Even in the Russian Orthodox Church we sometimes hear of ‘Pan-Orthodox’ organizations, assemblies, conferences, meetings, even of ‘Pan-Orthodox liturgies’. But what does this mean? Every liturgy is ‘Pan-Orthodox’, inasmuch as all Orthodox are invited to partake, indeed the whole world is called on to pray. Sadly, the phrase ‘Pan-Orthodox’ really means ‘only for selected Orthodox’. In fact, it means ‘for new calendarists only’ (thus, excluding 85% of Orthodox), and for ecumenists, modernists, freemasons and liberal intellectuals (thus, excluding 99.9% of the rest). How has this distortion of meaning come about?
This distorted word has come from two opposing visions of the unity of the Church, especially in the Diaspora. The first vision for unity, the ‘Pan-Orthodox’ one, is based on a levelling down to the lowest common denominator, in fact, on protestantization and secularization. The other vision for unity, the Orthodox one, is based on a levelling up to the highest common denominator, in fact it is ascetic and leads to holiness. Although the first vision will at first be more popular and more common, because it is not Spirit-bearing, it will not last. It is therefore only the second vision that endures and triumphs.
We can see this in last year’s ‘Pan-Orthodox’ (!!!) meeting in Crete. This has caused a huge crisis in the Greek and new calendarist (for example Romanian) world, which attended it and signed various papers, and that world is now concerned with the ‘reception’ of that peculiar meeting. This is utterly irrelevant to the majority of Orthodox, who are hardly aware of this crisis, since they refused even to attend such an absurd meeting with its Non-Orthodox agenda and have since forgotten it and laugh when they hear it called ‘a Council’. We are pre-Crete and post-Crete and living; they are con-Crete and dead.
We would rather suffer martyrdom than sign any of those papers. Such is ‘Pan-Orthodox’. In order to be ‘Pan-Orthodox’, you first have to be Orthodox. That is what the ‘Orthodox-lite’, ‘Euro-Orthodox’ ecumenists, modernists and liberals have no understanding of. In being all things to all men, they have ended up being nothing to no-one, in other words, a laughing-stock of those in the past. This is why we ignore them, safe with our Orthodox bishops and Orthodox faithful. This is why we shall continue to be authentically ‘Pan-Orthodox’, welcoming all, multinational and multilingual and faithful to the Tradition.