaceutical companies.
Mikhail3/20/2021 4:31 am
Does anyone know which vaccine he received?
Paul F MD3/20/2021 1:55 am
Regardless of your "denomination" in the Eastern Orthodox Church, this powerful statement by the Bishop holds all the truths and pitfalls of our faith today. Even the slightest of changes in our holy fathers' teachings, writings, and oral traditions will erode and eventually destroy both our Orthodox faith and our Orthodox church.
Steven Wenner 3/20/2021 1:03 am
As a former Protestant converting to Orthodoxy I deeply appreciate his Eminence opinion here. Coming out of the confusion of American evangelicalism it was not a spirit of compromise that attracted me to the Orthodox Church. It was the realization of the confusion within my own group and the constant flux and change and seeing the rock that is the Orthodox Church that was so attractive to me. The Orthodox Church truly is the Firm Foundation the true expression of apostolic Christianity the safe-haven that hungry Souls like myself can find Refuge.
Peter3/19/2021 9:25 pm
Axios to Metropolitan Seraphim. May God protect him and allow other bishops to speak out against this heresy and other that have infiltrated the Church.
sherlock_holmes3/19/2021 6:55 pm
Let the Church give UP these harmful dialogues with heretics !
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