OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA
75 EAST 93rd STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10028
THE ALL HOLY ATHENAGORAS I
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE
AND OECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
May 21/June 3, 1968
On the joyous day of Easter, when our Holy Church celebrates the Holiday of Holidays and the Feast of Feasts, all the Primates of the Holy Churches of God announce to their flocks the joy of the Resurrection of Christ. In accordance with this tradition, Your Holiness has done this also. The Joy of the Resurrection, however, as announced by Your Holiness, is dimmed for the zealots of Orthodoxy by the other news which you announced to the Orthodox world as "an additional joy." You proclaimed your decision to proceed with the convening of a "Great Synod" for the purpose of "renewing the Church and establishing the unity of all Christian Churches."
to Patriarch Athenagoras
on the Lifting of the Anathemas of 1054
December 2/ 15 1965
We have inherited a legacy from the Holy Fathers that everything in the Church should be done in a legal way, unanimously, and conforming to ancient Traditions. If any of the bishops and even primates of one of the autocephalous churches does something which is not in agreement with the teaching of the whole Church, every member of the Church may protest against it. The 15th Canon of the First and Second Council of Constantinople of the year 861 describes as "worthy to enjoy the honour which befits them among Orthodox Christians" those bishops and clergymen who secede from communion even with their patriarch if he publicly preaches heresy and openly teaches it in church. In that way we are all guardians of the truth of the Church, which was always protected through the care that nothing of general importance for the Church would be done without the consent of all.
Without me, ye can do nothing
First of all we consider it necessary to declare directly and distinctly our deep and steadfast conviction that only the canonically true Orthodox Church — possessing the full grace of the Holy Spirit with its holy Mysteries, holy dogmas, patristic literature, extensive teaching on Christian morality in moral theology — can give an unshakable foundation for building an integrated and effective pedagogical system for the moral upbringing of children.
In the hierarchy of values, the highest, top place undoubtedly is occupied by religion. The most perfect religion is Christianity. Christianity is unthinkable without the Church. The one, true, holy, catholic, and apostolic church is the Orthodox Church.