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The Missionary Origins of Modern Ecumenism: Milestones leading up to 1920

An address prepared for the Academic Conference
The Mission of the Orthodox Church
and The World Council of Churches
Athens, May 15, 2005

Presbyter Peter Alban Heers

  The impact of the contemporary ecumenical movement on the life of the Church in the 20th century has been immense. Orthodox involvement has steadily increased over the years and is now generally accepted as a given. Still, many questions remain unanswered and unasked. How did the modern ecumenical movement begin? What were the causes, motivations, and reasons for its development? Why and how did the Orthodox first become involved? Did the movement for Christian unity begin with the 1920 encyclical “To the Churches of Christ Everywhere” and arise out of a search for “unity in truth” and doctrinal agreement, as is often maintained?

In this lecture, Fr. Peter Alban Heers, answers these questions, extensively citing authoritative sources of ecumenical history to bring us face-to-face with the historical record. This booklet is essential reading for all those interested in Orthodox involvement in the ecumenical movement.

(Source – Orthodox Info)

Pater Peter Alban Heers±±±