“It is because of the renunciation by some Protestant denominations, as well as parts of the Anglican communion, of the ancient Christian tradition that it has become ever more difficult for the Orthodox Church to continue co-operation with them. I regret this, but the dialogues with Protestants and Anglicans which we have had for decades are now under threat because of processes taking place in the Protestant communities of the West and North. I mean the continuing liberalization in the field of theology, ecclesiology and moral teaching. Certain denominations have legitimized the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of people openly declaring their non-traditional sexual orientation.“We are obliged to speak about this because we want to preserve the good that was achieved during the years of dialogue between Orthodox on the one hand and Protestants and Anglicans on the other. In defending the two-thousand-year-old tradition of the Church, we remain true to this dialogue, yet at the same time we see that Protestants and Anglicans are growing away from us by accepting innovations which we find unacceptable...."
“Unlike dialogue with the Protestants and Anglicans which has reached a dead end, dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church seems to have a future to it precisely because, like the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church does not think of itself outside of Tradition and strives to teach and live in accordance with the tradition of the apostles and holy fathers...."
"Campaigners claim that there could be “hundreds” of blessing services, complete with prayers, readings and even a form of vows taking place “under the radar” within the established church from early next year.Of course, we are under no illusions that, for Anglicans, 'catholic ecumenism' has indeed "reached a dead end." Neither is there any hope left that, in the aftermath of the House of Commons vote earlier this week, the Anglican provinces in England and Wales will not now follow the siren voices of the zeitgeist, those who have come, in Johannine terms, only to scatter the sheep and "to steal and kill and destroy."
They believe a “groundswell” of support from within sections of the Church could eventually open the way for a challenge to the official line on same-sex weddings.
Others, including a handful of well known landmark churches and cathedrals, are planning to openly stage special services of “prayer and dedication” for gay couples, almost identical to blessings already on offer for heterosexual couples who chose to marry in a register office.
The Church of England has been a vocal opponent of David Cameron’s plans to allow gay couples to marry, which received the backing of the Commons on Tuesday, warning that it could even threaten disestablishment.
Bishops have negotiated a so-called “quadruple lock” of legal measure designed to prevent the priests being forced to carry out gay weddings against their will.
But some liberals say they do not share the Church’s official line and complain that they were not consulted.
Current Church rules ban parishes from holding blessing services for those who form civil partnerships.
But many priests get around the rules by calling them services of “prayer and dedication”.
The services, usually held after the civil ceremony, involve communion and, in some cases, special liturgies containing elements similar to the wedding service.
Now several priests are drawing up plans to offer similar services for couples who have same-sex weddings.
The Rev Colin Coward, director of the Anglican campaign group “Changing Attitude”, said: “There are people who will do a blessing in a church, I don’t think that’s a problem.
“It will be under the radar a bit but it would happen."
He said there were already hundreds of unofficial blessing services for civil partnerships taking place.
“Among liberal churches it is pretty widespread although people don’t talk about it,” he said..."
On a related matter, I had a notice in the mail today advertising a study day, led by an Anglican priest, on the apocryphal and gnostic "Gospel of Thomas," which most serious scholars, together with the Fathers themselves, regard as spurious and (at least with its gnostic content and interpolations) dating from the mid second century or even later. Increasingly, tragically, 'it's where we're at' - wilfully misreading the past in order to feel better about the present.
But please - no more pious platitudes about the importance of ecumenism from those of us whose actions - or inactions - have helped to destroy it.