From A Homily from Made Perfect in Faith, by Father James Thornton:
The word "Catholic" also denotes the universality of the Faith of the Church. Ours is not a tribal Church, limited by ethnicity or region. The mission of the Church in this world is limitless; She reaches out to all of mankind.From Sermon on the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas
Great Lent, 1998, by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna:
Until this century, because of the influence of the West — the Jesuits in eighteenth-and nineteenth-century Russia and the Lutherans who were appointed as the Ministers of Religion under the first King of Greece, a German Lutheran, placed in power in Greece after its liberation from the Turkish Yoke at the beginning of the nineteenth century —, St. Gregory Palamas was a virtual mystery to Orthodox theologians. This man, whom we hymn as "ho phoster tes Orthodoxias" (the "Enlightener of Orthodoxy") and "to sterigma tes Ekklesias" (the "Pillar of the Church"), taught and lived our Faith in a purity which, except in the hidden confines of monasteries and in the hearts of the simple people—who could not articulate what they knew of Orthodoxy—, was lost to the neo-Papism of Patriarchalism, Western notions of "officialdom," and to nationalism and ethnicity, which are nothing more than a return to heathenism.From Orthodoxy and Ethnicity, by Franklin Billerbeck:
Remember that Orthodoxy, because it is the fullness of "the faith once delivered" and offered to the entire world, embraces, transforms and makes new all cultures.From When Is A Chrismation Not A Chrismation?, by Hieromonk Patapios:
Precisely because Orthodoxy claims to be catholic (universal), it is at once both the ultimate expression of ones ethnicity and the ultimate rejection of ethnicity. Because ethnicity is absorbed into the faith, the faith becomes the ultimate, God centered, expression of ethnicity. Because the faith ultimately transcends ethnicity and creates a deeper unity than any ethnic bond, the faith is also the ultimate rejection of ethnicity.
Ethnicity is not a determinant of, and certainly does not adequately describe, cognitive styles or modes of thought, and especially in attempts to arrive at consensual theological statements. This kind of assumption can easily court racism, and we must thus avoid it.
An opposing view from Matthew Raphael Johnson, at The Orthodox Medievalist:
This online project is an independent publication of the True Orthodox Church and dedicated to the struggle against the New World Order.Here we can see two distinct Christian views about the material world. The first is what one today would call the liberal view. It declares that our physical distinctions are unimportant and may be destroyed for the sake of a "oneness" with God. It seeks a universal peace among the human "race."
It centers around an interest in the idea of Sobornopravna, combining a dedication to social-nationalism, communitarianism and federalism. This journal stands against ecumenism and globalism, holding that only an ethno-Orthodox traditionalist movement can save the independence of the Orthodox world from the erosive inroads of the state-capitalist empire of the West.
This project seeks to bring all those interested in the ancient Orthodox life together in a shared dedication to the Old Russian and Ukrainian tradition, national independence and ethnic solidarity apart from and opposed to the global economy and its vacuous neo-liberal ideology.
The second, the conservative view -- for no one is conservative unless he desires to conserve [Latin: conservare, to save, protect, preserve] himself and his heritage -- acknowledges that we are more than spirit only. That we are not merely bodies with spirits nor spirits with bodies, but are one in body and spirit, and that both are important and should be saved from eternal destruction; both should be preserved and nurtured.