Olivier Clément, The truth will set you free.Discussing with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, translated by Keti Chiotelli, (Orthodox Witness Series, no 59), Akritas publications, Athens, 1997, pp. 340.
In the introductory note, the writer explains the way in which the book was written and the proposal that it bears. The three chapters of the first part describe briefly the Orthodox Church, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as the roots and destiny of Bartholomew I. In the second part, under the title “Views of a message”, aspects of the orthodox faith and ethos are developed: the Incarnation, the Cross, the Resurrection, a triune anthropology and ecclesiology, the ecclesiastic, ascetic, eucharistic and apophatic ethos and the festive course of the transformation of Creation.
In the third part, the writer deals with the orthodox views of the Patriarch on freedom and Christ as liberator, on love and the Church, on the issue of ordination of women, on social problems such as AIV/aids and drugs. Particularly important are Bartholomew’s the analyses on the ambiguous connection of Church with Nation in the course of history but also the explicit condemnation of nationalism, as well as the reflections on the present and future of Europe, on the secularization and its overcoming.
The fourth part is dedicated in otherness, in the orthodox approach of the others, who may be Christians belonging to a different confession or believers of another religion. Rejecting fanaticism and intolerance, the Patriarch considers ecumenism not as luxury but as a duty and vigorously defends the dialogue between Christian confessions, and also with Judaism and Islam, in the spirit of love and diaconia, so as peace is achieved. Following are the approaches in the challenge of “New Age” and the new religiousness whose roots are found in Far East, India and Buddhism.
In the conclusive chapter, the writer refers to the renewing and creative role of the Spirit where the critical and prophetic role of Orthodoxy today is found. Texts by Patriarch Bartholomew are presented in the annex.