THE EVOLUTION, REVISION AND ADAPTATION OF CULT, FROM AN ORTHODOX PERSPECTIVE, AS REFLECTED IN THE DOCUMENTS OF THE COUNCIL IN CRETE (16-26 JUNE 2016)
Priest, Lecturer, PhD, University of Pitesti, Faculty of Theology, Letters, History and Arts/ The Centre for Applied Theological Studies, Romania, email@example.com
The main interest of nowadays Christian churches and confessions is searching for the Christian unity, to which another major issue has been added, which torments the Christian world, namely, the need to adapt the practices of religious life to the conditions and the evolution status of contemporary society. The pace in which this adjustment to present reality is prepared, as well as the means being used differ, without a shred of doubt, among churches and confessions. For instance, the Roman-Catholic Church, tributary to its unifying and centralizing spirit and organization, has dealt with the fundamental principles of this "aggiornamento” in the decrees and "constitutions" of the Second Vatican Council, which the following regional synods intended to put into practice, according to the local conditions of every national Church.
The Orthodox Churches were supposed to prepare for a fairly long period of time a Pan-Orthodox synod already known as the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church held in Crete between 16-26 June 2016. There were six approved documents: The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World; The Orthodox Diaspora; Autonomy and the Means by which it is Proclaimed; The Sacrament of Marriage and its Impediments; The Importance of Fasting and its Observance Today; Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World. All denominations in which Christianity is currently divided consider some action should be taken in order to prevent and bridge in some cases the increasing gap between the traditional forms of religious Christian life on the one hand and the goals, forms of life and aspects of today’s world on the other hand. In light of these general needs and trends to renew Christianity, to move with the times, the idea of “modernizing” the Orthodox cult has also been contemplated. It has been questioned, in a justified manner within the Ecumenical movement, whether the Orthodox cult and its traditional forms, approved by practice and governed by the regulations of ritual still corresponds to the religious needs of the human soul on the background of the circumstances and possibilities of today’s social life.
Keywords: cult, Church, synod/council, contemporary world.
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