The medieval West with its so-called “Catholic Church” or “Roman Catholic Church” had already excised itself from its ancient, authentic roots – which were in fact Orthodox – and had succumbed to the dominance of heresy. Luther had attempted to confront this heresy of the Papacy, but he unfortunately distanced himself even more from those ancient, authentic roots of the One Church.
During the time that Luther and Calvin were formulating the Reformation in the West, the Orthodox Christian monasteries of Eastern Europe and certain quarters in Asia and Northern Africa were hosts to hundreds of saints – both men and women. Needless to mention that there were also the faithless, the immoral and unrepentant sinners living in those same areas (as they do in every place and every era); however, there were also millions of true Christians with the authentic faith in Christ who lived among them: countless “little” and “big” holy persons, many of which were also miracle-workers, as verified within the Book of Acts of the Apostles - as were the Disciples of Jesus Christ.
These saints - each of them not less important than Luther or Calvin - were students and spiritual children of the saints of the preceding generation of saints, who in turn had likewise been spiritual children of the saints before them etc., thus reaching back as far as the first Apostles and their disciples, of the first century A.D.. None of them “needed” to break away from the Church in which they belonged or create a new version of Christianity, because that was the Church which had not altered its teaching or its way of life over time (as did the Papacy); it was the actual, original Church, which Jesus Christ Himself had founded, and which the Holy Spirit had thereafter undertaken to guide throughout History, by means of the holy Apostles and their disciples, i.e., the saints of the second century A.D., the third, the fourth, and so on, until this day.
|St. David of Euboea (16th century)|
Sadly, during the time of Luther, most of those territories had come under Ottoman (Muslim) occupation; however, that did not hinder the Christians from developing spiritually within the bosom of the Church or progress in their union with Christ and amongst themselves, in the same way that they did during the centuries of Roman persecutions.
Protestants had fought against the terrible heresy of Papism; and yet, right beside them at a very small distance stood the ancient Church of the proto-Christian era – still alive and breathing, and without having ever broken the ties that link it to the original Church of the Apostles and the first Christians.
Capitalism, Protestant Ethics & Orthodox Tradition
"THE WAY" - An Introduction to the Orthodox Faith
Travelers on the Way to the Light
Hieromartyr Cyrillos Lukaris. He was Patriarch of Alexandria from 1601 to 1620 and Patriarch of Constantinople for five different periods from 1620 until 1638.