number 9, december 14, 1998

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Letters: Provocative, misleading

From Paul Meyendorff

The December 12 issue of Jubilee (No. 8) contains a highly provocative and misleading article by Hans-Georg Link entitled "Unmasking Orthodox claims." The article is both aggressive and insulting, and I was astonished to find it on the pages of an official WCC publication.

In particular, the author quotes an Orthodox representative at a padare hearing as saying that most of the Orthodox churches did not really engage in the Apostolic Faith Study.

What Dr Link failed to mention was that this same Orthodox speaker continued, to state that this was a problem of the ecumenical movement as a whole, that the same was true in many Protestant Churches, and in the Roman Catholic Church as well. The problem of reception is not specific to the Orthodox.

The same tendency to mislead is evident later in the article, when the author claims that none of the "Orthodox dignitaries" who celebrated a resurrectional service on Monday morning "felt it necessary to take part in Sunday evening’s vigil".

In fact, the Orthodox were present at the vigil in significant numbers, and the author does not mention the fact that only a small percentage of Assembly delegates attended.

At a time when the Orthodox are striving to find a constructive way to continue their membership and participation in the WCC, such remarks are not helpful, and can only play into the hands of those who would like us to withdraw.

Meyendorff, a delegate from the Orthodox Church in America, is professor of liturgical theology at St Vladimir’s seminary, New York, and chairs the Faith and Order committee of the NCC in the USA. He is also a member of the assembly worship committee.

Editor’s note:
Jubilee or e-Jubilee is not an official WCC publication. It is a newspaper produced for participants in the assembly. With that understanding, the council does not seek to control the contents.

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Read other articles in this issue:

Mandela to WCC: tribute, and the development goal
Four fundamental questions for churches
Experiences people have had: Living the ecumenical connection
Orthodox preachers shares testimony about being lost
Visitors take home gift of a covenant
Bulgarian Orthodox quit WCC
Looking for the vision
WCC to set up commission with Orthodox churches
Trees will be reminder of the 8th assembly
Listen! Children can work
Letters: Provocative, misleading
50 years ago: Report from Amsterdam
Zimbabwe Christians criticise government
WCC celebrates 50th anniversary
Assembly yes to Christian 'forum'

8th Assembly and 50th Anniversary

copyright 1998 World Council of Churches. Remarks to webeditor