Orthodox Christianity at the Crossroad:
A Great Council of the Church – When and Why
The purpose of publishing the papers presented at the Twentieth Annual Meeting of Orthodox Christian Laity is to improve “lay and clergy literacy” on the conference topic of “The Need for a Great and Holy Council.” The papers are presented with the hope that the information will motivate the faithful to participate in the conciliar decision-making process that moves the Church forward on the issue of developing the council or another appropriate meeting. The forces, factors, and history that inhibit calling a council are presented in these papers. The hope of what can be accomplished when brothers work in synergy with each other and the Holy Spirit is also evident.
The renewal of Orthodox Christianity and the renewal of its witness in the contemporary world of global religious pluralism depend on such a meeting. The calling of a council free of worldly, political, power, turf, ego and ethnic considerations will renew the “Living Tradition” of Orthodoxy, which is its Apostolic calling. The world is looking for this “Living Tradition,” which cannot be well-expressed by a fragmented Orthodox Church. A council is a step toward renewing the Church and making it whole in order to teach this “Living Tradition.”
It is interesting to note—as this collection of papers points out—that the children of Orthodox Christians living in America have come together as Americans, in order to remain Orthodox, through campus ministry programs that they are developing. The young adults are leading the way to Orthodox unity. Is it not time for the Church elders, the hierarchs, the clergy, and the faithful to look at the example of unity that the youth are providing and move ahead to do what is necessary to renew the Church through this conciliar council?
ABOUT THE EDITOR
George E. Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity since 2000, recently published “A Church in Captivity, The Greek Orthodox Church of America.” He co-authored and edited “Project for Orthodox Renewal” and continues to publish articles in various journals, newspapers and local history publications. He is an active member of his church and community.
Mission of OCL
Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) is a national, voluntary movement dedicated to syndiaconia (co-ministry) of clergy and laity who are concerned with the spiritual renewal, accountability, and transparency in Church governance. OCL encourages the laity to exercise its legitimate responsibilities as part of the conciliar governance process. OCL advocates the establishment of an administratively and canonically UNIFIED SELF - GOVERNING Orthodox Church in North America, which is in keeping with the theology and tradition in fulfilling its Apostolic mission.