August 20, 2012

Elder Sophrony and the Union of Churches

By Elder Sophrony of Essex

- There is a great difference between East and West. A Westerner who is baptized Orthodox for many years will be within the Orthodox Church under the guidance of an experienced Spiritual Father to obtain a pure Orthodox phronema and ethos.

Until then, he cannot and must not play the teacher to people who have Orthodox bones, who were born and raised as Orthodox.

That is why there cannot be a "union of Churches". With discussion an acquaintance can be made that can help the "political", without harming Orthodoxy. But the "union of Churches" is difficult, if not impossible. Those who speak of "union of Churches" do not know the mindset of the heterodox nor the height of Orthodoxy. Some of the heterodox hate the Orthodox. Proof is that if some Westerner becomes a Buddhist or Marxist, his household does not extract him from the family, but if he becomes Orthodox, then they extract him. If this mindset did not exist, then many Westerners would become Orthodox.

- I do not want, at least now, the "union of Churches", because the Romans (Latins) will not change, and the Orthodox will not be corrupted.

From I Knew A Man In Christ: The Life and Times of Elder Sophrony, the Hesychast and Theologian (Οίδα άνθρωπον εν Χριστώ: Βίος και πολιτεία του Γέροντος Σωφρονίου του ησυχαστού και θεολόγου) by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.