Orthodoxy is a divine-human co-operation in which the Lord Himself will settle any crisis within His Body – the Church – and the most common way is the following one:
The Lord of the harvest, knowing that a crisis in the Church will appear, selects and validates His elect vessels (holy men) with authority in the Church beforehand because there mannerisms and teachings are in accordance with Holy Tradition. When a new matter appears, the flock will obey to these men with authority, that is to the saints. Besides that, under this obedience, the stance is formed by various opinions until it is crystallized in a new form of the same teaching. There isn’t a new teaching – it is the same: the life in the eternal living Christ, just explained and applied in a new form, so there is no need to “invent” or “find” anything new.
Thus, the guardians of truth in the real Church are not only the bishops, but all believers who have a keen interest in following the truth, without any mixture of vain or passionate interests. This flock will be enlightened by God which will validate their own efforts to solve the Church’s crisis – and that of their own personal crisis for that matter – and will give them enlightenment in their hearts that the truth is spoken through God’s chosen and elect vessels (holy and wise men) which God Himself has ordained within His Body – the Church.
No matter how Orthodox (we think) we are or how important (we think) we are, we need Christ who speaks through various elect vessels validated by Him beforehand throughout history.
In the following photos you will see candid shots from the feast of All Saints of Vatopaidi. Hierarch Adrianos of Alikarnassou presided at the feast along with chanters from the Athonite monasteries of Karakallou and Grigoriou.