Before anyone misunderstands, the ‘Liberals’ are those of liberal theology,
Speaking at the afternoon session of “In the Footsteps of Grafton and Tikhon”, the Very Rev. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, ripped into liberal theological training. He was followed by Fr. Robert Munday, Dean of Nashotah House Seminary, who gave an uncompromising defense of the Church’s teaching on Faith, Order and Morals.
Reminding the conference that clergy and the schools that trained them had once been trusted, Fr. Hatfield went on to state that this was no longer the case. Much of the fault for this lies at the foot of seminaries which have become “places of speculative theology and bad behavior.”
The Orthodox chancellor went on to say that “faithful candidates arrive at our seminaries from across the country and walk out… wondering what it is they believe.” This has had a disastrous effect on the Church, “A heavy diet of low-cal theology has left our Church emaciated and thin.”
For Hatfield, the solution to this is a return to the substantial nourishment offered by the Fathers and Councils. Quoting Russian Archbishop Hilarion, he addressed the need to counter the twin threats of aggressive secularism and resurgent Islam: “Knowledge of the Fathers prevents Orthodox Christians from losing their way in the multitude of currents… the councils of the Fathers radiate a healthy spirit” a spirit that combats “sinful desires and promulgates good deeds.” It’s this spirit that will disprove the “forecasts” that “predict the disappearance of Christianity by the third millennium and its absorption by Islam.”
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