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The Lenten Ecumenism of the Serbian Patriarchate: Praying With Ecumenically Condemned Heretics

By Subdeacon Nektarios, M.A.

 

Many traditional Orthodox Christians who are fleeing the heretical and modernistic jurisdictions tend to flee to the Serbian Church because it is considered more traditional than most other jurisdictions and because they use the patristic (old) calendar. Are they as traditional as everyone thinks? Unfortunately, despite their traditional veneer, they are not. Since 1965, the Serbian Patriarchate has been an active and dues paying member of the World Council of Churches where they have signed heretical ecclesiological statements to maintain their membership in the WCC. You can read all about this in my previous article on the World Council of Churches entitled, The Ecclesiology of the WCC: Your Jurisdiction’s Membership in Demonic Heresy.


It has come to light that the Serbian Patriarchate, in a brazen act of heretical ecumenism, has allowed ecumenically condemned Monophysites to serve a heretical Coptic liturgy in one of their Orthodox Churches during the Lenten season with the blessing of the Patriarch, who also sent representatives to attend this defilement of their Church and to pray along with them. In a Facebook post, originally in Arabic and translated for me by a native Arabic speaker, we read concerning this event that,


Under the chairmanship of His Eminence the Reverend Bishop Abba Jovanni, Bishop of Central Europe the liturgy was held at the invitation of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate, with the permission of His Beatitude Patriarch Porphyrios, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.


This liturgy was attended by about a hundred Egyptian members of the Coptic church residing in Serbia. The Lord blesses every work to extend the glory of His Holy Name in every place where a pure and acceptable sacrifice is offered to Him [1].


This Coptic liturgy was held within the nave of one of the Patriarchal Churches in Belgrade and was attended by a Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate and what appear to be a few other clergymen and monastics. In these photos you can see the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate clergymen participating by prayer in this heretical Monophysite liturgy which was blessed by their Patriarch, Porphyrios.


As is well known, this joint prayer service with ecumenically condemned heretics is condemned by the holy canons of the Church. For the sake of ecumenism, the Serbian Patriarchate allowed his clergy to violate Apostolic Canon 45 and Canon 33 of the Council of Laodicea which say,

 

Canon XLV: Let a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, who has only prayed with heretics, be excommunicated:  but if he has permitted them to perform any clerical office, let him be deposed [2].


Canon XXXIII: No one shall join in prayers with heretics or schismatics [3].


In one of the lesser-known collection of canons entitled, The Canonical Answers of Timothy the Most Holy Bishop of Alexandria, Who was One of the 150 Fathers Gathered Together at Constantinople, to the Questions Proposed to Him concerning Bishops and Clerics in Question IX, it is asked, “Ought a clergyman to perform the oblation, or pray, while an Arian or heretic is present? Answer.  As to the divine oblation, the deacon, after the kiss, makes a proclamation, ‘Let all that are not Communicants walk off;’ therefore such persons ought not to be present, except they promise to repent, and renounce their heresy” [4].


As we can see in this additional canon, it is not permitted that a clergyman celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the presence of a heretic or to pray with them while they are present and that all who are not in Eucharistic communion with the Orthodox cannot even remain in the Church to include the catechumens. This begs the question, how does the Serbian Patriarchate, its Patriarch and Synod justify these anti-canonical actions of praying with these ecumenically condemned and unrepentant heretics, and to be so bold as to allow them to celebrate their polluted liturgy in a Serbian Orthodox Church?


These pseudo-bishops are “wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (2 Peter 2:1-19, NKJV). It’s time for all clergy and laity to take a stand in these jurisdictions and to follow the words of the Holy Apostles and to “withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6, NKJV).



 

References


[1]. Kopt Ortodox Egyház, Magyarországi Egyházmegye, Facebook Post, March 7th, 2024, https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=724876553181321&id=100069769488645&mibextid=qi2Omg&rdid=wn42OIRMpzaIq82e


[2]. The Canons of the Holy and Altogether August Apostles, “Canon XLV,” in Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Volume 14, ed. Philip Schaff & Henry Wace (Peabody: Hendrickson Publications, 1999), 597.


[3]. The Canons of the Synod Held in the City of Laodicea, “Canon XXXIII,” in Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Volume 14, ed. Philip Schaff & Henry Wace (Peabody: Hendrickson Publications, 1999), 150.


[4]. Bishop Timothy of Alexandria,  “The Canonical Answers of Timothy the Most Holy Bishop of Alexandria, Who was One of the CL Fathers Gathered Together at Constantinople, to the Questions Proposed to Him concerning Bishops and Clerics,” in Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Volume 14, ed. Philip Schaff & Henry Wace (Peabody: Hendrickson Publications, 1999), 613.

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