An orthodox opinion and confession (First part)
The position against heretics – and all heretics are non-Orthodox – has been clarified by the Church of Christ once and for all through the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers, that is, through the Holy Tradition, unique and unchangeable. This position says that the Orthodox are forbidden to pray together with the heretics or to communicate liturgical with them. For “what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (II Corinthians 6: 14-15). Canon 45 of the Holy Apostles ordains: “Let the bishop, the presbyter, or the deacon who has only prayed with heretics, be excommunicated: but if he has permitted them to perform any clerical office, let him be deposed.” (The same is the order by the apostles’ 46 and 65 canons and the canon 35 of the Synod of Laodicea).
This canon of the Holy Apostles does not show exactly which prayer or ministry is forbidden to do with heretics, but forbids in general any prayer made with the heretics. At common ecumenical prayers, even more serious things are done. Canon 32 of the Synod of Laodicea states: “It is unlawful to receive the eulogiæ of heretics, for they are rather άλογίαι (follies) than eulogiæ (blessings). At ecumenical assemblies and prayers in common, it happens that heretics Bishops and Catholic priests, Protestant pastors, even women do blessings.
These canons of the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers and many others are valid not only for the ancient times but continue to be perfectly valid today too, for all the contemporary Orthodox Christians. They are undoubtedly valid for strengthening our position against Catholics and Protestants, since Catholicism is a multiple heresy, and what to say more about Protestantism? Better not discuss it. Already Saint Sava in his era, seven centuries and a half ago, called Catholicism “Latin heresy.” And how many dogmas he has ordained and commanded the “infallible” pope! There is no doubt that Catholicism is a heresy if we consider only the dogma of papal infallibility.
And the Second Vatican Council not only did not change this monstrous heresy, but validated it (See “Constitution of Ecclesia”, of Vatican Council II).
That being said, if we are Orthodox and want to remain Orthodox, we are also obliged to maintain the position of Saint Sava, of Saint Mark of Ephesus, of Saint Cosmas Ethel, of St. John of Kronstadt and the other Holy Confessors of the Orthodox Church, against the Catholics and Protestants, because neither of them believe in the two basic dogmas of Christianity: in the Holy Trinity and in the Church.
The Holy Apostle’s gospel speaks the truth: “… to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). The theanthropic faith is “the faith of truth.” The essence of this belief is the Truth, it is the only Truth, that is the theanthropic Christ, and the theanthropic love is “the love of the truth” (II Thessalonians 2: 10). The essence of this love is the All the Truth, that is the theanthropic Christ. This faith and love are the heart and the conscience of the Orthodox Church. These have always been preserved immaculate and unchanged only through Orthodoxy, for which the Orthodox Christians are called to testify without fear of the West, of its false faith, and its false love.
Holy Celie Monastery
Unworthy Archimandrite Justin This word was sent by Father Justin to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Serbia, on November 13/26, 1974.