How the Episcopalian and Eastern Orthodox Churches in America explored union–until a modern-day Orthodox saint did an about-face


Check out this Orthodox history Facebook site’s account of what happened when the Episcopalian and Eastern Orthodox Churches in America dialogued and neared union . . . until an orthodox saint named Raphael, who was the hinge of these talks, did an about-face . . .

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4 responses to “How the Episcopalian and Eastern Orthodox Churches in America explored union–until a modern-day Orthodox saint did an about-face

  1. You can read his Pastoral Letter explaining this “about-face” here: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/hawaweeny.aspx. Like many Orthodox in dialogue with Anglicans, Bishop Raphael seems to have initially been fooled by Anglo-Catholics into thinking that they represented Anglicanism as a whole. The Palmer-Khomiakov correspondence in the 19th century shows similar confusions. I don’t mean that Anglo-Catholics are deliberately deceptive–they genuinely believe that they represent “real” Anglicanism. But they tend to live in an idealistic bubble–or did until about 30 years ago (ordination of women in the Episcopal Church).

    On the other side, it’s also true that many Anglicans (not just Anglo-Catholics) see themselves as holding to the basic truths of the undivided Church and honestly present themselves in this light to the Orthodox. So beyond the problem of a minority holding itself out as representative of the whole, you have the problem of Anglicans claiming to believe the same things but giving much vaguer meanings to terms and practices than the Orthodox do. Anglicans have for a long time (at least since the 17th century) idealized the Eastern Church as a preserve of “non-Roman Catholicism,” and this has led to projection–a disposition to assume that the Orthodox believe more or less what we do. The zeal of many Orthodox in distancing themselves from Rome feeds this.

  2. Do you have any info on St. Raphael’s about-face? 100 years later, the Anglican’s remain the closest to being able to reunite with the Orthodox Church.

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