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Ecumenism (also ëcumenism, oecumenism, œcumenism, or even eucumenism) now mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater religious unity or cooperation.
In its broadest sense, this unity or cooperation may refer to a worldwide religious unity; by the advocation of a greater sense of shared spirituality across the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Most commonly, however, ecumenism is used in a more narrow meaning; referring to a greater cooperation among different religious denominations of a single one of these faiths.
The word is derived from Greek οἰκουμένη (oikoumene), which means "the inhabited world", and was historically used with specific reference to the Roman Empire. Today, the word is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice. Within this particular context, the term ecumenism refers to the idea of a Christian unity in the literal meaning: that there should be a single Christian Church.
Christian ecumenism and interfaith pluralismEdit
Christian ecumenism, in the narrower sense referred to above, is the promotion of unity or cooperation between distinct religious groups or denominations of Christianity. Christian ecumenism is distinguished from interfaith pluralism. Ecumenism in this broad sense is called religious pluralism, distinguished from ecumenism within a faith movement. The interfaith movement strives for greater mutual respect, toleration, and co-operation among the world religions. Ecumenism as interfaith dialogue between representatives of diverse faiths, does not necessarily intend reconciling their adherents into full, organic unity with one another but simply to promote better relations. It promotes toleration, mutual respect and cooperation, whether among Christian denominations, or between Christianity and other faiths.
For some Catholics it may, but not always, have the goal of reconciling all who profess Christian faith to bring them into a single, visible organization, i.e. through union with the Roman Catholic Church.
For some Protestants spiritual unity, and often unity on the church's teachings on central issues, suffices. According to Lutheran theologian Edmund Schlink, most important in Christian ecumenism is that people focus primarily on Christ, not on separate church organizations. In Schlick's book Ökumenische Dogmatik (1983), he says Christians who see the risen Christ at work in the lives of various Christians or in diverse churches, realize that the unity of Christ's church has never been lost, but has instead been distorted and obscured by different historical experiences and by spiritual myopia. Both are overcome in renewed faith in Christ. Included in that is responding to his admonition (John 17; also Philippians 2) to be one in him and love one another as a witness to the world. The result of mutual recognition would be a discernible worldwide fellowship, organized in a historically new way.
Standing against the modern ecumenist movement is the traditional Orthodox Church which staunchly maintains there is but one Church, and Orthodoxy is the Church. Thus, theories like "sister church" or "two lungs" are generally rejected, because in its view the Church is theologically indivisible. Leading the anti ecumenical movement in the 1980s was Fr. John Boylan of the OCA.
Three approaches to Christian unityEdit
For a significant part of the Christian world, one of the highest aims is the reconciliation of the various denominations by overcoming the historical divisions within Christianity. Still, approaches to ecumenism varies, i.e. while generally Protestants see it as agreements on teachings about central issues of faith, an organizational unity with mutual accountability between the parts, for Catholics and Orthodox the Christendom unity is approached within their more concrete understanding of the Body of Christ metaphor, this ecclesiological matter being closely linked to key theological issues (i.e. the Eucharist), demanding full dogmatic agreement before full communion. Thus, there are different answers even to the question What is the Church?, which finally is the goal of the ecumenist movement itself. However, the desire of unity is expressed by many denominations of Christendom, generally that all who profess faith in Christ in sincerity, would be more fully cooperative and supportive of one another.
For the Catholic and Orthodox churches, the process of approaching one another is formally split in two successive stages: the "dialogue of love" and the "dialogue of truth." To the former belong the mutual revocation in 1965 of the anathemas of 1054 (see below Contemporary developments), returning the relics of Sabbas the Sanctified (a common saint) to Mar Saba in the same year, and the first visit of a Pope to an Orthodox country in a millennium (Pope John Paul II accepting the invitation of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Teoctist, in 1999), among others. The later one, involving effective theological talks on matters of dogma, has yet to happen.
Christian ecumenism can be described in terms of the three largest divisions of Christianity: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. While this underemphasizes the complexity of these divisions, it is a useful model.
The Roman Catholic Church has always considered it a duty of the highest rank to seek full unity with estranged communions of fellow-Christians, and at the same time to reject what it saw as promiscuous and false union that would mean being unfaithful to or glossing over the teaching of Sacred Scripture and Tradition.
Before the Second Vatican Council, the main stress was laid on this second aspect, as exemplified in canon 1258 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law:
- It is illicit for the faithful to assist at or participate in any way in non-Catholic religious functions.
- For a serious reason requiring, in case of doubt, the Bishop's approval, passive or merely material presence at non-Catholic funerals, weddings and similar occasions because of holding a civil office or as a courtesy can be tolerated, provided there is no danger of perversion or scandal.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law has no corresponding canon. It absolutely forbids Catholic priests to concelebrate the Eucharist with members of communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church (canon 908), but allows, in certain circumstances and under certain conditions, other sharing in the sacraments. And the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 102 states: "Christians may be encouraged to share in spiritual activities and resources, i.e., to share that spiritual heritage they have in common in a manner and to a degree appropriate to their present divided state."
Pope John XXIII, who convoked the Council that brought this change of emphasis about, said that the Council's aim was to seek renewal of the Church itself, which would serve, for those separated from the See of Rome, as a "gentle invitation to seek and find that unity for which Jesus Christ prayed so ardently to his heavenly Father."
Some elements of the Roman Catholic perspective on ecumenism are illustrated in the following quotations from the Council's decree on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio of 21 November 1964, and Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Ut Unum Sint of 25 May 1995.
Every renewal of the Church is essentially grounded in an increase of fidelity to her own calling. Undoubtedly this is the basis of the movement toward unity ... There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart. For it is from renewal of the inner life of our minds, from self-denial and an unstinted love that desires of unity take their rise and develop in a mature way. We should therefore pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace to be genuinely self-denying, humble. gentle in the service of others, and to have an attitude of brotherly generosity towards them. ... The words of St. John hold good about sins against unity: "If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us". So we humbly beg pardon of God and of our separated brethren, just as we forgive them that trespass against us.—
Christians cannot underestimate the burden of long-standing misgivings inherited from the past, and of mutual misunderstandings and prejudices. Complacency, indifference and insufficient knowledge of one another often make this situation worse. Consequently, the commitment to ecumenism must be based upon the conversion of hearts and upon prayer, which will also lead to the necessary purification of past memories. With the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Lord's disciples, inspired by love, by the power of the truth and by a sincere desire for mutual forgiveness and reconciliation, are called to re-examine together their painful past and the hurt which that past regrettably continues to provoke even today.—
In ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility. When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a "hierarchy" of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith. Thus the way will be opened by which through fraternal rivalry all will be stirred to a deeper understanding and a clearer presentation of the unfathomable riches of Christ.—
The unity willed by God can be attained only by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety. In matters of faith, compromise is in contradiction with God who is Truth. In the Body of Christ, "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6), who could consider legitimate a reconciliation brought about at the expense of the truth?...Even so, doctrine needs to be presented in a way that makes it understandable to those for whom God himself intends it.—
When the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning. We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.—
While some Eastern Orthodox Churches commonly baptize converts from the Catholic Church, thereby refusing to recognize the baptism that the converts have previously received, the Catholic Church has always accepted the validity of all the sacraments administered by the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches.
The Catholic Church likewise has never applied the terms "heterodox" or "heretic" to the Eastern Orthodox Church or its members. Even the term "schism", as defined in canon 751 of its Code of Canon Law ("the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him"), does not, strictly speaking, apply to the situation of the concrete individual members of the Eastern Orthodox Church today as viewed by the Catholic Church.
The Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches are two distinct bodies of local churches. The churches within each body share full communion, although there is not official communion between the two bodies. Both consider themselves to be the original church, from which the West was divided in the 5th and 11th centuries, respectively (after the 3rd and 7th Ecumenical councils). Many theologians of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxes engage in theological dialogue with each other and with some of the Western churches, though short of full communion. The Eastern Orthodox have participated in the interfaith movement, with students active in the World Student Christian Federation since the late 19th century and some Orthodox patriarchs enlisting their communions as charter members of the World Council of Churches. Nevertheless, the Orthodox have not been willing to participate in any redefinition of the Christian faith toward a reduced, minimal, anti-dogmatic and anti-traditional Christianity. Christianity for the Eastern Orthodox is the Church; and the Church is Orthodoxy—nothing less and nothing else. Therefore, while Orthodox ecumenism is "open to dialogue with the devil himself", the Orthodox have defined their position in the ecumenical movement as being "witnesses to the truth", the goal being to reconcile the heterodox (i.e., non-Orthodox) back into Orthodoxy.
One way to observe the attitude of the Orthodox Church towards non-Orthodox is to see how they receive new members from other faiths. Non-Christians, such as Buddhists or atheists, who wish to become Orthodox Christians are accepted through the sacraments of baptism and chrismation. Protestants and Roman Catholics are sometimes received through chrismation only, provided they had received a trinitarian baptism. Also Protestants and Roman Catholics are often referred to as "heterodox", which simply means "other believing", rather than as heretics, implying that they did not willfully reject the Church. However, such policies are decided by each individual church, and more traditional groups will receive all converts only by baptism and chrismation.
Despite many disagreements over ecumenism and how to approach interfaith dialog, there exists a sizable group of Orthodox Christians who are vehemently opposed to any kind of interfaith dialog, whether with other Christian denominations or religions outside Christianity. They view ecumenism and interfaith dialog as being potentially pernicious to Orthodox Church Tradition; a "weakening" of Orthodoxy itself.
The members of the Anglican Communion have generally embraced the Ecumenical Movement, actively participating in such organizations as the World Council of Churches and the NCCC. Most Anglican provinces have special departments devoted to ecumenical relations; however, the influence of Liberal Christianity has in recent years caused tension within the communion, causing some to question the direction ecumenism has taken them.
Each member church of the Anglican Communion makes its own decisions with regard to intercommunion. The 1958 Lambeth Conference recommended "that where between two Churches not of the same denominational or confessional family, there is unrestricted communio in sacris, including mutual recognition and acceptance of ministries, the appropriate term to use is 'full communion,' and that where varying degrees of relation other than 'full communion' are established by agreement between two such churches the appropriate term is 'intercommunion.'
Full communion has been established between Provinces of the Anglican Communion and these Churches:
- Old Catholic Churches of Europe
- Philippine Independent Church
- Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Episcopal Church USA is currently engaged in dialogue with the following religious bodies:
- Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC)
- Orthodox Church
- Roman Catholic Church
- Moravian Church
- Presbyterian Church USA
- United Methodist Church
- Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America
Nicolaus Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf,(1700-1760) the renewer of the Unitas Fratrum/ Moravian Church in the 18th Century, was the first person to use the word "ecumenical" in this sense. His pioneering efforts to unite all Christians, regardless of denominational labels, into a "Church of God in the Spirit"---notably among German immigrants in Pennsylvania--were misunderstood by his contemporaries and 200 years before the world was ready for them.
The contemporary ecumenical movement for Protestants is often said to have started with the 1910 Edinburgh Missionary Conference. However this conference would not have been possible without the pioneering ecumenical work of the Christian youth movements: the Young Men's Christian Association (founded 1844), the Young Women's Christian Association (founded 1855), the World Student Christian Federation (founded 1895), and the Federal Council of Churches (founded 1908), predecessor to today's National Council of Churches USA. Led by Methodist layman John R. Mott (former YMCA staff and in 1910 the General Secretary of WSCF), the World Mission conference marked the largest Protestant gathering to that time, with the express purposes of working across denominational lines for the sake of world missions. After the First World War further developments were the "Faith and Order" movement led by Charles Henry Brent, and the "Life and Work" movement led by Nathan Soderblom.
Eventually, formal organizations were formed, including the World Council of Churches in 1948, the National Council of Churches in the USA in 1950, and Churches Uniting in Christ in 2002. These groups are moderate to liberal, theologically speaking, as Protestants are generally more liberal and less traditional than Anglicans, Orthodox, and Roman Catholics.
Protestants are now involved in a variety of ecumenical groups, working in some cases toward organic denominational unity and in other cases for cooperative purposes alone. Because of the wide spectrum of Protestant denominations and perspectives, full cooperation has been difficult at times. Edmund Schlink's Ökumenische Dogmatik 1983, 1997 proposes a way through these problems to mutual recognition and renewed church unity.
In 1999, the representatives of Lutheran World Federation and Roman Catholic Church signed The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, resolving the conflict over the nature of Justification which was at the root of the Protestant Reformation, although some conservative Lutherans did not agree to this resolution. On July 18, 2006 Delegates to the World Methodist Conference voted unanimously to adopt the Joint Declaration.  
The mutual anathemas (excommunications) of 1054, marking the Great Schism between Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) branches of Christianity, a process spanning several centuries, were revoked in 1965 by the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. It is to be noted that the Canon Law of the Catholic Church states: "An apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae [automatic] excommunication, without prejudice to the provision of Can. 194 ß1, n. 2; a cleric, moreover, may be punished with the penalties mentioned in Can. 1336 ß1, nn. 1, 2 and 3." This penalty would include the Eastern Orthodox and other non-Catholic sects. Also, similar provisions exist in the Canon Law followed by the Eastern Orthodox.
The year 2006 saw a resumption of the series of meetings for theological dialogue between representatives of the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches, suspended because of failure to reach agreement on the question of the Eastern Catholic Churches, a question exacerbated by disputes over churches and other property that the Communist authorities once assigned to the Orthodox Church but whose restoration these Churches have obtained from the present authorities.
Catholic and Orthodox bishops in North America are engaged in an ongoing dialogue. They are meeting together periodically as the "North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation". It has been meeting semi-annually since it was founded in 1965 under the auspices of the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops officially joined the Consultation as a sponsor in 1997. The Consultation works in tandem with the Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops which has been meeting annually since 1981. Since 1999 the Consultation has been discussing the Filioque clause, with the hope of eventually reaching an agreed joint statement.
Similar dialogues at both international and national level continue between, for instance, Roman Catholics and Anglicans.
Contemporary developments in mainline Protestant churches have dealt a serious blow to ecumenism. The decision by the U.S. Episcopal Church to ordain Gene Robinson, a practising homosexual who advocates same-sex blessings, as bishop led the Russian Orthodox Church to suspend its cooperation with the Episcopal Church. Likewise, when the Church of Sweden decided to bless same-sex marriages, the Russian Patriarchate severed all relations with the Church, noting that "Approving the shameful practice of same-sex marriages is a serious blow to the entire system of European spiritual and moral values influenced by Christianity."
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev commented that the inter-Christian community is "bursting at the seams." He sees the great dividing line - or "abyss" - not so much between old churches and church families as between "traditionalists" and "liberals", the latter now dominating Protestantism, and predicted that other Northern Protestant Churches will follow suit and this means that the “ecumenical ship” will sink, for with the liberalism that is materializing in European Protestant churches, there is no longer anything to talk about.
Organizations such as the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches USA, Churches Uniting in Christ, Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship and Christian Churches Together continue to encourage ecumenical cooperation among Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, and, at times, Roman Catholics. There are universities such as the University of Bonn in Germany that offer degree courses in "Ecumenical Studies" in which theologians of various denominations teach their respective traditions and, at the same time, seek for common ground between these traditions.
United and uniting churchesEdit
Influenced by the ecumenical movement, the "scandal of separation" and local developments, a number of United and Uniting churches have formed; there are also a range of mutual recognition strategies being practised where formal union is not feasible. An increasing trend has been the sharing of church buildings by two or more denominations, either holding separate services or a single service with elements of all traditions.
Opposition to ecumenismEdit
A sizable minority of Christians opposes ecumenism.
In the Eastern Orthodox world, the monastic community of Mount Athos, arguably the most important center of Orthodox spirituality, has voiced its concerns regarding the ecumenist movement and opposition to the participation of the Orthodox Church. They regard modern ecumenism as compromising essential doctrinal stands in order to accommodate other Christians, and object to the emphasis on dialogue leading to intercommunion rather than conversion on the part of participants in ecumenical initiatives. Greek Old Calendarists also claim that the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils forbid changing the church calendar through abandonment of the Julian calendar. The Inter-Orthodox Theological Conference entitled "Ecumenism: Origins, Expectations, Disenchantment", organized in September 2004 by the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki has drawn negative conclusions on ecumenism.
Traditionalist Roman Catholics also see ecumenism as aiming at a false pan-Christian religious unity which does not require non-Catholics to convert to the Catholic faith. Traditionalist Roman Catholics see this as a contradiction to Catholic interpretations of the Bible, Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos, Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis and other documents. Some evangelical and many charismatic Christians view ecumenism as a sign of end times apostasy before Jesus Christ's return as prophesied in the Bible, and see substantial similarities between the doctrinal stance of end-times false teachers, as described in 2 Peter 2:1-2, and the theological pronouncements of certain leaders of ecumenical movements.
Attitude of some Evangelical ProtestantsEdit
A majority of Evangelical churches, including most Baptists, and some Lutherans, Seventh-day Adventists, non-denominational Christians, and Evangelical Christian denominations such as the Christian and Missionary Alliance church, do not participate actively in the ecumenical movements. The doctrine of separation is adopted by some Evangelical churches towards churches and denominations that have joined ecumenical activities. Many Pentecostals, such as Assemblies of God, shun ecumenism, but some organizations, including some Pentecostal churches, do participate in ecumenism. Other American conservative Protestant Churches, such as the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Presbyterian Church in America, and Free Methodist Church, often view ecumenism in ways similar to their evangelical counterparts.
Many evangelical churches, particularly those in the Baptist tradition, practice congregational self-government, in which the local congregation manages its own affairs and makes decisions regarding theological questions and worship styles. Since the local congregation is seen the highest ecclesiastic authority, there is no compelling reason for these churches to seek a formal merger of denominations. Many evangelical churches do partake in church associations like the National Association of Evangelicals or World Evangelical Fellowship, and cooperate through para-church ministries like World Vision or Young Life. Evangelical churches sometimes cooperate with mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox Christians in projects such as disaster relief or political lobbying. Some of the more conservative Evangelicals, usually called fundamentalists, and Pentecostals view interdenominational activities or organizations in more conservative circles such as the National Association of Evangelicals or Promise Keepers as a softer form of ecumenism and shun them while others do not.
Many Baptists in the United States have notoriously opposed ecumenism and even cooperation with other Baptists, as illustrated by the recent example of the Southern Baptist Convention's decision to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance. The Baptist World Alliance, while seeking co-operation among Baptists, is not specifically a staunch ecumenical body, and yet conservative fundamentalist elements within the Southern Baptist Convention have forced that denomination to withdraw from even that small effort to ecumenical cooperation. Fundamentalists within the SBC cited the BWA's acceptance of Baptist denominations which practiced the ordination of women, which the SBC officially opposes. Critical observers of the SBC noted that the SBC withdrew from the BWA when the BWA accepted the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a moderate Baptist body formed by theologically moderate Baptists alienated by the SBC's fundamentalist direction.
A considerable number of Baptists within the United States belong to loose networks of like-minded fundamentalists known as Independent Baptists. Many of these churches, as well as other fundamentalist groups, believe that modern Bible translations are heretical and that most denominations, including other Baptists and evangelicals, are apostate. These fundamentalists often believe that ecumenism may lead to an apostate counterfeit Christianity lead by the Anti-Christ, possibly in collusion with the Vatican.
In 2001 a group of Pentecostals broke from traditional opposition to ecumenical movements and formed the International Circle of Faith.
A rather large minority of Catholic opposition to ecumenism centers on Traditionalist Roman Catholics and associations such as the Society of St. Pius X. In fact, opposition to ecumenism is closely associated with antagonism, in the case of Traditionalist Roman Catholics, to abandonment of Latin (among many other issues) in the celebration of Mass, and, in the case of Greek Old Calendarists (who speak of "the arch-heresy of ecumenism"), to abandonment of the Julian calendar
- Action of Churches Together in Scotland
- Bose Monastic Community
- Byzantine Discalced Carmelites
- Campus Crusade for Christ
- Canadian Council of Churches
- Christian Churches Together in the USA
- Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
- Churches Uniting in Christ
- Conference of European Churches
- Ecumenical Buddhist Society of Little Rock
- Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion
- Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
- Edinburgh Churches Together
- Fellowship of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius
- Franciscan Hermitage of Campello, Italy
- International Circle of Faith
- Iona Community
- National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
- New Monasticism related Communities
- Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship
- Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
- Prairie Centre for Ecumenism
- Taizé Community
- Word Made Flesh
- World Alliance of Reformed Churches
- World Council of Churches
- World Student Christian Federation
Nondenominational organizations opposing ecumenismEdit
While some Evangelical churches do participate in the Ecumenical movement, it is not true that all Baptists fall into this group. The Baptist Union of Wales are at the forefront of the movement with Wales, as well as the rest of the United Kingdom.
- Christian denominations
- Church union
- Full communion
- Lund Principle
- Taizé Community
- Buddhist ecumenism
- ↑ Edmund Schlink, Ökumenische Dogmatik (1983), pp. 694-700; also his "Report," Dialog 1963, 2:4, 328.
- ↑ Edmund Schlink, Ökumenische Dogmatik (1983), pp. 707-708; also Skibbe, A Quiet Reformer 1999, 122-4; Schlink, The Vision of the Pope 2001.
- ↑ Directory For The Application Of Principles And Norms On Ecumenism
- ↑ Encyclical Ad Petri cathedram
- ↑ Unitatis Redintegratio, 6-7)[www.vatican.va/.../ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html]
- ↑ Encyclical Ut unum sint, 2[www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint_en.html]
- ↑ Unitatis Redintegratio, 11[www.vatican.va/.../ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html]
- ↑ Encyclical Ut unum sint, 18-19[www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint_en.html]
- ↑ Unitatis Redintegratio, 4[www.vatican.va/.../ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html]
- ↑ Patrick Barnes. "Ecumenism Awareness Introduction". Orthodox Christian Information Center. http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- ↑ Code of Canon Law, Canon 1364-1399
- ↑ Russian Orthodox Church condemns Lutheran gay weddings Pravda, 30 December 2005. Accessed 24 March 2009.
- ↑ Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: Will the Ecumenical Ship Sink? The Official Website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Accessed 24 March 2009.
- ↑ The Theological Committee of the Sacred Community of Mount Athos (2007-02-18). "Memorandum on the Participation of the Orthodox Church in the World Council of Churches". orthodoxinfo.com. http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/memorandum-on-the-participation-of-the-orthodox-church-in-the-world-council-of-churches.aspx. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ↑ "Conclusions of the Inter-Orthodox Theological Conference "Ecumenism: Origins Expectations Disenchantment"". orthodox.info. http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/thess_conclusions.aspx. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- ↑ Jack Chick on The Vatican
- Borkowski, James D. "Middle East Ecumenism from an Anglican Perspective" Cloverdale Books (2007) ISBN 978-1-929569-23-6 
- Hein, David. "The Episcopal Church and the Ecumenical Movement, 1937-1997: Presbyterians, Lutherans, and the Future." Anglican and Episcopal History 66 (1997): 4-29.
- Hein, David. Geoffrey Fisher: Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945-1961. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2007. Chapters 2 ("Chester and London") and 5 ("Ecumenical Outreach") discuss relations between Anglicans and Free Churches, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox in the period 1940 to 1961.
- Hein, David. "Radical Ecumenism." Sewanee Theological Review 51 (June 2008): 314-328. Proposes that mainline Protestants, such as Episcopalians, have much to learn from heirs of the Radical Reformation, including the Amish.
- Mastrantonis, George. "Augsburg and Constantinople : The Correspondence between the Tübingen Theologians and Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople on the Augsburg Confession." Holy Cross Orthodox Press (1982), reprinted (2005). ISBN 0-916586-82-0
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- "The Argument is not one of Calendars: It is conflicting Dogma and Theology that Lead to separate Celebrations of Pascha" by Archpriest George Metallinos from the Website of St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas. This article had originally appeared in the Athens daily newspaper Καθημερινή (14 April 1996, p. 7).
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