"The abomination of desolation in a holy place" -- these words by prophet Daniel are associated by our contemporaries, particularly Russians, primarily with the destroyed and desecrated churches of our land.
There is also another, patristic, interpretation of the prophetic words: "abomination of desolation in a holy place", namely, episcopal sees occupied by unworthy hierarchs. This interpretation comes to mind every time we see canonical apostasy of "Orthodox" ecumenists going as far as praying together not only with the heterodox, but with the overt idolaters, occultists and wizards, as was the case during the last two ecumenical assemblies in Vancouver and Canberra.
Only the spiritually blind would fail to shudder at the apocalyptic horror of ecumenical meetings and assemblies, each of them invariably marking a new degree of spiritual degradation.
It is difficult to believe that in praying with the heterodox, these ecumenists in clerical ranks do not know, or have forgotten, that such prayers are expressly forbidden by many canonical rules. Specifically, the 10th Apostolic Canon says: "If anyone pray together with one who has been excommunicated, even in a private home, let him be excommunicated himself." And according to the 45th Apostolic Canon: "Let any bishop, or priest, or deacon who merely joins in prayer with heretics be excommunicated, but if he has permitted them to perform any services as ministers of the Church, let him be deposed (i.e., unfrocked)" .
Are the hierarchs of the Patriachates of Moscow, Constantinople and many others, who, being under an archbishop's oath, are beholden to observe the canons, the precepts of the Church Fathers, the Church Traditions, and all the regulations and rules of the Orthodox Church , until they die -- are they aware that when praying together and exchanging the kiss of love in Orthodox churches with the Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Pentecostals and other heretics, they betray the holy Orthodox faith? Do they consciously defy the anathema and the oaths of the Church Fathers pronounced over their "ecumenical brothers", who have departed from the One (i.e. unicum) Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly" are the first words of the Psalm 1. Is it by chance that the divine Prophet and Psalmist put them first? There are no coincidences with God. It is impossible to sing glory to God, to glorify Him
in truth "in the counsel of the ungodly". And let the ecumenists from the Moscow Patriarchate not pretend that in the "counsel of the ungodly", in the World Council of Churches, they "bear witness to Orthodoxy". No, they participate in the works of darkness, which strive to unite all the untruths and heresies of the world into the one universal "church" -- without Christ. The facts speak of this convincingly. Even ecumenists themselves speak of this in moments of frankness. Thus, did Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk, Head of the Department of Foreign Church Relations of the MP openly call the WCC the "cradle of the one church of the future" during the 7th Assembly of the WCC in Canberra .
It is well known that ecumenists seek to level interconfessional differences and contradictions and to distort our dogmas, to change the canons and the centuries old Orthodox Tradition, i.e. to take from us that which is the basis of the Church of Christ. The "counsel of the ungodly" knows that which is most precious in the Orthodox Church and therefore it encroaches upon Her dogmas and canons. The well deserved credit of Orthodoxy is precisely the fact that from the moment of the inception of the holy Church and up to our own days, it has faithfully and immutably preserved divinely-revealed teaching and Holy Tradition.
"Let that, therefore, abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father" (1 John 2,24).
"Hold that fast which thou hast" (Rev. 3,11). This is a testament of great significance for Christian Orthodoxy. In the opinion of ecclesiastic liberals and renovationists "to hold" and "to preserve" mean the same as conservatism and stagnation. "For the Orthodox consciousness, however, this concept is full of dynamic force -- preservation means an irrepressible
striving to be always, to the very end, faithful to the Truth, to be armed with this truth, and to be ready to meet all the new and often hidden needs and problems arising before us daily" .
The Church of Christ is
"the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3,15). According to St. Theophan the Recluse, "it is the Church of the living God, Who is the God of truth, or the Truth itself. Everything in her is true. Do not look for truth elsewhere" . On the other hand, ecumenists maintain that any religion, including the heathen ones, "inasmuch as God is one" -- has its own truth and therefore they call on Christians to be tolerant of the faith of others. By being tolerant to spiritual apostasies, ecumenism only confirms the errors of the heterodox when voicing their agreement that these worshippers of heresies, anathematized by the Fathers, also belong to the Church of Christ.
The condescension of "Orthodox ecumenists" called upon to "surmount spiritual barricades"  contradicts the rigor which God Himself passed on to us to be exercised in our attitude to unrepentant sinners:
"if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Mt. 18,17).
Following Christ, His holy disciples, St. John the Theologian (2 John 1,10), and the holy Apostle Paul (2 Thes. 3,6) also called the faithful to spiritual vigilance and strictness: In his epistle to Galatians Apostle Paul anathematizes any distorter of Christ's teaching:
"If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let them be accursed" (Gal. 1, 9).
Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan (MP) participates in an ecumenical
service with Lutherans and Catholics in Finland. Helsinki, 22.5.92
World Conference of Religious leaders. Moscow, 1982.
 "The Canons or The Book of Rules of the Holy Apostles, the Holy Councils General and Local and of the Holy Fathers." The Second Complete Edition. Publication of the Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev in Montreal, Canada, Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, 1974, pp. 21, 26.
 As it is known, every Bishop during his ordination makes an archpriestly oath which in part runs as follows: "I promise to observe the Canons of the Holy Apostles and of the Seven General Councils, and of the pious Local Councils, which have been legitimized for the preservation of rightful behests, and all Canons and Holy Statute inasmuch as they have been made up at various times by those who truly uphold the Holy Eastern Orthodox faith, and to firmly preserve all of these inviolate to the end of my life and with this my promise I give witness that all things that they have accepted I also accept and whatsoever things they have rejected I also reject. ... If I should transgress any of my promises given here, or to break any of the Divine regulations ... Then let me be immediately deprived of my office and of my authority, even without being denounced or accused, and let me be devoid of the heavenly gift, which was granted me by the Holy Spirit during ordination through the laying on of hands".
See also Bishop Nikodim, "Pravila Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi s tolkovaniiami" (The Rules of Orthodox Church with Explanations), vols. 1-2, St. Petersburg Theological Academy, 1911-1912.
Archimandrite Ioann, "Opyt kursa tserkovnago zakonovedeniia" (A Practical Course of Ecclesiastical Law), vols. 1-2, St. Petersburg, 1851.
 See the daily bulletin of the 7th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Canberra "Assembly Line No. 10, Canberra, 19.2.1991, p. 3. These words of Metropolitan Kirill can also be heard in the documentary film "Kirrkott keskella Canberra" ("The Church in the Midst of Canberra" which together with the printed text was kindly made available to us by Finnish Television. Recording No. is 436-156-02; the film was screened on the first channel of Finnish Television on April 12, 1991.
 The words of the ever-memorable First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad Metropolitan Filaret (Voznesensky, +1985) which he left as his last testament. Quotation from "Russkiy Pastyr" No. 7, San Francisco, 1990, p.4.
 Bishop Theophan, "Tolkovanie pastyrskikh poslanii sv. apostola Pavla" (Interpretation of the Pastoral Epistles of St. Apostle Paul), Moscow, 1894, p. 309.
 The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate (JMP) No. 1, Moscow, 1991, p. 64.