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Commentary: The Greater Truth - 2002

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The Greater Truth
Commentary by C.K. Garabed
The Armenian Reporter International
April 27, 2002

To Armenians in America, a stand against church unity is tantamount to heresy. And yet, to these same people, a stand for Christian church unity under a single ecclesiastical authority would constitute heresy. Can one imagine all Christian churches and denominations under a single leadership? Whose rites would prevail? Whose language would be chosen for all to use? Would Armenians accept the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, as their No. 1 spiritual leader? In short, what is the case for worldwide Christian unity?

Well, for one thing, there is only one Jesus Christ, the Savior. There is His Church, and again, only one can be true. There are His moral teachings that can be understood in only one way. If the one church needs to be administered, then there can only be one administration. The Roman Church is a good candidate because of their having wisely set up the branch referred to as The Eastern Rites, where parishioners and their clerics who desire to perpetuate their mode of worship in the time-honored tradition of their forebears are not only tolerated but encouraged. Thus a devout Roman Catholic can worship in accordance with the Alexandrian, Antiochian, Chaldean, Armenian, or Byzantine Rite. But what member of the Armenian Apostolic Church is willing to be absorbed in the Roman Church, even if he can still continue to worship in his fashion? Very few, I’ll wager.

Therefore, so long as the Christian Church is physically divided, there is no true unity, and anyone who dares propose it risks being accused of preaching heresy.