On Monday, December 11, Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea participated in the General Assembly of the Faith and Order Committee, which took place at the Roman Catholic(Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea). The same event, last year, took place at the headquarters of the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea.
In his speech, Metropolitan Ambrosios conveyed to the members of the General Assembly the fatherly greetings and blessings of HAH the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. As he pointed out, Patriarch Bartholomew “loves and is very much interested in the proceedings of the Faith and Order Commission for the Theological Dialogue, since he has served at the Commission for many years in various high positions”. After that, Metropolitan Ambrosios went on to say:
“Please allow me, in just a short time, to make three points derived from the history of Christianity, so that we may be able to reckon our own responsibility today.
- The first millennium was, as it were, the millennium of GLORY. It was the millennium of the Martyrs and the great Church Fathers and Theologians. It was the millennium of the seven Ecumenical Councils, which crystallized in their unique and unparalleled way the teaching of the Church. It was the millennium of Christian Art in architecture, in iconography, in poetry, in hymnography, in music, etc.
- The second millennium was, unfortunately, the millennium of SHAME. Various schisms weakened the testimony of the Church in the world. To those who are convinced that the Church progressed during the second millennium, let us be reminded that, firstly, Christ founded only ONE Church and not many; secondly, that His agonizing prayer in Gethsemane was about preserving the unity of the One Church; and thirdly, St. John Chrysostom says that “The sin of those who cause schism in the Church, cannot to be washed away, even by the blood of martyrdom. “
- The third millennium must be the millennium of REPENTANCE. In order to overcome the shame of the second millennium and to relive the glory of the first one, we must adopt the humble disposition of the Publican and walk the path of repentance. Only in this manner, the unity of the Churches will be realized. All our efforts must be focused on the God-pleasing unity, not in the continuation of the existing schisms. This is our duty. Because only through the unity of the Church, the Christian testimony will have a greater effect on people’s hearts, for the glory of God. Amen.