Message of His Beatitude DANIEL, Patriarch of Romania, addressed to the participants in the 24th Pan-Orthodox Consultation of representatives of the Orthodox Churches and of the Holy Metropolitanates on Matters of Heresies and Para-Religions, Thessaloniki, 15 – 17 October 2012:
It is with joy that we greet His Eminence ANTHIMOS, Metropolitan of Thessaloniki, the host of this meeting, and all the participants in the 24th Pan-Orthodox Consultation of representatives of the Orthodox Churches and of the Holy Metropolitanates on Matters of Heresies and Para-Religions, with the theme: “The Hope of the Orthodox Church in the everlasting life and the errors of the millenarist heresies”.
At the same time, we convey our congratulations to the organisers of this event who deal with the impact of the millenarist heresies and of para-religions, as well as with their consequences in the contemporary society, which has such a great difficulty in perceiving God’s presence and in understanding the necessity of the communion with Him.
Our forerunners had the consciousness of their responsibility in keeping the true faith, as basis for achieving salvation, namely the union of the human being with God in eternity, through the Church, because it is only in the Church that the true community experience of the human existence can be lived.
Today’s society is mainly individualist, narcissist and self-sufficient. The soul of the contemporary human being affected by secularisation, through the rejection of the mystery of the Church, begun to be assailed by the wrong teachings of some sects and heresies, as well as by a confuse or syncretistic religiosity. Unfortunately, the spiritual vacuum is filled by a “para-religion”, which imitates religion but without referring to God.
A deep spiritual and authentic renewal is the only credible answer to the spiritual crisis we are living in. Only holiness can oppose or respond to these challenges. It is a difficult change, in ourselves, in which we must make the distinction between what is essential and profound and what is secondary and superficial; between what is authentic and what is artificial in our personal life and in the life of our communities.
This is why, the missionary priority of the Church, in the hope for salvation, must be our Orthodox communities affected by the phenomenon of migration, by heterodox proselytism, as well as by the moral and economical crisis. Thus, both the ecclesial responsibility of the clergy and the missionary consciousness of the laity must be cultivated through activities and projects designed to exceed routine and formalism and contribute to the enriching of the communities’ life. The church media as radio, television, daily newspapers, and internet can facilitate ecclesial communication and communion at national and international levels, so that the Christian true life should be lived as in a one spiritual family, even in secularised multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies.
We express our hope that, during the meeting in Thessaloniki, you will identify missionary solutions useful to the Orthodox clergy and faithful from all over the world and we pray Christ, our Lord, “The Good Shepherd” (John 10:11), to enlighten and strengthen us in defending the true faith and in cultivating the fraternal communion.
With blessing and love in Christ, our Lord,
Patriarch of Romania