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Open letter to the Holy Pan Orthodox Synod of 2016*

Holy Hierarchs of the Pan Orthodox Synod,

Let us start by remembering our Holiness Metropolitan Paul Saliba of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. Let us also remember the founders of our Holy Mission, Holy Metropolitan Philaret of New York, Fr Vladimir Evsukoff, Archbishop John Maximovic the founder of the Monastery of St Herman of Alaska in California and our dear Fathers of Platina Seraphim Rose and Herman Podmoshenski who we have a special reverence for.

Dear Holy Hierarchs gathering for the Holy Synod of 2016,

much has been written about the concerns in the Orthodox community in regards to some of provisions included on the agenda of the Synod. While the focus seems to have been mainly on one particular point so far, point eight on the agenda, there is another one which in our view also has significant implications for the future of Orthodoxy, and what we are referring here to is point ten (at least on the initial list): “The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World – The contribution of the Orthodox Church to the attainment of peace, justice, freedom, brotherhood and love between peoples and the removal of racial and other discrimination”.

While point eight seems to be, in the view of many concerned Orthodox Christians, an ecclesiastical unity (communion) with other confessions, point ten seems to be more focused on a unity of action against a set of common challenges that have arisen in the world and seem to be re-defining the mission of the Church towards an earthly, chiliastic end. In order for us to try to get to the point, please let us make a few references to the document which starts by stating the goal of positioning the Orthodox Church as the pillar for achieving “peace, justice, freedom, brotherhood and love between peoples and the removal of racial and other discrimination“, in other words achieving a perfect society. The document tries to argue that the “hope of peace, justice and love is not a utopia“, and “true peace is the fruit of the triumph on earth of all these Christian principles”. The document also states that “the ecological crisis, harnessed to climate change and global warming, makes it incumbent upon the Church to do everything within her spiritual power to aid the protection of God’s creation from the consequences of human greed”.

For an Orthodox Christian closely observing the developments in the world it is hard to fail to see that these sort of goals are also found on UN’s agenda 2030 (formerly known as Agenda 21), which in principle state the same goals, a list of which can be found by navigating to the following link:

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

For a simple Orthodox Christian who knows that the Kingdom of God is not of this Earth which is in a fallen state (thus plagued by iniquities and lawlessness and destined to complete destruction), the question as to why such goals would become part of the doctrine of the Church, where it has never been the case before, raises some serious questions. One who lived under Communism (and many did for many years) most of these goals can be recognized as the same exact ideals this kind of ideology set as its goals. In the writings of Fathers Seraphim Rose and Herman Podmoshenski (both of blessed memory), which for various reasons is mostly unknown today although it was never condemned as heretical, there can be found some very specific references to the dangers of the Church slipping through and falling into a position in which it may start to preach a form of “Communist Christianity”. Much of the material we are referring to hereby is available on our website.

Knowing that every of the previous seven Orthodox Councils (or Synods) have always tried to be representative of all Orthodox Christians, we are hereby making an appeal to the upcoming Synod to consider the above concerns we and others share, holding the view that if such a council is to be representative of all Orthodox Christians these concerns should be addressed.

For those wishing to express their support, please follow the facebook link below, or write us at orthodoxaustralia@yahoo.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1071030092977174&id=100002105812678

Related articles:
http://orthodoxaustralia.org/2016/04/22/the-chiliastic-end-of-the-upcoming-pan-orthodox-synod/

*the current version of this petition may not be final

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