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'''Ecumenism''' is, principally, dialogue between Christian denominations groups aimed at promoting the restoration of unity among all Christians through understanding, through mutual respect and toleration, and through practical cooperation in areas of common concern, such as care for the poor, sick, and needy.
Orthodox Christians take widely different attitudes toward ecumenismwere engaged in the foundation of the ecumenical movement from its inception. A few embrace The primary basis for the Anglican "branch theory" which holds that the various divisions Orthodox role in Christianity all represent branches of the same Church just as ecumenical movement was a statement issued by the branches Ecumenical Patriarchate of a tree are all integrally part Constantinople in 1920 entitled "Unto All the Churches of the same living treeChrist Wheresoever They Be. Many " A number of Orthodox Christians object to this theory on churches were present at the ground that it is inconsistent with properly Orthodox [[ecclesiology]]. It tends to minimize Orthodoxy and reduces its stature from exclusively initial founding conference of the [[One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church|one, holy, catholicWorld Council of Churches, and apostolic Church]] most have continued to that participate in the life of a relatively small segment the WCC, as well as in national and regional councils of the Church: one denomination among manychurches.
However, one may dispute the branch theory and still support ecumenical activity to a point. Some Orthodox Christians regard ecumenism as an opportunity to present Orthodoxy to have criticized participation in the world as ecumenical movement. They believe that ecumenical witness represents a unique witness concession to the ancient Christian faith and to "Branch Theory," which suggests that the various divisions in Christianity all represent branches of the same Church just as the indivisible body branches of a tree are all integrally part of Christthe same living tree. Others feel that ecumenism necessarily undermines this witness Under such a model, Orthodoxy would be defined not as exclusively the [[One Holy Catholic and feel that the Orthodox will be forced to alter traditional practices Apostolic Church|one, holy, catholic, and even apostolic Church]], but rather as a relatively small segment of the very content Church: one denomination among many. (However, this understanding of ecumenism is not supported by the agreements which define ecumenical structure, most notably the ancient apostolic faith[[Toronto Declaration]].)
In the Twentieth Century particularly, some ecumenical activities have drawn sharp criticism from various voices within the Orthodox Church, particularly participation in the [[World Council of Churches]] and, in the United States, the [[National Council of Churches]]. Ecumenism is often opposed by ''[[Traditionalist]]s'', particularly those of Christ in [[Old Calendarist]] jurisdictions, who regard the [[New Calendar]] as a symptom of ecumenismUSA.
One of the more controversial documents drawn up in recent years pertaining to ecumenism is the [[Balamand Statement]], an unofficial joint document of recommendation on [[Uniates|Uniatism]] signed by representatives of the [[Orthodox Church]] and the [[Roman Catholic Church]] in 1993.
Recently, many of the Orthodox Churches in the United States, including the [[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America]], the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]], and the [[Orthodox Church in America]] have joined a new ecumenical organization called [[Christian Churches Together]]. Many church leaders hope that this new organization will be able CCT is intended to avoid some represent a broader coalition of Christian communions, including Roman Catholics and Evangelicals (who do not participate as full members in either the problems the Orthodox churches had with groups like the WCC or NCCCUSA.) ==See also==* [[National Council of ChurchesNorth American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation]] while at the same time opening up positive opportunities for dialogue and cooperation.
==External links==
*[ Ecumenical Guidelines for SCOBA]* [ html Baptism and "sacramental economy": An agreed statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation] - Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, Crestwood, New York - June 3, 1999* [ Orthodox Information Center: Ecumenism Awareness]*[ Ecumenism: Origins - Expectations - Disenchantment], September 2004 Conference on Ecumenism, held at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece**[ Conclusions of the Conference on Ecumenism]**[ The Church of Serbia vis-à-vis Ecumenism], by Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren**[ Contours of Conversion and the Ecumenical Movement], by Hieromonk Alexis (Trader) of Karakallou**[ The Consequences of Orthodox Participation in the Ecumenical Movement on the Orthodox Witness to the Heterodox West], by Fr. John Reeves**[ The Mystery of Baptism and the Unity of the Church], by Fr. Peter A. Heers* [ The Missionary Origins of Modern Ecumenism] by Fr. Peter A. Heers* [ Orthodox Christianity and The "Branch Theory"]. OCA - Q & A.
*[ In Communion: Orthodoxy & Ecumenism]*[ In Communion: Ecumenical Movement], resources on the Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement*[ Orthodox Information Center: Ecumenism Awareness]*[ OCA Q&A: Ecumenism and Church Leaders]* [ Report of the Orthodox Pre-Assembly Meeting (WCC), Rhodes, January 10-17, 2005]* [ Resistance to Ecumenism in the Orthodox Church]
 ===Ecumenical organizations=== *[ World Council of Churches] *[ National Council of Churches] *[ Christian Churches Together]*[ Church World Service] [[Category:Church Life]]

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