Thursday, May 07, 2009

On Dialogue with Anglicans

A large part of the OCA’s flock and the majority of the episcopate came to Orthodoxy from other denominations or from atheism. You yourself were born into an Episcopal (Anglican) family. Do heterodox roots help or hinder in dialog with representatives of other faiths? What is the OCA’s general attitude towards ecumenism?

Because America is a very pluralistic country, we have to have contacts with representatives of other faiths. The OCA takes part in the National Council of Churches of the USA and the World Council of Churches. We participate in discussions conducted within the framework of the ecumenical organizations, although we rarely approve of what they do. But they do many good things; especially, in providing an opportunity for the Orthodox to meet with one another.

Now about the theological dialog with the heterodox. If the matter concerns the Episcopal Church/USA, then this dialog has stopped. But we engage in dialog with Episcopalian traditionalists many of whom embrace the Orthodox faith. And I personally, and our entire Synod gives great attention to bringing these people into the fold of the Orthodox Church in America.

You are not afraid of accusations of proselytizing?

This is not proselytizing - it “aggressive proclamation” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy - is preaching of Christ in all its fullness.

-Metropolitan +Jonah (OCA) in a recent wide ranging interview. I strongly encourage reading it all.



James the Thickheaded said...

I think the Old Elizabethan claim that "We have no religion of our own..." has finally reached the point where lopping off the rest of the statement seemed appropriate. Parliament found it expedient to treat the Church as just another department of government and assume rule of the church. The American church aped the practice and raised it one. No one complained, and Via Media became not the road between, but the road to one or the other and out. Lattitudinarians rule the roost, the Anglican church has returned to its arid state (pre John Donne) of con-celebrating state functions, and Met. Jonah is right to state the obvious. Sadly, sorting out the faith from the anglophilism in the remaining Anglican traditionalists... I can't imagine accomplishing that any better here than we've managed with some of our Orthodox jurisdictionalists.... which is to admit that perhaps this confusion is more of our commonality than matters of faith.

William Tighe said...

I said it here in 1999:

although, to be fair to Anglicans and the Church of England, by the 18th century Lutheran rulers in both Germany and Scandinavia had far outstripped those of England/Britain in their Erastianism and reduction of their religious establishments to departments of state, and that remains the case in countries like Denmark and Norway to the present day. On the other hand, while Lutherans have the Confessions as authorities (setting aside the problems implicit in "paper popes"), the Anglican "default position" (as I insist in the linked book review) is always a thoroughgoing Erastianism.