People of different nationalities and religions can live in peace. First a purely human understanding is reached, then the problems are solved. This is how the Christian works. There is always a divine element in the understanding and sympathy between people of different nationalities and religious communities, a sense of peace coming from above. Any dialogue between people of different faiths could develop on a good basis – the similar requirements for integrity and correctness that we encounter in different religions. This would create trust and tolerance. And at the heart of Buddhism are good norms of human behavior: abstinence from bad desires and violence, not to lie, swear and gossip. The Jewish religion forbids murder, adultery, theft, lying – in the realm of morality, Judaism and Christianity draw from one treasury – the Old Testament. According to Islam, everyone should do good, be honest, praise the love of truth, the need for unity among people, mutual forgiveness and giving alms. God does not wish evil on the people we call non-Christians, and they are dear to him – when they do good, it proves that God guides their conscience. Thus our duty is this: not to fight with anyone, to pray for both friends and enemies, so that we do not remain blind to the beauty of another’s soul. One of the methods of the modern search for ecclesial unity is the “hierarchy of truths.” This expression appears as a result of the Second Vatican Council and finds its place in par. 11 of the Basic Document on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (1964), which reads as follows: carry out the task with love of truth, clarity and modesty. When comparing teachings and views, they should remember that there is an order or “hierarchy” of truths in Catholic teaching, insofar as they vary in their relation to the nearness of the Christian faith. Thus he will discover the way in which this kind of “fraternal competition” will arouse a deeper consciousness and a clearer expression of the immeasurable and unsearchable fraternities of Christ (cf. Eph. 3: 8). The ecumenical interpretation and theological study of this concept was prepared in 1985 in the Joint Working Group (MWG) between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church.
Representatives of Orthodox groups initially perceived it as a new concept that could lead to doctrinal compromises and that is alien to the Orthodox theological approach, because the truth cannot be divided and distinguished “to varying degrees of validity.” In the Holy Scripture, on which the unity of the Church is based, no distinction is made between major and minor truths, essential and insignificant teachings. Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The understanding of the truth is a result of the grace of St. The Spirit of truth (John 16:13), who guides us to the fullness of this truth and testifies of Jesus as Lord (1 Cor. 12: 3). The Orthodox Advisory Group of the World Council of Churches clarified that this critical position does not mean that there is no distinction or distinction in Orthodox theological discussions and formulations. Orthodox theologians believe that the concept of “hierarchy of truths” could help to recognize and recognize constant and common teachings of the faith, such as the seven Ecumenical Councils and others. expositions of the Christian faith. The assertion of a “hierarchy of truths” is based on the belief that there is indeed a difference in the “closeness” of each individual truth to the foundation of faith, and the center and foundation is the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to whom faith and life are oriented. .
For almost a century now, the Orthodox Church has been participating in the ecumenical movement, in various international Christian forums, in bilateral and multilateral dialogues. Ecumenism is a multi-layered concept. Initially, it was used to denote the desire for rapprochement between Christians. It is necessary to clearly distinguish between the terms “ecumenism”, “ecumenical movement”, on the one hand, and “ecumenical contacts of the Orthodox Church” or “Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement” – on the other. The most important goal of the Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement has always been and should continue to be the witness to the doctrine and catholicity (universal character) of the Church Tradition, and, above all, to the truth of the unity of the Church as it took place in the life of the local Orthodox churches. Participation in the ecumenical movement does not mean recognizing the equivalence or equivalence with other participants in that movement. Membership in the World Council of Churches (WCC) does not mean its recognition as a church reality of a more comprehensive order than the Orthodox Church itself, insofar as it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. The spiritual value of the WCC is determined by the readiness and aspiration of the member churches to listen to and respond to the testimony of universal truth. “Ecumenical” or the universe in the early centuries of Christianity meant the inhabited land, the totality of the countries of Greco-Roman culture, the countries of the Mediterranean basin or the territory of the Roman Empire. The adjective “ecumenicals” became the definition of the Byzantine Empire as “universal empire”, because the borders of the empire to this era more or less coincided with the territories in which the Church of Christ was spread.
The ecumenical movement originated in the bowels of Protestantism on the border between the 19th and 20th centuries. Its emergence is associated with the awakening of the “will to unite” in a divided Christian society. In addition, the initial motives and impulses for ecumenism are the need for international Christian cooperation and the desire to overcome the defeats of the mission of denominationalism. A characteristic feature of the end of the nineteenth century was the emergence of confessional unions, alliances and alliances. In the first third of the 20th century, the ecumenical movement was not one, but a collection of a number of inter-Protestant movements. In fact, from the very beginning, its initiators sought a way to create a single body of the ecumenical movement, which was achieved in 1948 with the establishment of the World Council of Churches in Geneva – perceived as the most visible loop of Christian unity for the coordination of interdenominational cohesion. Based on the principle “dogma divides, life unites” without waiting for a doctrinal consensus to be reached, unity is realized in a practical aspect – mission, service to the needy.
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