Saturday, June 08, 2013

Do Not Hate Any Of What God Has Created

For those who have not already seen it, His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East spoke at the Phanar (The Ecumenical Patriarch's see in Istanbul).  His address to the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Orthodox world at large is an appeal for openness with other Christians and to non-Christians:

Mention should be made here of the role that our predecessor, Patriarch Peter the Third, played at the beginning of the eleventh century when he reminded us of the necessity of forgiveness and laying aside unnecessary accusations and of accepting the other in love so as to win him to the Orthodox faith. He said to the Patriarch of Constantinople, Carolarius: "I throw myself at your feet … and beseech you not to ask for everything, lest we lose everything … Human beings must not hate any of what God has created; they should instead accept it with thankfulness".  We observe in this stance of Patriarch Peter a light that guides us and enlightens our way today, pushing forward towards accomplishing a similar role in the context of the disagreements between the Orthodox Churches as they open up to other Christians.
What it means exactly "not to hate any of what God has created" in the context of inter-Christian dialog, is, of course, the difficult part.  I certainly am not qualified to parse these things out.  However, I will go further and say (perhaps in foolish arrogance) that very, very few people are qualified to parse out what exactly is primary in our Orthodox Tradition and what can be adjusted for the sake of eoconomia.  
May God help us and guide our holy hierarchs as they seek to hear and lead according to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

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