The life of the Orthodox Church, the Body of Christ, rests upon its sacraments. Their mysterious effect of God's grace presupposes, on our part, a pious safeguarding of their sacredness from any contact with something impure. The Savior Himself forewarned us:
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs" (Mt. 7,6). This is why the most important sacrament, the Eucharist, is celebrated during the Liturgy of the
faithful, after the departure of the Catechumens.
We are reminded of this, prior to the Eucharistic canon, by deacon loudly proclaiming: "The doors! The doors!" (i.e. close the doors in order that the Mystery of mysteries, the holy Eucharist may begin). And approaching the Sacred Chalice, with fear and trembling, to partake of Christ's Body and Blood, we pray to Christ promising to be faithful in love: "for I will not speak of the Mystery to Thy enemies; I will not give Thee a kiss like did Judas". How, then, is it possible to demonstrate the Divine Liturgy on ecumenical rostrums, to make it a spectacle for all kinds of enemies of the Church -- heretics, idolaters, sodomites, and other servants of satan?!
"Orthodox" ecumenists more and more often reveal their indifference to tenets of our Christian teaching. This enables them to have their blasphemous "theological" dialogues with representatives of "monotheism" -- Judaists and Mohammedans, and even with idolaters -- Buddhists. The lukewarm spirituality of ecclesiastical "diplomats" permits them to acknowledge the "Holy Sacraments" of heretics. Thus "Orthodox" ecumenists commit a sin against the 9th article of our Creed, inasmuch as they do not confess the
One, i.e. the only Church exclusively preserving all the Holy Sacraments. Metropolitan Vitaly (Oustinov) comments that "the Fathers deliberately included the Nicene Creed in the Divine Liturgy and other daily Church services as a prayer, in order to impart to our souls the entire Orthodox teaching expressed in this perfect and concise form. That is, to make the Creed our life, rather than an abstract teaching. Thus, the Fathers teach us that our communication with our Lord God may only be through prayer; that we should discuss our Lord God not with our intellect alone but contemplate Him with all the faculties of our soul -- our mind, heart and will -- in prayer and faith. The Creed is not only the statement of our teaching, our memorandum on faith, but a
prayerful spiritual effort of all the faculties of our soul"
(our emphasis - L.P.) .
Every dogmatic truth which we confess in prayer is the source of our moral power which enables us to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. "True life, life in Christ, life in the Church depends on the true spiritual effort of faith and prayer"
. According to Christ's teaching, man is united with God in the Mystery of Communion -- the holy Eucharist. The Lord says: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except that you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you... He who eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him" (John 6, 51-56).
The mystery of Eucharist unites human beings with God, thus uniting them together in one Body of Christ, i.e. the Church. There is no, and cannot be, Holy Communion outside the Church
. The Holy Spirit Which transforms the Holy Gifts into the Body and Blood of Christ, does not descend upon a gathering of heretics who deviate from the Truth. According to the Fathers, "eucharist of heretics is food of demons". Therefore, Eucharist is possible only in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. At the same time, if there is no Holy Communion anywhere else except in the Orthodox Church, there are no other sacraments either: "God the Holy Spirit descends in all the Holy Sacraments for the sake of the incarnation of the Son of God, of His being God-Man"
Orthodox Christians should be firm in their knowledge that religious communities which deviate from Orthodoxy do not and cannot have any Holy Sacraments. Partaking of Holy Communion by non-Orthodox, inter-communion practiced by ecumenists is nothing but a profanation of the Holy Eucharist, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which shall not be forgiven either in this world, or in the world to come, according to our Savior (Mt. 12, 31-32).
 Archbishop Vitaly (Oustinov, now Metropolitan, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad), "Ekumenizm" (Ecumenism), a report made to the Council of Bishops in 1967 in Mahopac, USA; Montreal, 1982, p. 14.
 Ibid. p. 15.
 See Archbishop Hilarion, "Khristianstva net bez Tserkvi" (There is no Christianity without Church), Second edition by the Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev, Montreal, 1986, pp. 22-25.
 Archbishop Vitaly, "Ecumenism", p. 16.