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Ecumenical Patriarch criticizes nationalist tendencies within Eastern Orthodoxy

Catholic World News - April 30, 2014

In an address delivered in the Netherlands, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor within Eastern Orthodoxy, criticized nationalist tendencies within some Orthodox churches.

“The concept of the nation cannot become a determining factor of Church life or an axis of Church organization,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said in an address delivered at the Old Catholic cathedral in Utrecht.

“Whenever an Orthodox church succumbs to nationalist rhetoric and lends support to racial tendencies, it loses sight of the authentic theological principles and gives in to a fallen mindset, totally alien to the core of Orthodoxy,” he continued.

Patriarch Bartholomew made his comments while discussing the upcoming pan-Orthodox synod. “The stability of Orthodoxy, a matter of utter significance for the entire Christendom, constitutes one of our prime concerns,” he said. “Orthodoxy is called to consistently apply its fundamental ecclesiological principles pertaining to the Church’s catholicity and synodality, in a way that answers to reproaches of ‘orthodoxism’ and ‘ethnocentrism’ leveled against it.”

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